Joel Blank: Why Lebron? Why not J.J. or Avery and re-sign your own?
All the talk over the last two weeks about Lebron coming to Houston to me is crazy. Why why would you blow up a 65 win team? Who cares if the guy likes Houston as a city or not? Why cater to a guy who would force you to trade or get rid of almost half your team, if not more? Why not add a less sexy name or two that could add depth and versatility to an already deep and talented roster? In my opinion the Rockets have a good enough team to win a title next season if they can just bring everyone back and re-sign their core free agents. If you can find a home for Ryan Anderson you get an added bonus and have more freedom to spend on free agents and make trades for higher contracts. With that in mind, here are a few names the Rockets should consider as potential additions to their roster for next year.
By now everyone knows the Rockets are an offense predicated on shooting threes and getting layups, as they play fast and try and get a high volume of shots up on a nightly basis. Players that fit the mold are good shooters, in great shape, can run the floor and make free throws. JJ Reddick is a player that fits all that criteria and adds the experience of being a 12-year NBA veteran and someone who has played with Chris Paul and flourished. Reddick shot 42% from behind the arc last year and averaged 17 points a game, as he knocked down 46% of his field goal attempts and 90% of his free throws. For a team that wants to shoot as many triples as they can, why not add one of the best long range snipers in the league over the last twelve seasons and someone that has shot 42% for his career from behind the arc and 45% from the floor? He is getting older now and is still chasing an opportunity for a title. After getting paid 23 million dollars to play last season in Philadelphia, he got his big pay day so why not go for the ring in Houston? Sure the Sixers have a good, young squad, but are they as ready to win right now as the Rockets? I personally don't think they are. If Reddick is willing to work with Daryl Morey on the numbers and be somewhat flexible, he would be a perfect fit for H-town.
Another guy that could be a huge help next season for Mike D'Antoni's team is Avery Bradley. After finishing last season with the Clippers, you know he wants to get back to winning on a consistent basis like he did in Boston. He only played 46 games last year between the Pistons and Clippers after undergoing season ending abdominal surgery in March. That injury could lower his price tag and open up the possibility of him fitting right into the Rockets wish list and price guidelines.
Bradley is a career 37% three point shooter, who has shot 44% from the floor over his eight-year NBA resume. He has averaged over 12 points a game and shot 77% from the line, while averaging just over 3 boards, 2 assists and 1 steals per contest. Throw in his above average abilities on the defensive end, where he is one of the league's best on-ball defenders as well as his experience handling the ball as a playmaker and you have another perfect fit for red nation.
If the Rockets could add one, if not both of these guys and retain CP3, Clint Capela and Trevor Ariza, they would be well on their way to a return engagement with the Warriors in the Western Conference finals. Either guy would strengthen the bench, improve their shooting and in case of Bradley, upgrade their ball handling and defense. For a team that was easily the second best squad in the association this season, a move or two like this could be enough to be NBA royalty at the end of next season with no need for the king.