The Houston Rockets have several solid veterans who will draw interest at the trade deadline. How could they flip them for long-term value?
The Houston Rockets are likely to be very active at the NBA Trade Deadline. They’ve slipped, significantly, in the standings and the playoffs are a pipe dream at this point. They’re also loaded with veterans who will draw significant interest from other playoff teams and fringe contenders looking for an upgrade.
According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Rockets are getting calls on P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon and Victor Oladipo and if they could turn all three into future assets it would certainly help with the rebuild. The issue is that each player presents some challenges and maximizing the return for Houston may be more challenging than it looks. (That’s why I haven’t even bothered to mention John Wall here).
What trades could the Houston Rockets make to build for the future?
2021 second-round pick
Early in the season, a late first-round pick for Tucker seemed like a reasonable asking price but his play this season has definitely dragged his value down. He’s shooting terribly, he appears to have lost a step and those two declines — shooting and switchability — dramatically reduce his value to a contender. In addition, he’s an expiring contract and so anyone trading for him is factoring a single year of value into their price.
The Rockets might be able to find a better deal but with half the league reportedly thinking he’s ‘cooked’, they might not. Green is probably not a player who sticks in Houston and Langford hasn’t played at all this year because of injury. But he’s an athletic wing and former lottery pick who showed some flashes in the G League as a rookie last season. The Rockets would have plenty of minutes to give him in the pursuit of development and could pick up an extra second-round pick to potentially package for something bigger.