James Harden and Chris Paul may be one of the best duos in the NBA. The Rockets were very impressive last season lead (of course) by Paul and Harden, but also a slew of defensive players like Trevor Ariza, P.J. Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Clint Capela. This offseason, the Rockets may have made a fatal error in their quest to defend the first seed out West.
Following their absolute steal in the draft where they selected De’Anthony Melton, Rockets fans were likely looking forward to watching the same group of guys challenge the Warriors, maybe even with the addition of Carmelo Anthony.
Unfortunately, the Rockets had the brain-fart of the century when they allowed two of the most important defensive players on their roster walk. Trevor Ariza joined the Suns, and Luc Mbah a Moute returned to the Clippers.
The Rockets are also yet to sign Clint Capela who could arguably be viewed as the most important player on the roster. While Capela is a restricted free agent so the Rockets don’t have too much to worry about for next season, he has considered accepting the qualifying offer in order to leave Houston, not a great sign coming from the third member of your big three.
P.J. Tucker is still locked up on a massive contract that hurts the Rockets payroll, so they don’t have to worry about him this season. Ryan Anderson is in a similar situation. Surrounding them and their backcourt, however, Gerald Green and Eric Gordon make up the remainder of their roster.
After signing James Ennis, who I think fits well in Houston with his athleticism, shooting, and defensive potential, the Rockets are eyeing Carmelo Anthony and Nick Young. No. This isn’t a joke. The Rockets are looking to replace two of the best role players in the NBA with Carmelo Anthony and Nick Young.
I could go on for forever about why this isn’t going to work out. The Rockets desperately need defensive players to surround their core, and that just isn’t Melo. He and Nick have no business playing in Houston, but their options are slimming by the minute.
The Rockets’ depth was one of the main reasons why they gave the Warriors a scare in the conference finals last season. After losing major pieces this offseason and severely overpaying for a Chris Paul who isn’t getting any younger, the Rockets could have just ruined their chances next season. Sorry, Rockets fans.