Free Agents Houston Rockets Must Avoid
Coming into the 2012-13 season, there was little expectation that the Houston Rockets would be competitive, much less make the postseason.
However, after a surprise deal to land James Harden before the season began, and key offseason signings like Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, the Rockets ended up becoming one of the most explosive offensive teams in the NBA and grabbed the eighth seed in the Western Conference with a 45-37 record.
Although they were outed in the first round of the playoffs by the Oklahoma City Thunder, it was still a successful season for the Rockets, and Houston is a team to look out for next year.
Their will be much intrigue this offseason as the Rockets try to improve and climb the food chain in the West.
Much of the speculation revolves around Dwight Howard, but Houston must be prepared if they aren't able to land the All-Star center.
Here are some players who may be tempting for the Rockets to go after in free agency, but who just aren't a good fit for Houston in 2013-14.
Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. has been a solid scorer during his 10-year NBA career and he has only been below double figures twice.
He averaged 10.5 PPG and shot over 42 percent from long range last season with Milwaukee. Dunleavy will be entering free agency this offseason and will likely garner interest from teams like the Rockets who are looking for a player to make an impact off the bench.
However, Houston has two better options right in house that they can bring back for affordable prices who play similar roles to Dunleavy.
First, there is Carlos Delfino, who has a $3 million non-guaranteed option for next season. Delfino played well all season long for the Rockets as their sixth man, and he brings a veteran presence to a squad filled with young players.
Then there is Francisco Garcia, who was quiet after coming over to the Rockets in the regular season, but came out strong in Houston's brief playoff run.
Garcia scored 18 points twice in the Thunder series, playing big minutes in the final four games.
Both of those guys could be brought back for a cheap price to Houston and could end up being just as effective as Dunleavy Jr.
Brandan Wright showed this season that he has serious potential on the offensive end of the floor.
Although he struggled to get consistent minutes in Dallas, when he did play, Wright put up points, showing a good face-up game and the ability to score in the paint.
The problem for Wright, however, is that despite the fact the he stands at 6'10'', he is too frail and not physical enough to be a good defender or rebounder.
The Rockets need to bring in big men who can complement Omer Asik and improve Houston's ability to protect the rim on the defensive end.
While Wright's offensive game may be tempting to Daryl Morey, it is important for the Rockets to stay away and instead look at big men such as Timofey Mozgov and Samuel Dalembert who can help the Rockets coming off the bench with their defense and rebounding.
Antawn Jamison is still looking for that first NBA title, and he could have interest in joining an up-and-coming squad like Houston for one last shot at a ring.
Jamison showed signs of productivity with the Los Angeles Lakers this season, scoring over nine points per-game off the bench and shooting 46 percent from the floor.
However, Houston would be best served to stay away from Jamsion in free agency at this stage in his career.
Jamison is 36 years old and although he still played a prominent role for the Lakers this season, one has to wonder if he has another year like that in him.
Watching Jamison this season, you could tell that although he still had his jump shot, he lost a step or two on both ends of the floor.
Even for a cheap price, the Rockets should save the potential money on Jamison and look instead for a younger option who can get up and down the floor quicker and fits better in the Rockets' system.