The Houston Rockets are all in on doing one thing this summer: build a team to challenge the Golden State Warriors.
The Rockets, somewhat surprisingly, were a mid 50 win team last season behind James Harden’s historic season and incredible success at point guard.
It was clear in the postseason that they didn’t have enough to compete with the leagues top contenders though, as they lacked the talent, athleticism and defensive-minded players to defend at a high enough level.
That might not be an issue anymore.
After acquiring the best pure point guard in the game (even if a somewhat odd fit with Harden) in Chris Paul, the Rockets have clearly made it their mission to add defense-first hustle players to make them tougher and better able to be a top-notch defense.
After striking out on Andre Iguodala, they made a very savvy signing in P.J. Tucker and now they have added another elite defender, a longer one who can guard multiple positions in Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
Here is a report from ESPN’s Chris Haynes on Sunday:
“Free-agent combo forward Luc Mbah a Moute has agreed to sign with the Houston Rockets, league sources tell ESPN.
It is believed to be a one-year, veteran minimum arrangement.
Mbah a Moute, 30, played the last two seasons with the LA Clippers as the team’s starting small forward. He declined a $2.3 million player option for the 2017-18 season to hit free-agency this summer. He shot a career high of 39 percent from the beyond the arc last season.”
This is a great move for the Rockets as they now have four lengthy and very accomplished defenders in Mbah a Moute, Tucker, Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela.
If they can find a way to acquire Carmelo Anthony, that might become a legitimate threat to the Warriors, if everything clicks next season.