Rockets: Quick Recap from the 2018 Draft

By Matthew Cardenas on January 17, 2018

Well, the Rockets did not move up to select Grayson Allen in this years NBA Draft. The organization opted to stand pat with their 46th pick and select guard De'Anthony Melton out of USC. Another move later in the draft would be acquiring the 52nd pick from the Utah Jazz, electing to select forward Vincent Edwards from Purdue.

Melton missed the 2017-18 season due to his name being involved in the NCAA's bribery scandal. In his lone season of playing time as a Trojan, he averaged 8.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 3.5 APG. His 6'8" wingspan makes him a huge factor on the defensive end, using his length to get in the passing lines and wreck havoc. He led the Pac-12 with an average of 1.9 SPG in the 2016-17 season. The jumper is not all there yet for Melton, only shooting 28.4 percent from three. Fortunately the Rockets coaching staff does an excellent job of improving players jump shots. Clint Capela at the free throw line is a prime example.

Although this may sting, Melton is essentially a poor man's Patrick Beverley for the Rockets. A tough defensive player who will work every possession on that end and gradually see improvements in their jump shot.

The jumper is definitely there for Edwards out of Purdue. He shot 40 percent or better from three in three of his four seasons with the Boilermakers. It made sense for the Rockets to get another pick in the draft (from Utah for cash consideration) and draft a player who will seamlessly fit into the system. Shooting is not all Edwards brings to the table as well. His big frame at 6'8, 225 lbs helped him average 7.9 RPG last season with Purdue. Edwards is comfortable with putting the ball on the floor and creating for himself.

All in all, the Rockets made shrewd, patient moves in the 2018 Draft. Adding both defense and shooting is exactly what fits their system. It will be interesting to see what impact these rookies have on the team next season.

Report: Rockets interested in drafting Grayson Allen

By Matthew Cardenas on June 20, 2018
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The NBA Draft is less than 24 hours away. With the Rockets being one game away from the NBA Finals this past season, the draft could be more of an afterthought for the team as their focus seems to be on retaining their core and chasing big fish this summer.

Ep. 82: Rockets Offseason Preview

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) and Forrest Walker (@DUNOTS) discuss:

-The Rockets are about to get expensive
-How Houston can bring their own free agents back (Paul, Capela, Ariza, etc..)
-What is Daryl Morey's "new math"?
-Can the Rockets find a taker for Ryan Anderson?
-Can the Rockets land LeBron James or Paul George in free agency and how is that possible?

Listen to The Red Nation Hoops Podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.

2018 Houston Rockets Offseason Preview

By Salman Ali on June 5, 2018

There has never been a boring offseason for the Houston Rockets in the Daryl Morey era, and this one should be no different. With several key players becoming free agents (unrestricted or otherwise), the Rockets have a lot of tough decisions to make. The roster looks to get really expensive, but new owner Tilman Fertitta claims he's willing to pay a heavy luxury tax bill if the team is good enough. With Houston coming off a 65 win season and a tough seven-game Western Conference Finals with the defending champion Golden State Warriors, this team surely fits the bill.

Report: Rockets exploring options with Ryan Anderson

By Matthew Cardenas on June 11, 2018

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Kelly Iko of USA Today has reported that the Rockets are currently exploring trade options for forward Ryan Anderson, who is owed nearly $42 million over the next two seasons. A buyout is also in play if a trade is unable to happen. Anderson signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Rockets in 2016 but fell out of the rotation during the playoffs this season.

The desire to trade Anderson recently has not been a secret. Players such as LeBron James and Paul George are on the Rockets radar this off-season. Moving Anderson (more so his contract) is the domino that needs to fall in order to sign one of two star free agents. It frees up cap space and honestly a contract that has value starting to diminish.

Trading Anderson would be the best case scenario for the Rockets. Even then, draft picks and possibly another player would be involved in that deal. If a buyout occurs, Daryl Morey and co. will still owe him a portion of the contract. It is clear they would prefer to have nothing to do with the contract once some sort of move is made.

Anderson can still produce for a team in today's NBA. His three-point shooting as a big is a necessity in today's style of play. Although a liability on the defensive end, the right team could make it work. The Rockets figured out quickly that P.J. Tucker was more valuable to the lineup due to both his three-point shooting and excellent defensive play. The "Tuckwagon" unit with Tucker at center became a go-to lineup this season that let the Rockets go super-small ball.

The fact it is June 11th and this report is already surfacing shows how aggressive Daryl Morey wants to be in the market this summer. It will be tough to move Anderson's contract and hopefully land another star player, but it is hard to doubt Daryl Morey at this point. James Harden and Chris Paul had the Rockets one win away from the NBA Finals this past season. Adding James or George would surely make this 65-win team even deadlier.

Report: Houston will be aggressive in trying to acquire Paul George

By Salman Ali on June 6, 2018

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Houston Rockets "will be very aggressive in trying to see if there's a way to get [Paul George]."
The Rockets were linked in several rumors to acquire the star forward from Indiana via trade last summer before he was ultimately traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the Rockets look to be in pretty good shape if they simply bring the team back, general manager Daryl Morey plans to "look at all the major names" that should be on the market this year.
According to Wojnarowski, Houston will face stiff competition from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers should they find a feasible way to acquire George.

The Rockets are coming off a 65 win season and 7 game Western Conference Finals series with the Golden State Warriors, but the opportunity to add a star swingman like Paul George is worth exploring. George averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 2.0 SPG on 55.9% True Shooting. He's also an All-NBA level defender and excellent 3-PT shooter (career 37.6%) which would make him a superb fit in Houston should the Rockets find a pathway towards acquiring him.

It is worth noting that Kelly Iko of USA Today Sports was the first to report of Houston's interest in acquiring Paul George.

Ep. 81: Colangelo Burner Talk. Rockets Season in Review, + Offseason Preview

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) and Forrest Walker (@DUNOTS) discuss:

-Bryan Colangelo's burner accounts (first 21:45 minutes)
-Rockets season in review
-Thoughts on the Warriors series and the Rockets/Warriors rivalry moving forward
-Brief offseason lookahead

Listen to The Red Nation Hoops Podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.