2014 Houston Rockets

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Houston Rockets (Last Year: 54-28)

2013-14 Season Summary:
In acquiring James Harden and Dwight Howard the past two summers, the Houston Rockets have proven to be one of the more aggressive teams during the NBA offseason. Led by the Harden/Howard duo, Houston became a high-octane offensive squad but still couldn’t get out of the first round of the playoffs. As a result, expect the usually not gun-shy general manager Daryl Morey to once again look to make a major splash this offseason.

2014-15 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Dwight Howard/Omer Asik

PF: Terrence Jones/Donatas Motiejunas

SF: *Chandler Parsons/Francisco Garcia/Robert Covington

SG: James Harden/^Troy Daniels

PG: Patrick Beverley/Jeremy Lin/Isaiah Canaan

NBA Free Agents:

*F-Chandler Parsons (RFA)

^SG-Troy Daniels (TO)

SF-Jordan Hamilton (UFA)

F-Omri Casspi (UFA)

2014-15 Team Salary: Approximately $70.6 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Make a Big Move: Houston is going to be linked to some of the big-name available players this offseason, including Carmelo Anthony. However, the Rockets are well over the salary cap, so general manager Daryl Morey must do some wheeling and dealing since free agency isn’t an option at this point.

Both Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin are scheduled to make $14.9 million this season on the final years of their contracts, so expect those names to be actively dangled this summer. Because of his size and ability to rebound the basketball, Asik will be easier deal since NBA teams are always in need of size.

2. Re-sign Parsons: Chandler Parsons is a restricted free agent, so the Rockets have the right to match any contract offer he signs this offseason. He is obviously a vital piece to Houston’s success, and bringing him back should be a priority regardless of the price. Where things could get interesting is if the Rockets try to use Parsons as sign-and-trade bait if they feel they can land a bigger name like Anthony.

3. Bench Depth: During Houston’s playoff series, McHale only went eight deep, so the team needs to add some depth all across the board. Troy Daniels provided a spark with his three-point shooting, but the Rockets need to find another offensive weapon to bring off the bench. If Asik and/or Lin are/is dealt, Morey must plug in the holes at center and point guard as well.

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