Rockets interested in Malik Beasley as free agent, The Athletic reports

Led by head coach Ime Udoka, the Houston Rockets clearly emphasized shooting more 3-pointers coming out of the All-Star break. In 28 games, Houston’s average total of 39.6 attempts per game ranked second to only Boston, which owns the league’s best record.

Yet, Houston ranked just No. 21 in 3-point accuracy (35.4%) over that same period. In March, that figure jumped to No. 9 (37.5%).

During that month, the combination of both 3-point volume and accuracy played a key role in Houston’s 13-2 record and an 11-game winning streak. Third-year guard Jalen Green came very close to earning Western Conference Player of the Month honors.

So, when the Rockets were able to combine both 3-point volume and accuracy, the wins came in bunches. The question is whether they can sustain that formula over a longer period, and if additions from outside the organization could bolster that push.

The Rockets have already said they expect to operate above the NBA’s salary cap this offseason, but they will have their non-taxpayer mid-level exception (NT-MLE) to potentially use on free agents. That NT-MLE allows teams to offer a starting salary in the range of $13 million annually, even if they’re currently above the cap.

So, who could be a target? The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reports:

Houston has identified floor spacing and shooting as an area of need this offseason privately and publicly and have an interest in veteran sharpshooter Malik Beasley, league sources said. Beasley, who is also attracting early interest from Orlando and Golden State, spent the past season in Milwaukee, starting 77 games and shooting 41.3% from 3-point distance.

A 6-foot-4 guard, Beasley is a career 38.5% shooter from 3-point range. Milwaukee will likely want to keep the 27-year-old, but the Bucks have an expensive roster featuring the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez.

Thus, it’s plausible they could be outbid by a team such as Houston. As usual, free agency talks can officially begin on June 30.

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire