The Houston Rockets are coming off an absolutely dreadful 2020-21 campaign that saw them win 17 of 72 games. Following an early-season trade of James Harden, Houston was historically bad. That included a 20-game losing streak at one point. This will lead to Houston Rockets rumors suggesting a few big moves could be on the horizon come summer time.
General manager Rafael Stone has his work cut out for him in order to get Houston back to playing competitive basketball after its worst season since 1982-83. Below, we look at three trades the Houston Rockets should consider making this summer.
Houston Rockets trade NBA Draft pick for proven veteran
Boasting the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, these Rockets have an opening to expedite their rebuild. That could now potentially include moving off the second pick for either more assets or a star veteran player.
“We don’t want to foreclose anything,” Rockets general manager Rafael Stone said after the draft lottery. “We’re open to a trade.” If Cade Cunningham were to go No. 1 overall to the Detroit Pistons, it would enable Houston to entice another team with other top-end prospects in Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley.
In addition to the second selection, Houston will be picking 23rd and 24th in the first round. Technically, the team could move the second pick for a star like Karl-Anthony Towns while still being able to add other young talent to the mix. The fact that Stone has not ruled out a trade down from No. 2 speaks volumes.
Houston Rockets trade Eric Gordon to the Denver Nuggets
- Rockets get: Monte Morris, JaMychal Green, two future second-round picks
- Nuggets get: Eric Gordon
We already know that the Nuggets have been targeting a traditional two-guard to team up with the injured Jamal Murray in the backcourt. Without much in terms of draft picks and other assets following the Aaron Gordon blockbuster in March, Denver doesn’t have a lot of avenues pursue.
This is where Houston takes advantage of the opportunity presented here. In return for a player in Gordon who doesn’t fit into its long-term rebuild plans, the Rockets get a still-young point guard in the 25-year-old Morris. He averaged 10.2 points and 3.2 assists on a stellar 48% shooting from the field during the 2020-21 regular season. Morris would act as a building block next to whoever Houston takes with its initial first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. It also nabs two future picks.
Houston Rockets trade John Wall to the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Rockets get: Kevin Love
- Cavaliers get: John Wall, protected future first-round pick
It’s going to be nearly impossible for the Houston Rockets to trade the 30-year-old Wall after yet another injury-plagued season. He’s set to count $91-plus million against the cap over the next two years. Any move to rid themselves of this albatross of a contract would require Houston taking on a bad contract and offering up future draft capital.
Stone and Co. call the Cavaliers up about another high-priced and injury-plagued veteran in Kevin Love in this scenario. Cleveland has been looking to move the All-Star at nearly ever turn. In return for moving off Love and taking on $31 million in total contract value, Cleveland picks up a future first-round pick. As for the Rockets, they add another stretch big to go with the impressive Christian Wood in hopes that Love can somehow resurrect his career.