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Rumor: Rockets to ‘burn the house down’ ahead of trade deadline

Rockets trade rumors

After continuously struggling midway through the 2020-21 season, many around the NBA are expecting the Houston Rockets to sell off parts ahead of the trade deadline on March 25. Victor Oladipo, P.J. Tucker, and Eric Gordon are the most popular names being bandied about, but other players throughout the roster could be available.

A sampling of takes via Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:

“They’re starting to call teams,” said one assistant general manager.

“I keep hearing they’re going to fire-sale,” said a rival scout.

“Houston’s gonna burn the house down,” said another assistant general manager.

The James Harden trade signaled that Tucker could be the next piece to be dealt. He remains an attractive target for playoff teams who are looking for a veteran presence, including the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and even the Los Angeles Lakers, among others. Tucker’s performance has dipped this season, though, and he rejected a two-year extension earlier this season that would have paid him less than $10 million annually.

Gordon is a serviceable asset, but he isn’t garnering as much attention as Tucker. As of right now, Fischer reports there’s not much expectation for a Gordon trade.

Perhaps the most intriguing situation belongs to Oladipo after he was acquired in the Harden deal. The Indiana product has already proven he can play at an All-Star level, but injuries have slowed him down in recent seasons. His upcoming unrestricted free agency also complicates matters, especially given the rumors about his desire to join the Miami Heat.

Oladipo recently rejected a two-year extension worth over $45 million, and he’s reportedly looking for a max-level deal. If the Rockets don’t trade the guard before the deadline, there’s always the possibility of a sign-and-trade in the offseason. Houston doesn’t want to lose him for nothing after he was the centerpiece player of the Harden trade.

Other players like Danuel House Jr., Ben McLemore, Sterling Brown, and Jae’Sean Tate are also intriguing trade pieces.

With the Rockets sitting at 11-23 this season, they really should be looking to go into sell mode as part of a bigger rebuild, even with some big-name players still on the roster. There will apparently be a focus on Kevin Porter Jr.’s development after his time in the G League, and we’ll see just how many moves Houston decides to make in the coming weeks.

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