The Houston Rockets made a major organizational decision ahead of the trade deadline, deciding to go all in on a small-ball approach by trading Clint Capela for Robert Covington without any solid plans to replace their starting center (and only one that played real minutes).
The result has been a fascinating experiment that has simultaneously raised the ceiling and lowered the floor of this team. In a Western Conference that’s as strong as it is, the former is important, as Houston had to give itself a chance at a title, even if it meant exposing themselves more in the early rounds by leaning even further on three-point shooting and a wild, switching defensive attack. As buyouts for veteran players began to happen, there was the question as to whether Houston would hedge and try to find a big to serve as a Plan B of sorts.
Instead, they’ve doubled down on the buyout market, reportedly agreeing to a deal with Jeff Green and nearing a deal with DeMarre Carroll after he was bought out in San Antonio, as reported by Shams Charania, Adrian Wojnarowski, and Tim MacMahon on Monday.
San Antonio and forward DeMarre Carroll have agreed to a contract buyout, agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN. Houston is a frontrunner to sign Carroll once he clears waivers, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 17, 2020
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 17, 2020
Veteran forward Jeff Green has agreed to sign with the Rockets, league sources tell ESPN. Green averaged 7.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 30 games with the Jazz this season.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 17, 2020
Green will reportedly join Houston on a 10-day before committing to a full year deal, per Woj.
Jeff Green will initially sign a 10-day contract with the Rockets, giving him a chance to become comfortable with the fit before commiting to a deal for the rest of the season, per sources.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 18, 2020
Signing two more switchable forwards (and, in Houston, centers sometimes) makes it very clear what Houston’s intentions are going forward and that they are fully committed to the plan they’ve put in place. It’s probably smart to continue to load up at those spots because the strain they’re putting on their players with how active they have to be in switching and blitzing and rotating is both exhilarating to watch and also has to be exhausting for the players.
Having Green and Carroll gives them two more bodies to throw out there, run around, and eat up some minutes, and if either can find their stroke from three-point range they’ll be able to provide quality minutes.