The Rockets should concentrate on shooters in free agency if their primary targets don’t work out, recommends Kevin P. Smith of Real GM. Houston is hoping to meet with Kevin Durant and Al Horford, two of the top names in the free agent class, but if neither player comes to Houston, Smith believes 3-point marksmen should be the priority in new coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense. The writer mentions Brandon Jennings and Jerryd Bayless as possible backups to Patrick Beverley, and suggests Ryan Anderson and Mirza Teletovic as potential front court prospects. Smith also says the Rockets could have interest in Marvin Williams, Jeff Green, Derrick Williams, Marreese Speights and Al Jefferson.
- Two late-season additions, Michael Beasley and Andrew Goudelock, are likely to stay in Houston for another season, Smith says in the same piece. Beasley, who played most of last season in China, averaged 12.8 points per night in 20 games after joining the Rockets. Houston has a $1.4MM team option on Beasley for 2016/17. Goudelock only made it into eight games after signing with the Rockets in March, but a $1,015,696 team option gives him a chance to stick around.
- Rockets owner Leslie Alexander chose the “big, splashy name” when he hired D’Antoni this week, charges Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle. Smith writes that the Rockets should have hired Hornets assistant Stephen Silas, and that D’Antoni is the wrong choice to bring the discipline and emphasis on defense that the Rockets need to improve on a 41-41 season.
- Free agents will be more likely to consider Houston because of D’Antoni’s history of helping his players land big contracts, writes J.A. Adande of ESPN.com. Adande lists Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Amar’e Stoudemire and Jodie Meeks as players who struck it big in free agency after playing in D’Antoni’s up-tempo system.