It’s never surprising that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is looking to make a deal, especially around the trade deadline, and Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reports that a shortage of assets hasn’t prevented Morey has being as active as ever.
A source tells Feigen that the Rockets are hoping to trade their 2020 first-round pick for a player who can help right away. They haven’t targeted a specific position, but Feigen assumes point guard is off the table with Russell Westbrook and James Harden handling the playmaking duties.
Morey doesn’t seem to mind parting with a first-rounder, even though the team will be short on them in upcoming years. Houston sent first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 to the Thunder in the Westbrook deal, along with the option to switch picks in 2021 and 2025.
Feigen speculates that the team may be more interested in adding someone in the frontcourt rather than at the wing, where Rivers, Eric Gordon and Ben McLemore are all available and Thabo Sefolosha has been seeing an increase in playing time.
In addition to the first-rounder, Houston has Nene‘s contract, along with trade exceptions valued from $1.5MM to $3.6MM, as assets to try to get a deal done. Feigen notes that beyond the Rockets’ core, Austin Rivers and Gerald Green both have restrictions that enable them to veto any trade, while Chris Clemons can’t be moved because he just signed a three-year contract in late December.
Feigen adds that the Rockets also have a history of being aggressive on the buyout market and may have hopes of landing Andre Iguodala if they can’t find a deal they like.