Report: Rockets show interest in Ibaka, others

Magic forward Serge Ibaka is reportedly available.

Matt Medley

Matt Medley covers Ohio State basketball for AmicoHoops and various local sports for other outlets around Northeast Ohio.

Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter.

Calvin Watkins of ESPN revealed Wednesday that the Houston Rockets have shown interest in free-agent point guards Mario Chalmers and Jarrett Jack as possible backups for James Harden and Patrick Beverley. Watkins also writes that the Rockets have shown “some interest” in trading for Orlando Magic power forward Serge Ibaka.

Here’s an excerpt from Watkins’ report:

Houston looked into signing free agent guards Mario Chalmers and Jarrett Jack but haven’t pulled the trigger. With Harden taking over the primary ball handling duties, the Rockets want to add another ball handler to take pressure off him and Patrick Beverley, who moves to point guard with the second unit. There is also some interest in Orlando power forward Serge Ibaka, who is apparently is on the trade block. Ibaka scored 28 points in 40 minutes in the Magic’s loss at Houston on Tuesday night.

Ibaka would bring a defensive presence and another shooter that could fit into Mike D’Antoni’s offense. In late December when the Rockets lost starting center Clint Capela to a fractured fibula, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Houston entertained acquiring Sacramento center Kosta Koufos.

Although Houston’s general manager Daryl Morey has a history of making trades, Harden doesn’t seem to be in any rush to call for his front office to make a move.

“I love what we have, love it,” Harden told ESPN Wednesday. “From top to bottom, we have depth. You can throw any guy in there and they know their role, that’s important. I’m going to ride with these guys for sure.”

“We’re good,” Harden said. “I’ve been riding with these guys for some years now, and some (players) are new and it’s the same [good] thing. This summer we got the guys together and I said this is the roster and this is who we’re going to war with and let’s figure it out.”

Morey also tempered expectations of making a blockbuster move before the Feb. 23 deadline.

“I think if we do anything, it will be for depth,” Morey told ESPN. “I don’t see any big things happening. We got a good thing, a good rotation, good chemistry. I’m pretty reluctant to make any changes there.”

The Rockets (38-17) currently sit in third place in the Western Conference, but went 7-8 over their last 15 games.

Perhaps one of the backup point guards in whom the Cleveland Cavaliers expressed interest could head to Houston to help in the Western Conference Playoff run.

About the Author

Matt Medley

Matt Medley covers Ohio State basketball for AmicoHoops and various local sports for other outlets around Northeast Ohio.

Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter.

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