RUMOR: Rockets ‘a lock’ to trade for somebody before the deadline
The Houston Rockets never play it safe. It should come as no surprise, then, that general manager Daryl Morey seems certain to make a move before Thursday’s trade deadline despite his team’s relative lack of flexibility compared to the rest of the league.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported on Wednesday that “it’s a lock” the Rockets “get somebody” prior to the deadline passing.
Who that player is remains to be seen, and Lowe didn’t speculate one way or another.
Zach Lowe on the Rockets at the deadline: “It’s a lock that they’re going to get somebody.”
— Salman Ali (@SalmanAliNBA) February 6, 2019
Existing reporting, however, attaches Houston to Cleveland Cavaliers guard Alec Burks, traded from the Utah Jazz earlier this season in a deal for Kyle Korver.
That the Rockets have their sights set on such a relatively inconsequential player is indicative of their negotiating power at the deadline.
Over the cap with a roster both lacking young talent and dispensable rotation players, Houston has been relegated to scouring the market for available players whose teams might be interested in a package of Brandon Knight and a future first-round pick, one likely to fall in the 20s given the presence of James Harden.
Former lottery pick Marquesse Chris could be included in any potential deals for salary-matching purposes, too.
Burks would give the Rockets another ball handler, but that’s not a real need with Harden, Chris Paul, and Eric Gordon in the fold, especially compared to their holes at forward. Houston should look at teams on the seller’s market, identify players who would count as worthwhile additions, and engage in subsequent discussions with front-office decision-makers rather than settle for a player like Burks.
Might the Memphis Grizzlies be willing to part with JaMyhcal Green? What about Nikola Mirotic and the New Orleans Pelicans? Adding either player, or somebody like them, would represent a significant upgrade to the Rockets’ bench.
Whether or not teams would be interested in parting with a player of their caliber considering Houston’s offer, though, is unclear at this point.
But there’s no harm in asking, and Morey will undoubtedly do just that up until he pulls the trigger on a deal before tomorrow afternoon.
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