New Rockets targets emerge in NBA’s 2023 free agency

With an NBA-leading figure of approximately $60 million in space beneath the 2023-24 salary cap, the Rockets have been linked to big-name pursuits in the 2023 free agency. Many media reports have tied them to the likes of James Harden and Fred VanVleet, which could offer a veteran presence to surround Houston’s young core.

The Rockets will also have the room exception at their disposal, which allows for an additional contract starting at near $8 million.

Yet, since the rebuilding Rockets aren’t going to immediately contend for a championship regardless of this offseason’s signings, general manager Rafael Stone will need to balance short-term upgrades with a need for value contracts on the team’s books.

Per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets will likely try to sign three or four free agents, with a particular emphasis on two-way production (offense and defense). Two could be signed to larger deals, while one or two others may fill in around them.

By position groups of guards, wings, and bigs, here’s a statistical look at Feigen’s list (published Sunday, June 25) of potential Rockets targets in 2023 free agency. Three of these names are restricted, meaning that the player’s current team would have the opportunity to match any deal and block a potential move to Houston.

All statistics are from the NBA’s 2022-23 regular season.

Free agent guards targeted by Rockets

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Utah’s Jordan Clarkson, 31 years old:

  • 20.8 points (44.4% FG, 33.8% on 3-pointers), 4.4 assists, 4.0 rebounds in 32.6 minutes

Golden State’s Donte DiVincenzo, 26 years old:

  • 9.4 points (43.5% FG, 39.7% on 3-pointers), 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists in 26.3 minutes

Los Angeles LakersAustin Reaves (restricted), 25 years old:

  • 13.0 points (52.9% FG, 39.8% on 3-pointers), 3.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds in 28.8 minutes

Free agent wings targeted by Rockets

Memphis’ Dillon Brooks, 27 years old:

  • 14.3 points (39.6% FG, 32.6% on 3-pointers), 3.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists in 30.3 minutes

Denver’s Bruce Brown, 26 years old:

  • 11.5 points (48.3% FG, 35.8% on 3-pointers), 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists in 28.5 minutes

Brooklyn’s Cam Johnson (restricted), 27 years old:

  • 15.5 points (47.0% FG, 40.4% on 3-pointers), 4.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists in 28.5 minutes

Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, 31 years old:

  • 15.1 points (43.6% FG, 31.5% on 3-pointers), 4.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists in 24.3 minutes

Free agent bigs targeted by Rockets

Toronto’s Jakob Poeltl, 27 years old:

  • 12.5 points (62.9% FG), 9.1 rebounds, 1.7 blocks in 26.5 minutes

Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez, 35 years old:

  • 15.9 points (53.1% FG, 37.4% on 3-pointers), 6.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks in 30.4 minutes

Los Angeles Lakers’ Rui Hachimura (restricted), 25 years old:

  • 11.2 points (48.6% FG, 31.9% on 3-pointers), 4.5 rebounds in 23.3 minutes

Dallas’ Dwight Powell, 31 years old:

  • 6.7 points (73.2% FG), 4.1 rebounds in 19.2 minutes

Rockets’ 2023 free agency preview

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire