Should the Houston Rockets make any major trades? Some compelling arguments can definitely be made.
The team wants to win a championship, and they have every reason to believe they’re on the road there.
But it seems there’s still quite a bit of trail left yet. Their roster is something of a quandary beyond its undeniably promising core of James Harden, Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons. For the pieces around them to click, some fairly experimental arrangements must turn in their favor.
Some may call it an embarrassment of riches; others, a glut of improperly capitalized assets.
In Jeremy Lin, they have an electric, ball-heavy scorer—but James Harden is, of course, far superior in that role and will likely play 35-40 minutes a game, not leaving many left for Lin.
In Omer Asik, they have an elite defense-and-rebounding center. But, of course, Dwight Howard is an even better one and is likely to also play 35-40 minutes a game. The Rockets have said they plan to play Asik and Howard together, but it’s hard to see the pairing working well—the potential spacing issues are serious, and Asik has already asked to be traded.
In light of this reality, it’s easy to see Asik’s minutes dropping well below his pay level of $8.4 million per year, and the Rockets taking him up, eventually, on his request.
When you consider that Jeremy Lin makes the same $8.4 million salary, and you take a look at some of the possibly available talent around the league, it becomes difficult to defend keeping both—or either—player on the roster. The Rockets have deficits elsewhere, and could look to fill them.
Wouldn’t they rather have a defensive stopper on the wings? How about another superstar, if he’s on the way out somewhere else? Maybe another shooter?
Let’s take a look at some theoretical trade suggestions for the Rockets.