The Rockets signed free agent swingman Ronnie Brewer on Wednesday, addressing another area that needed fortifying as they gear up to challenge San Antonio and Oklahoma City for Western Conference supremacy.
Brewer's scoring numbers have steadily declined since his early years with the Utah Jazz, but the 6-foot-7 veteran gives the Rockets another high-energy, defensive specialist to throw at some of the bigger guards and high-scoring small forwards in the West.
Brewer averaged just 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in just over 14 minutes a game for the Knicks and Thunder last season. He started 34 games for the Knicks, but a horrible shooting slump ultimately led to him being traded to Oklahoma City in February to help the Knicks clear room for Kenyon Martin.
With his unusual shooting motion, Brewer shot just 35.4 percent last season, by far the worst performance of his seven-year career. But in Houston, he will hardly be relied upon for his offense. With Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons already entrenched as the top offensive options, Brewer's best chance to earn minutes on what many expect to be a title contender will be on the defensive end.
The Rockets also hope that the shooting woes that have plagued Brewer in recent seasons could turn around if he is put in positions that better suit his talents. He was at his best on offense during his time with the Jazz after being picked 14th overall in 2006. He was brought along slowly as a rookie, but averaged 12 points a game in his second season and 13.7 in his third and shot over 50 percent from the field in his first three seasons in Utah.