JUST two games into the new NBA season Houston has a problem. Their big offseason acquisition Chris Paul is already dealing with knee issues that could keep him out for up to a month. Clearly, they have their eyes on the postseason and a championship run so Paul won’t be rushed back until he’s 100% ready. With that in mind, Houston is desperately trying to find a plug and play guard to help stop the bleeding.

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FREE AGENTS

Norris Cole
AFTER winning two titles with Miami in his first two seasons in the NBA, Cole’s career then stalled. He spent a year and a half with the Pelicans and played for OKC last year. Now he finds himself out of the league and hooping in Israel for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Just days ago he poured in 24 points in a W, showing he can still fill up the stat sheet. He’s right in the mix for an NBA revival.

C.J. Watson
IN the past 10 years Watson has forged a career as a back up in the league, bouncing around with five different teams including his latest stint in Orlando a season ago. Somewhat of a one-dimensional threat, Watson is a career 37% shooter from three and could help Houston light up the scoreboard. Outside of that, he doesn’t offer a ton of upside, which means he will probably stay unemployed.

Deron Williams
LAST year Deron Williams’ Cleveland experience didn’t exactly pan out the way he wanted. The Dallas Mavericks bought out the former No. 3 pick who then signed with the Cavaliers as they went on a title run. The 33-year old didn’t have the greatest playoff series but showed he can still play in a diminished role at points in the season. Don’t expect his career averages of 16 & 8 to light up the box score, but Williams could be a good choice after averaging 5+ assists a year ago and maintaining decent shooting stats.

Short Term Replacement's For Chris Paul 1Image from fearthesword.com

Brian Roberts
ROBERTS might just be the best option for Houston. He currently plays in Greece for Olympiacos, but he has NBA-opt out clauses in his contract. Back in 2013, Roberts showcased his passing skills by chalking up 18 dimes while playing with the then New Orleans Hornets, so he can certainly help move the ball. Roberts is also a respectable shooter and in my option shapes as the best option for the Rockets short-term future.

TRADE

WHILE it might seem like a waste for Houston to make a trade, there are still some cheap options on the market that can help them. If they are able to steal one of these point guards away from other teams for a cheap price, that might be the best move over signing a free agent.

Shane Larkin
I always liked Shane Larkin during his days in Miami. His collegiate career hasn’t translated into a successful pro career, yet. The sub six-foot floor general failed to hold down a regular spot after stints on with the Mavs, Knicks and Nets and currently finds himself on the Celtics, as Irving’s back up. With Terry Rozier higher up on the depth chart than Larkin, Houston could try and pry him away for cheap though.

Short Term Replacement's For Chris Paul 2Image from celticsblog.com

Kay Felder
FELDER found himself in the best position a rookie could get last year. On the reigning champion Cavaliers, Felder lobbied between the Cavs and their D-League affiliate Canton Charge for the majority of the season, serving as Kyrie Irving’s backup in most scenario’s. Anytime you get to spend an entire season with LeBron James you’re probably going to learn a thing or two and the current Chicago Bull knows what to expect having witnessed the NBA Finals first hand a season ago.

Shabazz Napier
THE current Portland Trailblazer may have already lost his role as their primary guy off the bench. Just days ago the Blazer’s signed Wade Baldwin to a two-way contract that will see him split time between Portland and the G-League. Baldwin (no offense Shabazz) show’s more potential than Napier who has spent his first three seasons in the league on three different teams. For the right price, Houston can potentially snag Napier for their backcourt, but it remains a longshot.

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