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
Houston is right up there with the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic with the best odds to land the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Should that come to fruition, expect the Rockets to keep that selection while targeting guards Cade Cunningham and Jalen Suggs. However, Houston also has the Portland Trail Blazers’ first-round selection stemming from the Robert Covington trade. It also has the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick.
It’s my humble opinion that the Rockets should use both of these picks to trade for a young veteran who can act as a catalyst for a rebuild. They are slated to be 23rd and 24th overall. With a projected $12.2 million in cap space, they can even take on some salary. Perhaps, Houston calls the Indiana Pacers about stud big man Myles Turner. It can offer up these two selections as well as Avery Bradley to get a deal done.
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.
These three moves would enable Houston to save some cash over the short term. It’s a major focal point for owner Tilman Fertitta. They would also give the Rockets a couple core young players in Myles Turner and Monte Morris to build with moving forward.