Houston Rockets players to target in free agency
As part of our series detailing players the Charlotte Hornets should target in NBA free agency, our focus turns to the Houston Rockets. Houston finished with the NBA’s worst record this season, but that’s to be expected when a team starts with such a young core of players.
Because the Rockets have so many young pieces swirling around their core, there aren’t too many players hitting free agency in 2022 for the Hornets to watch. Key players like Kevin Porter, Jalen Green and Christian Wood are all under contract with the Rockets for a bit longer.
In fact, the only Rockets player to hit the unrestricted free agent market is Dennis Schroder. John Wall has a player option he would be foolish to turn down, Jae’Sean Tate enters free agency with a team option for 2022-23, and Bruno Fernando, Anthony Lamb and Trevelin Queen are all restricted free agents.
It would be nice to acquire Tate, who can play any forward position, but the Rockets will likely match any offer that comes their way. Because Schroder is the only realistic option for the Hornets, it will be a relatively shorter dive into a team’s roster.
How would Schroder fit in with the Hornets? He would be doing decently well. With the uncertainty surrounding Isaiah Thomas’ return to Charlotte, Schroder could fill a similar role as IT. As a backup point guard playing less than 20 minutes a game, Schroder could orchestrate the second-unit offense. The only downside would be his defensive liability, which is something the Hornets are trying to solidify this offseason.
Overall, I don’t anticipate the current Rockets becoming future Hornets through free agency this offseason. Wall will almost certainly be traded at some point in the next calendar year, but he won’t travel to Charlotte.
Other than that, Schroder would be the only name to pursue, and he wouldn’t necessarily be the best candidate for Charlotte. While he could provide minutes as a backup point guard, the Hornets can probably find a younger (and cheaper) option.