Carlos Delfino Signs with the Houston Rockets

Carlos Delfino has signed with the Houston Rockets, bringing an end to his three-year stint in Milwaukee.

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets inked Delfino to a two-year deal with a second-year team option.  Carlos played with the Argentine national team in the recent London Olympics. during which he noted that he would be soon signing with an NBA team.  His decision to sign with Houston comes just a day after Argentina’s loss to Russia sealed a fourth-place finish in London.

Carlos did well in the Olympics, averaging 15.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 35.2% from three-point range.  His 122 total points was the eighth-largest total for the Games.

Delfino joins a Rockets team that

  • Recently amnestied his Olympic teammate (Luis Scola)
  • Has a firmly entrenched starter at small forward (Chandler Parsons)
  • Currently has 21 players on its roster (including a slew of forwards)
  • Couldn’t find room for Jon Leuer among its 21 players (Waived July 18, signed with CLE)

The Boston Celtics were reportedly also interested in Delfino, but unlike the Rockets, they did not have the salary cap room to offer more than the veteran’s minimum.

Delfino averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 32.5 minutes in 2010-11, but struggled through last season while hampered by an injured groin.  After offseason surgery to get prepped for the Olympics, Carlos expressed his displeasure with Bucks management; he felt slighted that his efforts to help the team while injured went ignored after his contract expired.

As for the Bucks, Delfino’s departure was a foregone conclusion, but the finality of the decision highlights the one glaring weak spot on the roster: a scarcity of three-point shooters.  The Bucks have enough players to provide quality minutes at shooting guard (Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb, Jennings with Udrih at the point) and small forward (Tobias Harris, Dunleavy, Mbah a Moute), but do those players provide enough of a threat to keep defenses honest?  Or will opposing defenses be able to pack the paint when Dunleavy is not on the floor?  My guess is the latter.

Of course, given the glut of power forwards on the roster, the Bucks still have some roster shaping to do before October.

Carlos wasn’t a perfect player.  A decent defender, Delfino often chose to gamble for the hit-or-miss payoff of a pokeaway steal.  He flashed enough athleticism to be competent, but never enough to scare anyone.  He wasn’t particularly durable, either, missing 52 games in three seasons.  As noted above, he’ll be largely missed for his ability to nail the corner three-point shot.  Really missed.

Adios, Del3no.

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