Despite not being a big name on the free agent trail, Frank Kaminsky is searching for a new home. Should the Houston Rockets target the former college star?
Not too long ago, Frank Kaminsky was considered to be one of the most intriguing young prospects in basketball.
The 26-year-old big man — who once captivated scouts with his offensive prowess — averaged 18.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game during his senior season at Wisconsin en route to back-to-back Final Four appearances during his four-year career in Madison.
Kaminsky, who was selected ninth overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2015 NBA Draft, found himself outside of the rotation for the first time in his career this past season under head coach James Borrego.
After emerging as a regular in Buzz City’s second unit during his rookie and sophomore campaigns, as the former consensus All-American managed to garner the fewest amount of minutes than his three previous years combined.
"“I came into the season ready to play,” Kaminsky said following the conclusion of Charlotte’s season per Sam Perley of Hornets.com. “I felt like it was the first summer where I was really consistent and was able to see the progression from where I started. I came into this season extremely prepared.“It was difficult.”"
Now, Kaminsky will soon be searching to find a quality landing spot, as the player who was once viewed as one of Charlotte’s building blocks seeks to emerge out of the shadows.
According to recent reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Rod Boone of The Athletic, the Hornets have opted not to extend a qualifying offer to the former Badger star — granting him the opportunity to become an unrestricted free agent on the marketplace.
Although Kaminsky may not be the primary candidate that the Houston Rockets seek to pursue due to his rebounding inefficiencies and defensive woes, the 7’0″, 242-pound product might be worthy of garnering a potential look should Houston’s initial frontcourt free agency targets aspire to look elsewhere.
Despite his alarming weaknesses to the eyes of most basketball purists, as Kaminsky’s basketball IQ — combined with his knack to operate and score from all parts of the floor — could make him a qualified candidate that is worth targeting as an affordable bench contributor within head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system.
Since coming into the league, Kaminsky has made annual strides as a shooter from 3-point land, shooting at a 36.0 percent clip from beyond the arc this past season.
This includes the ability to stay ready when his number is called, as the stretch big averaged 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on 45.4 percent shooting from the field through Charlotte’s final 21 games last season.
"“I grew more this season than I have in any basketball season of my career,” Kaminsky said to Perley. “I learned a lot about myself just not as a player, but as a person.“I learned how much I love this game, how much time and effort I’m willing to put in.”"
Within the midst of a run that featured three consecutive games with at least 20 points or more, Frank the Tank’s play down the stretch almost vaulted the Hornets into the playoffs.
Should that be the case, maybe Clutch City could make for an ideal place to revive a once promising career, as finding a way to escape from Charlotte’s frontcourt logjam might be all Kaminsky needs to do it.