Earlier today news broke that Rockets guard Chris Paul would be missing some time away from the court, in fact as of right now it’s being suggested that he’s out for a least a solid month. You hate to see the guy you just traded away half your team for go down, but the good news it’s that it is early in the season and they do have a spot left to sign another guard.
As of right now the plan is to have James Harden slide back to the 1 spot with Eric Gordon being the only other option behind him. The Rockets have two other guards in veteran Bobby Brown (who we need to talk more about solely based on his name) and Demetrius Jackson (a young player on a two-way deal.)
The Rockets would be best served to go out and fill that 15th spot with a veteran guard just in case this injury is worse than initial thought or god forbid someone else goes down. Here are a few names I think the Rockets should take a look at.
The Obvious Choice- Jameer Nelson
Honestly there is a pretty good chance the Rockets reach out to Nelson and get a deal done before the weekend is over. The Denver Nuggets waived Nelson who cleared waivers and is seemingly looking for a shot with a contender.
Nelson is probably the most reliable option from the current pool of veteran guards. He shot a reasonable 38.8% from the 3 point line last season, which would be important for this offense. Also when Paul returns, the Rockets could keep Nelson around for depth and to help ease Paul back and limit his minutes over the regular season.
The Back Up Plan:
Part A: Leandro Barbosa
Mike D’Antoni has a few players still in the league that he’s worked with before, Leandro Barbosa is one of those guys who pulls my interest. He knows how to thrive in D’Antoni’s system, winning a Sixth Man of the Year award while under him in Phoenix.
The 34-year-old had decent enough numbers in limited playing time that he would be at least worth a look at. Also it wasn’t that long ago that he was playing 15 minutes a game for a championship Warrior’s team, which is something the Rockets could use on their bench.
Part A: Deron Williams
Deron Williams might not be able to handle more than 12-15 minutes a game, but his is a veteran player who can help run the offense on with the second unit.
While he wouldn’t exactly be my first choice or second for that matter, his name must be in the conversation. Unlike the other two names I’ve listed Williams is more of an expendable add to the roster. If they need to move on from him after Paul’s return, then it’s not a big deal.
My Choice: Trey Burke
Burke, who was drafted by the Jazz 4 seasons ago, has seen his numbers dip over the last two seasons. It’s clear that he needs something to rejuvenate his career, otherwise he’ll be heading overseas to play Euroball. Personally, I think D’Antoni’s system is exactly what Burke needs. In a limited role coming off the bench Burke would be a sleeper for Sixth Man of the Year, no offense to his could be teammate Eric Gordon.
The Rockets are going to need someone to bring life to the second unit, especially if Gordon sees more time with the starting unit. Who better then Burke who had a career high 44.3% from the 3-pt line last season coming off the bench. In an extended role with more playing time I’d love to see what Burke could do in Houston.