NBA

5 Offseason Moves That Can Make The Rockets Contenders

The Rockets were in prime position to advance to the Western Conference Finals, but instead choked harder than a Harry Heimlich test subject. With James Harden, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Patrick Beverley, and Clint Capela under contract for the next two seasons, Houston needs to make a few big moves to challenge Golden State next season. The good news? They can do exactly that…




5. Bring In A Defensive Coordinator

It goes without saying, but Mike D’Antoni and James Harden care less about defense than Kim Jong-un does the average North Korean citizen. The solution? Bring in a defensive-minded coach to architect strategies that work around Harden’s deficiencies. Scott Skiles or Jim Boylen (current associate head coach of the Bulls) would be interesting fits, but no matter the person, the Rockets desperately need to pair D’Antoni with someone to focus solely on the defensive side of the ball…




4. Bring Back Nene

An underrated part of Houston’s collapse in Games 5 and 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals was the absence of Nene, who was fantastically efficient throughout the playoffs and brought a level of much-needed interior toughness. Nene wants to come back to H-Town, and the Rockets should welcome him with open arms and a team-friendly two- or three-year deal…




3. Draft Frank Mason III, Josh Hart, or Another NBA-Ready College Veteran

The Rockets have the No. 43 and No. 45 picks in this year’s draft, which doesn’t have too many people in Houston religiously clicking Mock Drafts, but as we saw last year with Milwaukee shooting guard and likely Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon (No. 36 overall), there’s plenty of value to be had in the second round. With two picks in the 40s, Daryl Morey should be looking at an undervalued upperclassman who could immediately make an impact off the bench. Hart and Mason III both fit that bill…

2. Add Another 3-and-D Wing

Trevor Ariza’s on the wrong side of 30, and although he’s been great for Houston, adding another 3-and-D wing for next year’s playoffs would allow Houston to go small against Golden State and keep the floor open for Harden to penetrate. Joe Ingles would be a great fit, but he’ll likely remain in Utah, making PJ Tucker and Thabo Sefolosha the best fits…




1. Sign Serge Ibaka

The Rockets know they need another A-Lister, and will surely have conversations with Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin, but their best option will likely be Ibaka — a player who lost some confidence at the end of his tenure in Oklahoma City, lost a little more in Orlando, gained a little back in Toronto, but still craves a home for the next chapter of his NBA career. Serge is still only 27 (turning 28 in September), still can anchor a defense, and got better and better from beyond the arc last season, finishing at 39.1%. He’s going to want a max contract, and although Morey won’t be excited to fork over that kind of dough, the prospect of a Harden-Gordon-Anderson-Nene-Ibaka-Ariza-Williams-Beverley-Capela core will prove too attractive to pass up…

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