fbpx

4 potential Houston Rockets trade scenarios ahead of NBA trade deadline

Jan 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We have already seen one major Houston Rockets trade thus far this season. Obviously, that included new general manager Rafael Stone dealing away franchise great James Harden back in January.

As the NBA trade deadline approaches and with the retooling Rockets in the midst of a disastrous 13-game losing streak, we’re going to hear a lot more rumors about potential trades in Houston.

Stone took over an unenviable situation from Daryl Morey last offseason. Russell Westbrook wanted out of dodge after one season, primarily due to his relationship with Harden.

Meanwhile, Harden himself forced his way out of town. Now, forced to rely on a combination of veterans and unproven youngsters, these Rockets are among the worst teams in the Association. It’s time for Stone to start building for the future. Hence, these four Houston Rockets trade scenarios ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline.

Read More: NBA trade rumors: Latest updates leading up to the March 25 deadline

Houston Rockets trade Victor Oladipo to the Miami Heat

Houston Rockets trade Victor Oladipo
Jan 18, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) looks to shoot against Chicago Bulls center Daniel Gafford (12) during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
  • Rockets get: Meyers Leonard, Kelly Olynyk, Jordan Poole, future first-round pick, two future second-round picks
  • Heat get: Victor Oladipo
  • Warriors get: Duncan Robinson

At this point, it’s all about Houston adding to its draft pick war chest after the previous regime destroyed its draft capital in the now-infamous Russell Westbrook trade. Right now, the Rockets have about a 50% chance of keeping their first-round pick. It’s top-four protected. If the pick doesn’t fall in that category, Houston acquires the least favorable of the Thunder or Heat pick. Simply put, adding draft capital would give the Rockets more options.

It’s in this that picking up a first-round pick in 2025 from Miami as well as two future second-round picks makes a lot of sense for Houston. It would just add to the capital the Rockets received in the James Harden trade. Meanwhile, the Rockets get a young former first-round pick in Poole who just led the NBA G-League in scoring before returning to the Warriors.

Read More: Miami Heat trade targets: 3 key players who could fix the team’s remaining issues

As for Golden State and Miami, this trade makes a ton of sense. The Heat have been linked to Oladipo on a near never-ending loop. There’s smoke to this fire. He’d also be a tremendous fit out on the wing with Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler. Meanwhile, the Warriors add a sharpshooting guard in Robinson. It’s something they desperately need behind Stephen Curry with Klay Thompson lost for the season.

Houston Rockets trade Eric Gordon to the New York Knicks

Houston Rockets trade Eric Gordon
Jan 22, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) gets defended by Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya (45) during the second quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
  • Rockets get: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox II, future first-round pick
  • Knicks get: Eric Gordon, Ben McLemore

Why not take a chance on two former lottery picks who have not panned out in the Big Apple? If the Rockets were to blow this entire thing up, they need to fill out their roster somehow. Adding Ntilikina and Knox to the mix would at least give Houston a couple months to see if a change of scenery would work. Picking up the Knicks’ first-round pick in 2021 (via Dallas) would be a boon here, too.

Read More: New York Knicks rumors: 5 ideal blockbuster trade scenarios

This also makes sense from New York’s perspective. The team is in the midst of a surprising season and heads into the All-Star Break as the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. President Leon Rose just added former NBA MVP Derrick Rose. He’s going to be active heading into the NBA trade deadline on March 25. Gordon would slide in next to Rose and stud rookie Immanuel Quickley. Meanwhile, McLemore would be a solid bench option.

Houston Rockets trade P.J. Tucker to the Boston Celtics

NBA trade rumors: P.J. Tucker
Feb 9, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker (17) reacts to being called for a foul against New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (not pictured) during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
  • Rockets get: Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams, second-round pick
  • Celtics get: P.J. Tucker

Boston is said to be looking for a forward who can play both the three and four. Why not go after someone like Tucker who can reasonably play all three frontcourt positions? We already know that Houston will deal Tucker here soon. His two-way ability and flexibility would loom large for Boston moving forward.

Read More: Boston Celtics rumors: 4 trades to help the struggling team

In return, the Rockets receive a still-young 23-year-old big in Robert Williams who boasts untapped potential. He’s struggled to progress over the past couple seasons, leading to speculation that a change of scenery could be in the cards. A future second-round pick doesn’t hurt here, either.

Houston Rockets trade Danuel House to the Dallas Mavericks

Dec 28, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton (5) and guard PJ Dozier (35) and Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. (4) and guard Sterling Brown (0) reach for a loose ball in the second first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
  • Rockets get: Josh Green, future second-round pick
  • Mavericks get: Danuel House

Underrated. That’s the best way to explain House’s surprising tenure with the Rockets. He’s averaging 9.1 points and 4.0 rebounds and is a plus-level wing defender. Despite some shooting issues, House’s two-way ability would be attractive to a Mavericks team that lacks defense out on the perimeter.

Read More: 4 NBA trade deadline moves Dallas Mavericks must consider

At 27 years old, House does not fit in to the Rockets’ future plans. Adding rookie first-round pick Josh Green and an additional second-round pick would be a major score for general manager Rafael Stone and Co. Expect them to move House ahead of the March 25 NBA trade deadline.

End result of Houston Rockets trade scenarios

  • Rockets get: Meyers Leonard, Kelly Olynyk, Jordan Poole, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox II, Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams and Josh Green. Two first-round picks, four second-round picks
  • Rockets trade: Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon, Ben McLemore, P.J. Tucker and Danuel House

While the remainder of the 2020-21 NBA season would be ugly for Houston, this would also help expedite the team’s lengthy rebuild process.

In turn, the Rockets would increase their chances of keeping a high first-round pick in 2021 while getting a look at five young players who could be core members moving forward.