After a flurry of activity at midnight on July 1 that included keeping Chris Paul and Gerald Green while losing Trevor Ariza, the Rockets have been pretty quiet.
That is until today. The Rockets made a minor move, adding guard Michael Carter-Williams on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum.
Carter-Williams, a former lottery pick of the Sixers who was the 2014 Rookie of the Year, has largely been a bust in his five seasons in the league. So coming on the heels of the DeMarcus Cousins signing by the Warriors, this announcement is horribly timed and will be largely mocked, giving the appearance that Houston’s response was a whimper. However, that’s a bit unfair.
This is a one-year deal at the bare minimum. There is zero risk. The Rockets have to fill out their roster with those kind of deals, and given that, this is a decent move.
There’s no question: Carter-Williams simply can’t shoot. He shot 23.7% from deep last year and is a career 25% three-point shooter. He will not be able to play significant minutes for the Rockets as a result. However, he is 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-7 wingspan and good defensive instincts. He can be disruptive in the passing lanes and defend some bigger guards. Corey Brewer was an awful shooter (admittedly not quite as bad as MCW) and the Rockets still found a place for him.
So when you’re comparing this to the likes of Aaron Jackson, Bobby Brown, 2018 Joe Johnson … this is not the worst signing. Carter-Williams may just be able to provide some situational defense.