Breaking down the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns trade
The Houston Rockets sent the sweet-shooting Forward Ryan Anderson, along with the 46th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft De’Anthony Melton, to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the 2016 No. 8 overall pick Marquese Chriss and injury plagued Guard Brandon Knight.
Another day, another off-season move.
Anderson, 30, still has two years left with the Rockets with an annual salary of $20 Million, probably the biggest reason why Houston decided to move him, this trade relieved the team from spending that huge amount of money.
On the other hand, third year forward Chriss is still looking for his breakout season after not being able to live up the hype while Knight is struggling battling his Injuries which limited him from being in the action in the past two seasons, played only 54 games during the 2016-2017 season and sat down the following season due to a torn ACL.
The departure of Chriss opened the power forward position for the Suns and Anderson will likely get the starting role, coincidentally, the Suns finished last in the three-point department last season, shooting an awful 33.4% from behind-the-arc.
Anderson, who shot 38.6% from behind-the-arc last season and PER of +3.8, will play a significant role by spreading the floor and knocking down shots, providing more firepower along with the young guns, Devin Booker and T.J Warren. He is also expected to have that “veteran presence” along with Center Tyson Chandler, as they guide the young Suns back to the path of glory.
He may be a liability in the defensive-end, but the newly signed and former Rocket teammate, forward Trevor Ariza, an efficient perimeter defender will likely fill the gap. Anderson, who averaged 9.3 points per game during the 2017-2018 campaign with the Houston Rockets will be playing for his fifth team during his 10-year career span.
Along with Anderson’s departure is the 46th Overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, De’Anthony Melton, a 20-year-old guard out of University of Southern California. The 6-foot-3 California native averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.0 blocks during his two-year stint with USC. He may not be the pure scorer-type of player, unlike most guards today, but his excellent court vision and athleticism will be his edge in battling for the starting point guard position for the Suns as he will try to share the court with Devin Booker who plays the two-position.
Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight in return, will provide speed, defense, athleticism and youth for the Rockets. Chriss who averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.9 blocks in 21 minutes of action during his two-year stint with the Suns.
The 6-foot-10 power forward out of University of Washington may not have impressive numbers as he was expected have as an 8th overall pick while playing with a lowly team like the Suns, but he is still 20 years old and will just be playing his 3rd year as a pro.
Playing alongside 2017-2018 NBA MVP James Harden, arguably a top 10 point guard in Chris Paul, pure scorer Carmelo Anthony and defensive behemoth Clint Capela under the wings of Coach Mike D’Antoni might help him improve and enhance his skills, awaken his potential and can finally live up the hype.
On the other hand, the nearly-forgotten Guard out of University of Kentucky Brandon Knight was part of the package that sent Anderson and Melton to the Suns. The 26-year-old Guard became one of the more noticeable players in the league during his stints with the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and first year with Phoenix Suns where he had career averages of 15.2 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 382 games and had a PER 36 of -4.0 during his first year with the Suns.
However, his injuries limited him to only 54 games during his second season with the Suns and his averages went down to 11.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds. He was forced to sit out the entire 2017-2018 season due to torn ACL on his left knee.
Considering that he will be healthy and return soon, Knight will be a good back up for the aging Chris Paul, whose absence was felt when the Houston Rockets fell short against Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals last season.
A healthy Brandon Knight could make an impact defensively and provide more floor spacing (35.7%-Career 3-point percentage) which will allow Harden, Anthony or even Capela to move freely and get into their spots. Don’t forget the impact that he made with his stints with the Pistons and Bucks (just forget the part where he was posterized by Deandre Jordan and when he missed the game-winning lay-up against the Nets).
Chriss and Knight will be able to give an immediate impact regardless if they will start or will be off-the-bench and will give the Rockets another arsenals offensively and defensively.
The acquisition of Chriss and Knight (if healthy) might give the Rockets another shot at Western Conference Finals or might buy them a ticket to the Finals, though the road will not be as smooth as it is, considering that they will face the LeBron-led Los Angeles Lakers, New look San Antonio Spurs (minus Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili), the rising Utah Jazz and the Defending Champs Golden State Warriors.
The Phoenix Suns on the other hand will have to develop another player in Melton and will have to pay the remaining contract of Anderson while the Rockets just retooled by acquiring Chriss and Knight.
Who won the trade? Rockets? Suns? Is it a win-win situation for both teams? The aforementioned details will give us the answer- the Houston Rockets.
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