Houston Rockets: 4 Potential Wing Targets to Replace Trevor Ariza

With the Houston Rockets officially claiming Carmelo Anthony off waivers, the team has added a potentially viable Trevor Ariza replacement – at least on the offensive end… maybe?

We all know that Anthony is no marvel on the defensive end, which means the Rockets still need to add some more wing options, especially ones with defensive ability to make up for the losses of Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute.

So, what are the options for Daryl Morey and company?

Charlotte Hornets, NBA, Nicolas Batum
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Nicolas Batum, F, Charlotte Hornets

Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype recently mentioned that Houston could look to Charlotte and Nicolas Batum in order to bolster its defense. Batum is a solid perimeter player despite having a couple of down years percentage-wise (33.3% in 2016-17 and 33.8% in 17-18) and he’s a very good defender, which makes him a solid Ariza replacement.

The problem is the contract. Houston will surely trade away Ryan Anderson and the $20.4 million he’s owed next season, but a Batum addition will still put the Rockets deep in the luxury tax.

Regardless of that fact, this team, being in win-now mode, need someone like Batum who can make up for the recent losses on both ends of the floor. Last season with Charlotte, Batum averaged 11.6 points, 5.5 assists, and had a 48.6% effective field goal percentage. He also grabbed nearly five rebounds per contest.

If he can bring that all-around play to Houston, he’ll be a welcomed acquisition. His addition would also quell some of the uncertainty surrounding Carmelo, who will likely start at small forward on Opening Night. If he doesn’t gel in the starting lineup, D’Antoni could easily relegate him to the bench in favor of Batum.

Next Up: Kent Bazemore

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