With Kenneth Faried poised to join the Rockets once he clears waivers, Houston may finally get the type of backup big man it has long been seeking. As Kelly Iko of The Athletic explains, the Rockets hoped that Brandan Wright – and then Marquese Chriss – would be the sort of athletic big who could roll to the rim, catch lobs, and rebound for the second unit. Health issues sidelined Wright, and Chriss hasn’t been a great fit, so the Rockets will try their luck with Faried.
Adding Faried will also address Houston’s frontcourt depth for the time being, meaning the team can shift its focus back to the wing as the trade deadline approaches. Iko identifies a number of potential trade targets for the Rockets, so his article is worth checking out in full for those suggestions.
Iko also drops a few interesting tidbits along the way, which we’ll round up right here:
- While a trade remains the preferred outcome for both the Rockets and Carmelo Anthony, a buyout “isn’t off the table,” league sources tell Iko. Iko names the Lakers, Heat, and Pistons as teams that could be willing to take a chance on Anthony.
- According to Iko, Danuel House‘s representatives were interested in a deal that would have paid House a “significant chunk” of the Rockets‘ mid-level exception. “He essentially wants to get paid like a top-seven pick,” one source said of House. As of today, Houston should have about $3.64MM of its MLE left, though that number declines a little every day. Iko notes that GM Daryl Morey wants to hang onto that exception for flexibility. I explored House’s stalemate with the Rockets right here.
- Sources tell Iko that the Heat don’t really want to take back any salary if they move Wayne Ellington. It’s not clear if that’s a reference to multiyear salary or if Miami doesn’t want to take back any money at all in a potential Ellington deal. The latter would be trickier – a trade partner would need cap room or a traded player exception to accommodate the sharpshooter’s $6.27MM salary – but would be financially advantageous for the Heat. It appears they could dip ever so slightly below the tax line by getting off Ellington’s contract.