Rockets Being Aggressive On Trade Market

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.

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27 thoughts on “Rockets Being Aggressive On Trade Market

  1. richard dangler

    You can’t win a championship when you play iso basketball. It doesn’t matter who they bring in. It won’t change the philosophy.

  2. Can see them winning with Russ there….

    They are to focused on ISO offence, they have two good defenders in Tucker and Capela, House is alright but that’s it.
    Clippers have 3 elite defenders in Kawhi, PG and Beverly and play a team game.
    Lakers have LBJ AD Bradley Green Rondo KCP that can all defend well and have a good offence.

    Rockets instead of paying for CP3 years ago should’ve gone for Marcus Smart. He would suit James Hardens game perfectly as an on/off ball player, can do abit of everything and defends at an elite level. Have him over Russ now and save 20mil which you could spend at SF and depth.

      • Should’ve but Smart would’ve been even better. Personally I think Smart is a better defender, he’s taller, is younger, he can facilitate an offence while Harden isn’t in the game better and because he’s from Houston he would play at 200%

        • Sorry that’s correct he’s from Lancaster. However both are Texas so I guess that counts for something. phillyballers they could have afforded Smart back then.
          They offered Paul 4y/160m that offseason,
          they could’ve given smart 4y/70mil and given Ariza 3y/45mil and still saved about 10 mil a season

  3. I like the idea, but Celtics love them some marcus smart, hard to imagine an offer that would pry him away but not get into the the 20 mil range on the back end. Just feel like even an offer starting at 15mil would get matched. And if thats not an overpay anything exceeding tgat certainly is. Such is RFA i suppose. Perhaps worth it though, in terms of fit even at that salary i like Smart moreso then Gordon.

    • I was referring to when Smart was a free agent in July 2018 and Boston gave him his 4year/55 mil deal. At the time of the deal he was 24 and was after 12-14 mil so I think the rockets could’ve come in with 16 and easily snatched him up.
      Instead they decide to give CP3 a 4y/160mil deal and let Trevor Ariza leave.

      Smart is also from Houston so for him to play in his home town starting with an all nba star in Harden next to him I think it would’ve been a great move.

      Smart Harden Ariza Tucker Capela and Gordon is a better 6 now over having Russ and House.

    • I was referring to when Smart was a free agent in July 2018 and Boston gave him his 4year/55 mil deal. At the time of the deal he was 24 and was after 12-14 mil so I think the rockets could’ve come in with 16 and easily snatched him up.
      Instead they decide to give CP3 a 4y/160mil deal and also let Trevor Ariza leave.

      Smart is also from Houston so for him to play in his home town starting with an all nba star in Harden next to him I think it would’ve been a great move.

      • Yeah i was trying to say i was of the opinion that such an offer would likely get matched. I shoulda said lower 20-22 millions range on the back end of the deal would be the range where boston likely balks i didnt necessarily mean 20 on the dot. For instance and clarity i think a 4 year deal from the rockets starting at 16mil and rising to 17, 18, and 19 mil respectively would gets matched by the Cs in RFA. I think at minimum a deal starting at like 18 million and rising to 19, 20, 21 would prob be what it would take to make the Cs balk. Maybe one starting at 17mil gets it done. But in reality we’re only differing on about a mil or two annually so your offer could prob very well give the Cs pause and do it. I just have a hard time stomaching the idea of them losing Smart on a deal starting at 16 or 15 mil for all the reasons you stated above. His age and his defense make him worth what might be a slight overpay in my eyes, plus what he brings to the table in terms of all around game (decent handle, decent rebounding, decent facilitation, intangibles). I def dont disagree on why he makes a ton of sense for Houston, irregardless of whether theyd get him an offer shouldve at least been floated. Makes all the sense in the world for houston, no argument there, i agree and it hadn’t crossed my mind or seemingly anyone elses before.

        • Yeah sorry. Apparently at the time the Celtics first offered 8mil and he said he wanted 12-14mil and so that’s what the Cs gave him. Apparently at the time of the deal it was almost considered an overlay the .
          If Houston had came in and offered 16mil they could’ve got him but Boston might have matched who knows really.

          End of the day it would’ve been a smarter move than paying Paul 40mil a year in his 30’s. Even keeping Ariza there would’ve been good. Ariza and Tucker at 3 and 4 were great together because of their shooting and defence.

  4. davidkaner

    The Pistons want a first rounder & all you need to do is take Andre Drummond!

  5. amk3510

    What can they even do? They have 5 guys eating up all the cap room and none of them will be moved.

  6. phillyballers

    So 9-10 M if Green agrees to be traded. Not a lot of trades. Nerlens Noel, Alex Len.

  7. harden-westbrook-mvps

    If they don’t make a trade for Covington, there should be some decent players available in the buy out market a few weeks from now (like Iggy).

    • SheltonMatthews

      True, but I would think Iggy wouldn’t choose them over either LA team. Obviously don’t know that, but it seems like a better chance to win a title with the Lakers or Clippers and he was living in LA

  8. Dodgethis

    If I was Memphis, I wouldn’t buy out Iggy, I also wouldn’t pay him, and for his refusal to play he would still be under contract for next season.

    • specialfriedrice

      You mean kinda like Kawhi ? Shame is dosnt really work like that in this industry.

    • Jason Lancaster

      How do you know Iggy has refused to play?

      All the reporting is that both he and the grizzlies agreed he shouldn’t play. Mayy because Memphis doesn’t want to risk an injury and see his trade value plummet, right?

      Why do you assume the team is right and the player is wrong? For all we know, Memphis told him he couldn’t suit up, and he’s been a good soldier lying to hide that fact.

      • x%sure

        A player has to agree to staying home. He doesn’t have to. If Iguodala wanted to be there, he could be; Like Waiters in Miami, or Deng in LA.
        He would not get much PT, but it would be good for conditioning and keeping the rust off.
        He was just grumpy, which is how he rolls.

  9. The only way they can do a “horse move”, and they need it to try some changes, Is selling capela

  10. What does being aggressive really mean here? Last year, solely to get out of the tax, the Rockets gave up both a 1st and a contract they now could really use (Knight) for matching purposes. They’re right at the tax line now. Even if they’re willing to go over the tax line this year, and give up another 1st, they don’t have matching contracts of any size to get any of the better players that are likely to be available (unless they’re trading Tucker or Capella, which defeats the purpose, or have an option to guarantee more $$ to Nene so it will count). Morey always has something up his sleeve, but over a 2 year period, the monetary tail wagged the basketball dog, and it’s put them in a spot where upgrade opportunities are more limited than they should be.

    • x%sure

      I thought you were going to question the use of “aggessive” for just talking not doing. But I can’t think of a sports word for aggressive discussing even though it’s common. TV commentators have to search for words when “officials huddle”!

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