Rockets

Augustin Showcasing Veteran Value with Rockets

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When establishing a strong roster, teams want to find value in their reserves. The first players off the bench are extremely vital to the success of a team by keeping the squad afloat while the starters are out. The Rockets’ reserve point guard D.J. Augustin has been tremendous in this role. Augustin is an undervalued acquisition and provides great value to this team moving forward.

A True Point Guard

Over the past several seasons, Houston has had backup point guards such as Jason Terry, Jeremy Lin, Pablo Prigioni, and Aaron Brooks. They’ve never had a true point guard to manage the game well enough while the starters were on the bench. Just before the trade deadline, the Rockets traded PJ Tucker to the Bucks for Augustin and D.J. Wilson. It looked like Houston traded away a key glue guy just to relieve cap space, but it reunited Augustin with Coach Silas, whom he played for in Charlotte from 2010-2012 when Silas was a Hornets assistant.

 

Over his career, he’s averaged 9.7 points and 4.0 assists on a 41.1%/37.9%/86.7% shooting split. At age 33, Augustin still has plenty of game left. His playing style is predicated on speed, IQ, and the ability to shoot the ball, abilities which are still put on display with Houston.

Performance as a Rocket

His game hasn’t diminished a bit and he’s excelled in a Rockets uniform thanks to Coach Silas’ system. In 12 games off the bench, Augustin is averaging 10.2 points and 4.3 assists on a 42.5%/35.4%/96.9% shooting split. He’s shooting a career-high from the free throw line and 48.8% from two-point range, also a career high.

It is always great to have experienced veterans on the roster. This team is full of young-guns and veterans help mold them. His presence has certainly had an impact on young guard, Kevin Porter Jr.

Mentoring KPJ

Augustin is a proven shooter and very efficient in the pick-and-roll. He can read defenses well, always knowing how to position himself to shoot or lead his big man to the rim. Augustin’s skills and mentorship will be vital to helping KPJ’s transition into playing both guard positions.

KPJ is averaging 17.4 points, 7.0 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in 14 starts. He is currently one of two sophomores averaging at least 15 points, six assists, and three rebounds (Ja Morant is the other). He’s come into this league known for his scoring prowess, but he has put on a passing clinic and learned how to read defenses at just 20 years old. Augustin’s presence will definitely help Porter Jr’s development into an elite playmaker, hopefully similar to how Harden ran Houston’s offense. This veteran presence also comes at a low cost.

Financially Friendly

Augustin has great value on the court, but one of his biggest values is his contract. Augustin’s contract is definitely a win-win situation for the Rockets. During the off-season, he was signed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Bucks. After obtaining him from the Bucks, he‘s only guaranteed $13.7 million of that $21 million from Houston.

If his performance drops off a bit, Houston could always move him as many teams would still have interest in his services as a veteran point guard. If Houston decides to keep him, it’s not hurting the books by any means, but if they decide to send him off, they could possibly acquire some draft capital in return.

Moving Forward

With his stellar play off the bench, Augustin definitely should be included in the Rockets future to run the second unit. He has established chemistry with many of the guys and seems to enjoy being reunited with Coach Silas. He’s a savvy veteran that can help improve the play of the younger players on the roster and bring a brighter future to Houston. Whether he is on the roster moving forward or not, the acquisition of Augustin remains an underrated move that will help the Rockets in the long run.

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