If the Houston Rockets cannot land Carmelo Anthony in free agency, they should push hard for point guard Kyle Lowry.
Anthony is at the top of the Rockets’ wishlist for a reason. He is an elite scorer and gives the Rockets a third superstar to go along with James Harden and Dwight Howard. However, Lowry may be better for the long-term success of the Rockets.
The Rockets struggled last year to get offensive production out of the point guard position. Jeremy Lin’s jump shot didn’t improve enough for the Rockets’ style of play. His defense was also lacking against quicker point guards. He was a good at getting to the rim and finishing, but if that wasn’t open for him, his game was limited.
Patrick Beverley gave the Rockets a defensive presence on the perimeter. He was the best defensive point guard last season in the NBA regardless of what some rankings say. Because of that, he is invaluable to a Rockets team that lacks defense, and that’s putting it nicely.
Other than Howard in the paint, Beverley was the only player on the roster that, night in and night out, would give 100 percent on the defensive side of the ball. His offensive game is improving, but he is best suited as a sixth man at this point in his career.
A reunion with Lowry would give the Rockets’ offense more talent at the most important position in today’s NBA. Last year for the Toronto Raptors, Lowry averaged 18 PPG to go along with 7.5 APG. Adding this offense to the point guard position for the Rockets would give them another scoring option in the playoffs when teams are focusing on stopping Harden, which is absolutely necessary after watching the Portland Trail Blazers series a couple of months ago.
Lowry’s slashing style would complement Howard’s game in the post. Howard’s best attribute is lurking in the paint while a teammate drives, waiting for a dump off or alley-oop for an easy dunk. Lowry’s style of play would also allow Houston shooters like Harden to set up behind the perimeter and launch shots on the kick-out.
The Rockets love to run in transition, and so does Lowry. The second-highest scoring offense in the NBA would be even better with Lowry leading the team at the point.
If the Rockets do lose out on Anthony and sign Lowry to a deal, their next job will be to match any offer given to Chandler Parsons. Parsons re-signing will be key to the Rockets’ success because if they do not, it will open up another hole in the starting rotation.
As young as Parsons is, there is no way he leaves Houston unless it is a sign-and-trade to land someone like Kevin Love. Parsons re-signing would keep the Rockets with younger players to build around for years. So, plan B just may be better than option A for the Rockets.