Comment Opinions Please. Is This Good? Read The Full Description As All The Trade Details, Draft Picks, & Free Agent Signings Are There.
1. Trade Christian Wood To The San Antonio Spurs For 2022 TOR 1st(#21) & 2025 CHI 1st(Top 10 Protected)
2. Deal Jae’Sean Tate To The Memphis Grizzlies For 2022 UTA 1st(#22)
3. Trade Eric Gordon & David Nwaba To The Philadelphia 76ers For Tobias Harris
4. Deal John Wall, Garrison Matthews, & 2024 BKN 2nd To The Indiana Pacers For TJ McConnell & Buddy Hield
5. Draft Jabari Smith(PF, 6’10 220) With The #1 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
6. Draft Trevor Keels(SF, 6’5 220) With The #17 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
7. Draft Kennedy Chandler(PG, 6’0 170) With The #21 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
8. Draft Blake Wesley(SG, 6’4 185) With The #22 Pick In The 2022 NBA Draft
9. Sign Jusuf Nurkic To A 3 Year Contract Worth $45 Million(15 Per Year)
10. Sign Kyle Anderson To A 3 Year Contract Worth $42 Million(14 Per Year)
11. Sign Joe Ingles Using The Full MLE On A 1 Year Contract Worth $10.5 Million
Explanation & Analysis
Houston will have a Top 4 pick in the draft for the second year in a row after finishing the season as the worst team in the western conference with a 20-62 record. Big changes need to happen if the Rockets want to become at least a play-in team next season, which is what I believe they should aim for heading into Jalen Green’s second season.
The first move I’d make is trade Christian Wood to the San Antonio Spurs for the 21th pick in the draft & another future protected 1st. With the Rockets potentially landing the #1 pick in the draft, Wood is expendable because one, he doesn’t really fit Green’s timeline that well, & two, Jabari Smith would be a great young option at the power forward position for the Rockets to pair with Green that should start right away. Getting two future 1sts & not receiving any salary in return for Wood will help Houston financially with the other moves that I’m about to share.
Next transaction is to deal Jae’Sean Tate away to the Memphis Grizzlies for the 22nd pick in the draft. This would be really smart for the Rockets because Tate is 26, on an expiring contract, & can be easily replaced in the draft. Instead of paying him $10-12M a year, Houston can just get someone on a rookie contract with higher potential & upside. Tate is better suited helping out a contending team like Ja & the crew.
The third trade I’d make, & probably one that sounds very questionable, is to acquire Tobias Harris for Eric Gordon & David Nwaba. Harris needs a change of scenery & should be on a team where there isn’t too much pressure on him, not being a 3rd option on a championship team. Just look at how well Harris played with the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2018-19 season. He averaged 21 points & 8 rebounds a game & was a near All-Star. Harris & Smith would complement each other well at the forward positions because they can both shoot well from deep & hit the mid-range shot. On the defensive end, Smith would guard the better forward from the opponent’s squad, since he’s a better defender, allowing Harris to focus on the weaker forward. Harris, in my opinion, makes Houston a better team over Gordon & Nwaba due to his ability to shoot from deep & post up players with his mid-range game. Yes he is grossly underpaid, but with only two years remaining on his contract, I believe he’ll help the Rockets considerably more than he’ll hurt them.
Now onto the fourth & final trade, getting rid of John Wall’s contract & adding two nice veterans in McConnell & Hield. Indiana has reportedly been seen as a destination for Russell Westbrook & his expiring contract after his poor season with the Lakers, who they would buy out & use that extra money during the 2023 offseason to improve their squad. But why shouldn’t Houston do that instead of LA with John Wall? Yeah they’d have to thrown in Matthews & a future 2nd or even two, but that’s worth it to acquire a solid backup point guard in McConnell, a 3pt sniper to come off the bench in Buddy Hield, & an extra $14 million off their books to use on free agents.
To summarize these four trades I’d do for Houston, the Rockets acquire two extra 1sts to use in the upcoming draft, giving them four total, & they save $23 million by basically swapping Wood, Tate, Gordon, Nwaba, Matthews & Wall’s contracts with Harris, Hield, & McConnell.
It’s time for the 2022 NBA Draft. Jabari Smith obviously goes #1, as I already explained his pairing with Harris at the forward positions. But now, the Rockets have to replace Jae’Sean Tate, so with the 17th pick, Houston lands Trevor Keels, a big guard from Duke that has a thick frame, excels at scoring off-ball, & is a nice defender. Keels is listed as a guard, but I see him playing mostly the small forward position in his NBA career.
With the next two picks for Houston at 21 & 22, I’d have them take Kennedy Chandler & Blake Wesley, two guards that have very different play styles & would start out their NBA careers in the G-League to improve their games. Chandler is a great playmaking guard & is really strong for someone who is 6’0. He reminds me of a Kyle Lowry with a little bit of CP3 in him, obviously Wal-Mart versions though. And Wesley is a excellent scoring guard that is still raw but has amazing potential to be a 20+ points per game scorer in the NBA.
And at last, free agency. I have Houston signing three high quality veterans in Jusuf Nurkic, Joe Ingles, & Kyle Anderson. These three players will help the Rockets by providing leadership & valuable minutes next to their young guys. Jusuf Nurkic would slide in to the starting center spot & play an important role as an pick & roll partner/interior defender while helping mentor Alperen Sengun. Joe Ingles is a point forward type of player & would assist in running the offense & being an outside threat. Lastly, Kyle Anderson is the perfect two way player to come off the bench & play alongside either Harris or Smitn. He’s a solid defender & 3pt shooter that deserves to be paid.
After a busy & exciting offseason, I can see this Houston Rockets squad being very competitive & at least a play-in squad or even a 5-6 seed if Jalen Green takes the next two steps in his game & Smith shines right away.
Rockets Ideal Starting Lineup:
KPJ, Green, Harris, Smith, & Nurkic
McConnell, Hield, Ingles, Anderson, & Sengun
Rest Of Bench:
Nix, Christopher, Keels, KMJ, & Garuba
Two Way Players/G-League
Kennedy Chandler & Blake Wesley