It's time for Houston to make a consolidation trade
Too many guys
Bill Simmons has this saying about good NBA teams with large rotations:
“There’s too many guys”.
The implication here is that sometimes a team can have too much depth and it prohibits them from reaching their full potential. The logic is probably a tad too simplistic, but there’s some truth to the idea that a crowded rotation can be problematic. More often than not, these teams fail because the team has too many below replacement-level players that are ill-fitting rather than a stacked roster. Pundits like Simmons likely overrated the roster and failed to course-correct.
When you have a team with a complete core of players that's ready to win and has an established identity, there's no such thing as too much depth. The Boston Celtics this year are a great example of a title contender that has players who can't play every night because the roster is so deep. It’s not an impediment - just the opposite. The Celtics can survive some bad injury luck because they have capable guys that they can turn to in those moments.
However, for rebuilding teams like the Houston Rockets, too much depth can be tricky. Since Houston's core and team identify is still a work in progress, there’s no clear pecking order. There’s also too many players that the Rockets have seemingly deemed “too good for the G League” and they’ve stayed with the main roster as a result. This breeds the kind of night-to-night inconsistency we’ve seen from Houston’s rotation this season. Players like Josh Christopher and Usman Garuba oscillate between being rotation stalwarts to being garbage time stars. The end result is an environment that fosters player uncertainty and a lack of rhythm rather than strong player development.
The following players are averaging less than 16 minutes a night:
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