Rockets Eye Alec Burks, Talen Horton-Tucker

The Rockets cut ties with Kevin Porter Jr. by agreeing to trade the troubled guard and two future second-round picks to the Thunder for injured guard Victor Oladipo and big man Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.

However, the Rockets may not be through making deals before next week’s regular season opener, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports. They may look to move Oladipo, combined with other second-round picks, to upgrade their roster.

Houston has held trade discussions with the Pistons regarding veteran guard Alec Burks, who has an expiring $10,489,600 contract. Fischer notes that his contract nearly matches Oladipo’s $9.5MM expiring salary.

It’s not clear if the Pistons would be interested a trade for Oladipo, who is recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, and some type of sweetener.

The Pistons have other options at guard beyond franchise player Cade Cunningham. New head coach Monty Williams is mulling whether to start lottery pick Ausar Thompson and bring Jaden Ivey off the bench. Detroit also traded for Monte Morris and Joe Harris this offseason, with rookie Marcus Sasser and Killian Hayes also battling for playing time.

Houston has also contacted the Jazz regarding Talen Horton-Tucker. Tucker has an $11.02MM expiring contract and his role with Utah is uncertain, due to the strong play of Kris Dunn and rookie Keyonte George.

The Rockets have some interest in Malcolm Brogdon as well, although the Trail Blazers and Rockets have not held significant discussions. Portland has indicated that it wants to hold onto Brogdon, who was acquired from Boston in the Jrue Holiday deal. Houston also wouldn’t be able to aggregate Oladipo’s salary with another player for two months after finalizing its trade with Oklahoma City. Brogdon is earning $22.5MM.

Fischer also delivered some other interesting tidbits in his story:

  • Prior to the Thunder’s trade with the Rockets, veteran forward Davis Bertāns‘ name was passing through the rumor mill. The Thunder had a roster logjam prior to the deal and still needs to clear another spot, but Bertans is safe. Not only could his perimeter shooting help the Thunder, his $16MM salary for 2024/25 is only guaranteed for $5MM. That could make him a valuable trade piece approaching February’s trade deadline.
  • The Rockets held conversations with several other teams regarding Porter that would have required them to throw in more second-rounders to get him off their roster. Oklahoma City had planned to waive Oladipo if it couldn’t find a trade for him.
  • Few rival executives anticipate that the Pacers’ Buddy Hield will be traded prior to the season. The Pacers had looked at potential deals involving Hield after contract extension talks stalled, but it sounds like there’s no traction toward a move.
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