The responsibility of finding a new head coach sidetracked Houston Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey from his primary goal: acquiring the franchise's next superstar player.
Now that Kevin McHale is in place, Morey can get back to what he has been working tirelessly on for the past two seasons.
Under the current collective bargaining agreement, which is bound to change either through an agreement before the June 30 deadline or after a long lockout, it's difficult to land a star player through free agency. Morey believes that such an upgrade will more likely come through a trade or by getting lucky in the draft.
If the Rockets are to obtain a star in 2011, it will be via trade. The 2011 draft is short on star prospects, and Houston doesn't currently possess a high pick.
Morey has plenty of young, emerging, and valuable assets on his roster. Which of his players has the least trade value, and who is almost certain to be included in a blockbuster deal?
Let's rank the assets, counting down from least to most valuable.
Note: Chuck Hayes and Yao Ming are not listed because both will be unrestricted free agents on July 1, and therefore cannot be traded by the Rockets. However, if they were to be listed, Hayes would make the top-five, while Yao's value is non-existent due to the injuries that have derailed his career.