By Joshua Reese
Two of the Houston Rockets three biggest remaining needs seem to have been filled.
Former Rockets center Tarik Black and forward Luc Mbah A Moute, who played with Chris Paul the last two seasons, have both agreed to one-year deals to play in Houston.
After the trade for Paul, with the Los Angeles Clippers, the Rockets were left searching for a lot of depth, which was lost in the deal.
But with the team bringing back Nene, signing P.J. Tucker, and now adding Black and Mbah A Moute, the bench is starting to look mighty strong again.
Black provides the team a great third center option.
With Chinanu Onuaku not dominating in the Summer League, grabbing another big was a must have and Black can rebound and dunk which is what the team needs.
Onuaku, a second round draft pick last year, looked pretty raw during the summer league, he still could factor into next season, but he’s likely destined for the Vipers.
Head coach Mike D’Antoni on the all-22 podcast a couple of weeks ago, mentioned that the team was looking to add a veteran center and Black does fit what the team lost in Montrezl Harrell.
Black last season with the Los Angeles Lakers played in 67 games, averaging 16 minutes a game, to go with five points and five rebounds.
Last year, the third string center came in very handy, and it will continue to be a position the Rockets need with their plan to rest Nene as much as they can.
The Rockets other signing, or shall I say steal, is Mbah a Moute, who is pretty much a Trevor Ariza clone (defensively).
Both forwards are 6’8 with 7’2 wingspans, and with the Rockets wanting to run more and more small ball, Mbah a Moute is another option for the team when they want to go small at power forward.
Mbah a Moute doesn’t get the same amount of notoriety as other defenders in the NBA, but he does deserve the recognition. Last season he held shooters to a 42% field goal percentage, and the season before 37%.
As nearly a full-time starter his entire career, it says a lot that Mbah a Moute is willing to come to Houston and play off the bench.
Now with the Rockets in the luxury tax, they still have three more roster spots to fill with a backup point guard the biggest remaining need.
Two roster spots are likely for Bobby Brown and Troy Williams who both played with the Rockets last season, so really the team only has one job left to fill.
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