Ideal Potential Free Agent for Houston Rockets at Every Position

Sam RichmondCorrespondent IMay 22, 2014

Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol, of Spain, walks down the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, March 6, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

While they didn't even make it out of the first round of the 2014 postseason, the Houston Rockets aren't that far away from competing for an NBA championship. 

Still, the Rockets are going to have to make an upgrade or two in the offseason to become one of the truly elite teams in the league.

With aggressive general manger Daryl Morey running the show, Houston is almost certainly going to have interest in adding a third superstar to pair with James Harden and Dwight Howard, whether that comes via trade or free agency. But there are also some less flashy moves that the Rockets need to consider making.

In this piece, we're going to focus strictly on what Houston should be looking to do in the free-agency period.

Here is a player at each position that the Rockets should target. 


Point Guard

Point guard only becomes a position of need if the Rockets are able to find someone to trade for Jeremy Lin and his enormous contract (due $14.9 million next year, per Sportrac). 

The Rockets have three competent point guards currently (Patrick Beverley and Isaiah Canaan are the other two) and are on pace to be over the salary cap next season, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. So if Lin stays, Houston is almost certainly going to allocate the little finances it does have elsewhere.

But let's live in a world where the Rockets trade Lin and want to sign an impact player at the point guard position.

Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers could definitely be that nice addition.

The Rockets are a team that want to surround Dwight Howard with shooters. Houston attempted the most three-point shots this season, but ranked just 16th in three-point efficiency.  

That's where Chalmers, who has developed into a fantastic spot-up shooter in Miami, comes in. The Heat have plenty of shooters on their roster, but Rio was the team's most efficient three-point shooter this year at 38.5 percent. He was even better in 2012-13 at 40.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Chalmers has also developed into a solid defender and his distributing skills have improved each of the past few seasons.

This is obviously unlikely with Houston's current logjam at point guard, but Chalmers could really help this team. 


Shooting Guard

Speaking of shooters, Anthony Morrow is set to become a free agent this summer and, boy, would he be deadly on this team.

Morrow is essentially a one-trick pony, with his only value coming from beyond the arc, but he's so great at his one trick that he's worth pursuing.

The 28-year-old shot an absolutely ridiculous 45.1 percent from outside this season, and he is a career 42.8 percent shooter from downtown.

As hinted at earlier, Morrow isn't someone that's going to help Houston vault into the top 10 in defensive efficiency, which is something Morey wants.

But the sharpshooter wouldn't cost the cash-strapped team much and fits in nicely with the Rockets' offense.


Small Forward

While the thought of Houston ridding themselves of Lin and Omer Asik's contract and acquiring Carmelo Anthony is enticing, actually pulling it off is very unlikely and not necessarily the smartest strategy, as Bleacher Report's Dan Favale looked at. 

A wise and much less complicated move would be to go after veteran Shawn Marion. 

Marion posted a respectable 35.8 conversation rate on three-point jumpers this season, and he also scored 10.4 points and grabbed 6.5 rebounds per game for the Dallas Mavericks.

While on the decline at 36, Marion remains a helpful defender thanks to his incredible length.

Plus, adding another veteran who has gone through playoff battles is never a bad idea.


Power Forward

Like Marion, Pau Gasol is aging and becoming a worse player. But even in a down year for Gasol, he posted 17.4 points per game and 9.7 rebounds. 

If Gasol can stay healthy—which is a concern after he missed 22 games this season—he would be a great fit for this Rockets team, assuming they could make room for his contract.

While the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers team that featured Gasol and Howard was a disaster as a whole, the two big men actually work well together.

Surrounding Howard with guys that can stretch the floor should always be Morey's mission, and Gasol can help him accomplish it. Gasol shot 41.6 percent on jumpers from 15-19 feet away from the hoop, according to

On the other side, Houston can offer Gasol the chance to compete for a title in his last years in the NBA, making this a smart move for both sides.



Morey and the Rockets should definitely consider a sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers that sends away Asik and brings in Spencer Hawes.

Hawes posted impressive averages of 13.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks this season. To have a backup center capable of that production would be great for Houston.

Hawes is versatile, too. Like Gasol does, he has floor-spacing abilities and could play alongside Howard. The seven-footer shot 41.6 percent from outside this season. 

The six-year veteran did start 78 games last season, so Houston would need to make sure he's comfortable in a backup role at this stage of his career, which is something that divided Asik and the Rockets.