NBA Roundtable

Rockets Sign McCants

In Free Agency on September 25, 2009 at 6:35 am

The Houston Chronicle reports

Seeking another offensive option for training camp, the Rockets on Thursday reached agreement on a non-guaranteed contract with free agent guard Rashad McCants, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

In a move reminiscent of last season’s addition of Von Wafer, also a talented scorer who turned a longshot chance into a strong season, the spot with the Rockets would offer McCants a chance to revive a stalled career and the Rockets a no-risk look.

McCants, who turns 25-years-old today, has shown outstanding scoring ability in his four-year NBA career, but also gained a reputation for being a locker room malcontent in Minnesota, especially after he was benched when Kevin McHale, the general manager who drafted him, became the Timberwolves coach.


Houston Rockets

Excellent signing by the Houston Rockets.

The one problem is the number of guaranteed contracts on their books.

Guaranteed contracts — 16 players

Big Men — Yao + Scola + Landry + Hayes + Andersen + Cook + Dorsey + Pops Mensah-Bonsu

Wings — Tracy + Battier + Ariza + Taylor + Budinger + Barry

Guards —  Brooks + Lowry

Brent Barry is expected to be waived … bringing the Rockets back down to 15 bodies, but that still leaves them with only two point guards and no roster space.

Does Yao Ming count as a used roster spot? I presume he does but I’m not certain. If he didn’t, that would alleviate the problem.

Otherwise, I think the Rockets should try to remove Brian Cook from the picture in order to make space for McCants.

Rashad McCants

Rashard McCants is a talented young player. He needs to learn how to do two things:

  • Change speeds — too often he has only speed and this makes his drives easier to defend, both by his man but more importantly the help defenders rolling over to protect the rim
  • Consistent defensive effort — he is capable of playing solid defense when he feels like it, but all too often he gets tunnel visioned by his scoring … exact same problem as Von Wafer, except McCants has shown more defensive ability and more defensive commitment (seriously) than Von Wafer had this time 12 months ago.

If McCants can learn those two things, then, it’s well within his reach to become an 18ppg scoring two guard who also supplies good defense. That is a nice player and someone who can help a lot of teams.

Remember McCants is only year removed from putting up 15ppg in just 27 minutes a night, while hitting 45% of his shots from the field and 40% on threes. This is a very talented, and proven, scorer at the NBA level. He just has some warts that he has to outgrow.

Update: McCants is out

The Houston Rockets have rescinded their offer to Rashad McCants.

“Unfortunately Rashad is still recovering from an abdominal injury that would have made it very difficult for him to earn a spot on our roster,” GM Daryl Morey said. “We were looking forward to seeing him compete with the mix of guards we have in camp, but he simply would not have been completely healthy. We are open to taking another look at him down the line when his condition improves.”

That leaves a talented player out there in free agency for some team to sign early in the season.

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