Rockets Rumors

Trade Rumors: Tate, Mavs, Rockets, Suns, Porter, Raptors

The Mavericks and Rockets spoke recently about Houston forward Jae’Sean Tate, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. However, league sources tell Iko that Dallas only offered a pair of second-round picks and Houston insisted on three, so the two sides didn’t reach a deal.

As Iko writes, if they do trade Tate, the Rockets would prefer to get a player who could contribute right away, but there was a belief that they could potentially reroute those second-round picks to land that sort of player.

With the trade deadline just over two hours away, the Rockets remain in the market for shooting help and a backup center, Iko reports. Houston traded for Steven Adams last week, but he’s out for the season, so the team wouldn’t mind acquiring a big man who could help in the short term.

Here a few more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • According to Iko, the Rockets have received some inquiries on guard Aaron Holiday and forward Jeff Green, but won’t be looking to dump those players for minor returns, since they’ve established roles and have good relationships with head coach Ime Udoka.
  • Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) has heard veteran wing Otto Porter mentioned as a possible fallback trade option for the Suns. Toronto agreed to trade Porter to Utah earlier today, but there’s no guarantee the Jazz will keep him. Phoenix has no interest in Bulls center Andre Drummond, however, tweets John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7.
  • A league source tells Michael Grange of (Twitter link) that there has been “not a peep” on Raptors trade candidates Bruce Brown, Chris Boucher, and Gary Trent Jr. so far today. However, it remains possible that will change in the next couple hours.

Western Rumors: Suns, Rockets, O’Neale, Tate, Jazz, Grizzlies

The Suns continue to keep an eye on Nets forward Royce O’Neale and Rockets wing Jae’Sean Tate, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, who hears from league sources that Phoenix has discussed a package of Nassir Little and second-round picks for one of those two players.

As Scotto details, the Suns are hoping to find a wing and/or a frontcourt piece on the trade market and will likely be aggressive on the buyout market looking for that sort of player if they’re unable to make a deal. Phoenix will be prohibited from signing a player whose pre-waiver salary exceeds $12.4MM, but not every player on the buyout market will fit that bill.

The Rockets, who are among the other teams with interest in O’Neale, have sought either a late first-round pick or multiple second-rounders to part with Tate, league sources tell Scotto. Aaron Holiday is another Houston player who has generated trade interest.

If the Rockets were to acquire draft assets for a player like Tate or Holiday, they could ultimately flip those picks for another rotation player, Scotto writes.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference in advance of today’s trade deadline:

  • Scotto hears from multiple executives who have explored trading for Kelly Olynyk that the Jazz are seeking draft compensation — ideally a first-round pick. Another potential Utah trade candidate, Kris Dunn, appears likely to stick with the team through the deadline unless the team gets an “unexpected” offer it can’t refuse, a league source tells HoopsHype.
  • The Jazz have had some talks with the Hornets about forward P.J. Washington, according to Ian Begley of, who says John Collins came up in those discussions.
  • Rival executives believe that some of the Grizzlies‘ recent first-round picks – Ziaire Williams, David Roddy, and Jake LaRavia – could be trade candidates, given the emergence of cheaper youngsters like Vince Williams and GG Jackson, says Scotto. Memphis is facing a bit of a roster and cap crunch for 2024/25, so creating a bit more flexibility in both areas would help.
  • Suns head coach Frank Vogel said on Wednesday won’t mind if his front office decides to stand pat at the deadline, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “I’m very in the loop with all of those conversations, but as I said (Tuesday), we love where we’re at as a team,” Vogel said. “If we don’t do anything, I’ll be really happy with the group we have, but obviously, you always look at ways to improve your team.”

Fischer’s Latest: Pelicans, Stewart, Hawks, Olynyk, Drummond, Lakers, Nets

The Pelicans are searching for a rim protector, but they’ve had to cross at least two names off their wish list, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. Sources tell Fischer that New Orleans was hoping to acquire Jarrett Allen, but the Cavaliers aren’t willing to include him in trade talks. The team also targeted Wendell Carter, but Fischer’s sources say the Magic refuse to make him available.

Fischer cites Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart as a potential alternative for the Pelicans. Detroit agreed to two deals today and may be willing to consider moving Stewart as the team reshapes its roster. Hawks centers Onyeka Okongwu and Clint Capela could also be possibilities, according to Fischer.

Fischer hears that the Pelicans and Hawks were involved in “tangible trade talks” this week involving both centers, along with guard Dejounte Murray, who’s considered one of the top names on this year’s trade market. However, sources tell Fischer that the teams haven’t been able to make any progress toward a deal.

Fischer offers more inside information on the eve of the deadline:

  • Jazz center Kelly Olynyk could be on the way to Toronto, but there are plenty of teams interested in acquiring him, whether it’s from Utah or the Raptors, according to Fischer’s sources. Fischer names the Sixers, Heat and Warriors as teams that have shown interest in Olynyk, adding that the Celtics were also on that list before today’s trade for Xavier Tillman.
  • The Tillman deal removes one suitor for Bulls center Andre Drummond, Fischer adds. The Sixers remain interested in Drummond as a short-term starter while Joel Embiid is injured, according to Fischer, who also lists the Mavericks and Suns as potential landing spots. Fischer’s sources say the Rockets and Lakers also had interest in the veteran center, but they’re considered less likely alternatives. Chicago is hoping for multiple second-round picks in exchange for Drummond, with Fischer noting that it seems like a reasonable price considering that’s what the Celtics gave Memphis for Tillman. Fischer also cautions that the Bulls are hoping to advance through the play-in tournament, so Drummond isn’t certain to be dealt.
  • The Lakers like several Brooklyn players, including Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie and Royce O’Neale, Fischer adds. He also points out that the Nets have Lonnie Walker, who was popular with L.A. fans in last year’s playoffs and has attracted interest from several contenders.

Injury Notes: VanVleet, Brunson, Middleton, Robinson, GPII

Rockets point guard Fred VanVleet, who missed Tuesday’s loss in Indiana due to a left adductor strain, will be sidelined for at least three more games, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required). That means VanVleet will be out for Friday’s return to Toronto in addition to games vs. Atlanta on Saturday and New York next Monday.

“Probably around All-Star break,” head coach Ime Udoka said when asked when VanVleet might return. “We’ll see. Who knows if that’ll take into All-Star break or right before the break?”

As Feigen writes, the Rockets’ final game before the All-Star break is next Wednesday in Memphis, then the team isn’t in action until the following Thursday (February 22) in New Orleans. Pushing VanVleet’s return until after the break would give him an extra eight days to recover, but if he’s able to play on Feb. 14, he’d also get those eight days of rest following his first game back.

Here are a few more injury updates from around the league:

  • One current Eastern Conference All-Star and one three-time East All-Star exited their respective games early on Tuesday due to ankle injuries. Knicks guard Jalen Brunson turned his right ankle in the fourth quarter vs. Memphis, but appears to have avoided a severe sprain, per Ian Begley of (Twitter video link). Meanwhile, Bucks forward Khris Middleton left the Footprint Center in Phoenix wearing a walking boot and using crutches after spraining his left ankle in the first quarter, per Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Head coach Doc Rivers said X-rays on Middleton’s ankle were negative.
  • Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, who has been out since mid-December after undergoing ankle surgery, will begin on-court shooting shortly after the All-Star break, head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Tuesday, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. There’s still hope that Robinson will be able to return before the end of the season.
  • The Warriors announced on Tuesday in a press release that Gary Payton II is making good progress from the left hamstring strain that has sidelined him since January 2 and is now considered day-to-day. However, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), Payton is unlikely to return during the team’s current road trip, which concludes with a back-to-back set in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Indiana on Thursday. Andrew Wiggins (left ankle contusion), on the other hand, is probable to play on Wednesday after missing Monday’s contest, says Slater.

Western Notes: Wolves, Graham, Suns, VanVleet, Rockets

The Timberwolves‘ front office has been scouring the trade market in the hopes of addressing a couple areas of concern on the bench and better positioning the team for a deep postseason run, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. According to Krawczynski, Minnesota would like to bolster its second unit by adding another ball-handler and/or a scorer or shooter.

Krawczynski confirms a number of previously reported point guard targets for the Wolves, including Tyus Jones and Monte Morris, while also naming Dennis Schröder and Kyle Lowry as a couple more players of interest. Lowry would have to be a buyout target, since Minnesota isn’t in position to match his $29.7MM salary on the trade market.

If the Wolves focus on a scorer rather than a point guard, Alec Burks and Bones Hyland are among the players who could be fits, Krawczynski writes.

Krawczynski doesn’t expect Minnesota to move Kyle Anderson, referring to him as a key part of the team’s defense and an important voice in the locker room. That’s notable, since hanging onto Anderson and their other five highest-paid players (Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, and Naz Reid) would leave the Wolves with no trade chips earning more than $5MM, limiting their ability to salary-match for players earning much beyond the mid-level.

Here are a few more notes and rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • Veteran point guard Devonte’ Graham hasn’t griped about not having a role with the Spurs this season and has enjoyed being in San Antonio, but he acknowledged that he wouldn’t be opposed to a trade if it gives him an opportunity to play more, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. “I mean, yeah,” Graham said. “Everybody wants to play.”
  • Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic previews the trade deadline for the Suns, noting that a potential package of Nassir Little and second-round picks hasn’t generated a ton of interest among prospective trade partners.
  • The Rockets will be without starting point guard Fred VanVleet on Tuesday in Indiana, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, who says VanVleet has been ruled out due to a left adductor strain. That injury often requires a multi-game absence, but Houston hasn’t issued an update on the guard’s status beyond Tuesday.
  • Rockets center Jock Landale and forward Jae’Sean Tate are trying to tune out the trade rumors surrounding them as Thursday’s deadline nears, Feigen writes in another story for The Chronicle. “Whether they choose to trade me or keep me is completely up to them. I signed here to play for (head coach) Ime (Udoka),” Landale said. “I signed here to help the Rockets to get back to their winning ways. It’s not a decision that’s in my power or my control. We’ll see what happens.”

Rockets Rumors: Green, Bridges, Trade Market

Executives around the NBA believe the Rockets are willing to include former No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green in a trade package for a marquee wing, according to reports from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports and Marc Stein at Substack.

Both reporters mention Mikal Bridges as a top target for the Rockets, with Stein citing a belief around the league that Houston has been open to parting with Green and “an array of first-round picks” in exchange for the Nets forward. However, Brooklyn continues to resist inquiries for Bridges, so those talks didn’t gain any traction, according to Fischer.

When the Rockets conducted head coaching interviews last spring, they asked their candidates their thoughts on which of the team’s younger players the front office should consider including in a deal for a star, league sources tell Fischer. Houston’s group of youngsters includes Green, Alperen Sengun, Jabari Smith, Tari Eason, Amen Thompson, and Cam Whitmore.

Fischer’s report doesn’t state that head coach Ime Udoka identified Green as a potential trade chip, but the 21-year-old is the young Rocket whose name has popped up most often in trade rumors as of late.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • While many rival front offices have viewed the Rockets’ willingness to discuss Green as a signal that they’re looking to accelerate their rebuilding process and push for a postseason spot, their acquisition of Steven Adams – who is out for the rest of the season due to a knee injury – suggests they have more patience than advertised, Fischer writes. As Fischer observes, it’s more accurate to classify Houston as “eager to be opportunistic” rather than determined to make a second-half push.
  • The Rockets – like the Knicks and some other teams – were prepared to be players for the next star player that became available this season, sources tell Yahoo Sports, but no player of that magnitude is currently on the market.
  • While Houston remains a team to watch ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, a significant deal appears more likely to occur in the offseason than this week, says Fischer.

Bulls Rumors: DeRozan, Drummond, Caruso, Williams

With Zach LaVine out for the rest of the season after opting for foot surgery, the Bulls‘ most important decision at the trade deadline will involve DeMar DeRozan, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Mayberry believes the organization should think twice about committing big money to the 34-year-old forward, who will be a free agent this summer. DeRozan and the team haven’t been able to reach a deal in extension talks, and Mayberry questions whether it’s wise to keep the core of the team together amid another mediocre season.

Thursday’s deadline provides an immediate opportunity to part with DeRozan, Mayberry notes, adding that the Bulls should be able to obtain draft assets or young talent from a contender in need of a veteran scorer.

There’s also the possibility of an offseason sign-and-trade, but Mayberry points out that waiting until summer presents the risk of losing DeRozan in free agency with nothing in return. Holding DeRozan’s Bird rights, the Bulls will have the advantage of being able to offer him more money than rival teams, but Mayberry states that DeRozan won’t have any other reason to stay in Chicago if he wants to be part of a winner.

There’s more on the Bulls:

  • Veteran center Andre Drummond is a target of several teams, including the Celtics, Mavericks, Lakers and Suns, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. He adds that the Rockets considered making an offer for Drummond before acquiring Steven Adams last week. Scotto points out that Drummond carries significant value for teams in need of rebounding as he’s collecting 18.9 boards per 36 minutes this season.
  • The Bulls are asking for two first-round picks in exchange for Alex Caruso, Scotto adds. In addition to being a defensive standout, Caruso is viewed as a bargain because of his $9.89MM salary for next season. Scotto also hears that teams are keeping an eye on the potential availability of Patrick Williams, who wasn’t able to reach a rookie scale extension agreement before the start of the season.
  • K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago examines the trading record of president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and speculates how it might influence the team’s direction at this year’s deadline.

Nets Rumors: Bridges, Finney-Smith, O’Neale, Murray, Claxton

The Nets have no interest in rebuilding as Thursday’s trade deadline approaches, which means any rumored deals involving Mikal Bridges are off the table, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto’s sources confirm that Brooklyn’s front office refused to discuss Bridges when the Rockets offered to return some of the draft assets they own from the James Harden deal in 2021.

According to Scotto, the Nets view Bridges as a foundation piece with a team-friendly contract that will pay him $23M next season and $24.9M in 2025-26. With Ben Simmons‘ $40.3M salary coming off the books after next season, Brooklyn officials believe they have a two-year window to add stars around Bridges. That could eventually make him a second or third option instead of the main focus of the offense, Scotto adds.

There’s more from Scotto on the Nets:

  • Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale are both attracting trade interest, according to Scotto’s sources. Rival teams believe the Nets could acquire a first-round pick and a rotation player in exchange for Finney-Smith, who is under contract for $14.9M next season and has a $15.37M player option for 2025/26. The price for O’Neale, who has a $9.5M expiring contract, is viewed as multiple second-round picks, Scotto adds. Sources tell Scotto that Finney-Smith has attracted “significant interest” from several playoff contenders, including the Mavericks and Lakers, who may have lost Jarred Vanderbilt for the rest of the season. Finney-Smith played for Dallas before being shipped to Brooklyn in last year’s Kyrie Irving deal and he remains a close friend of Luka Doncic, according to Scotto. The Bucks, Thunder, Suns and Kings are other teams to watch for Finney-Smith, Scotto adds, while the Mavericks, Nuggets, Pacers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Suns and Kings have interest in O’Neale.
  • Scotto suggests the Nets might be open to trading for Dejounte Murray if the Hawks are willing to accept Spencer Dinwiddie and a first-round pick in return. Atlanta is currently asking for two first-rounders in exchange for Murray, and Scotto notes that he has a 15% trade kicker as part of his contract, which will pay him $120.1M over the next four seasons (give or take a few million depending on incentives and that trade bonus).
  • A few teams have inquired about Nic Claxton, but Scotto says many rival executives believe the Nets will try to re-sign their starting center when he becomes a free agent this offseason.

Ime Udoka Disappointed By Approach Against Timberwolves' Defense

  • Rockets coach Ime Udoka was disappointed after watching his offense sputter against one of the league’s best defenses in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “The lack of reaction was not making the easy play, making the easy pass to a teammate, driving into a crowd, trying to play through double-teams,” Udoka said. “A four-point game at half, we talked about … all these open shots that we left on the table by driving to a crowd (against) the No. 1 team defensively, top five in packing the paint, protecting the paint, what they give up in the paint.”

Adams Trade Portends Long-Range Approach