Rockets Trade Rumors- Will Houston Use TPE For Trade By December 19


Social media has been abuzz regarding Rockets trade rumors and the possibility they would use their Trade Player Exception (TPE) by December 19th.

This past summer when the Houston Rockets traded Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers they received a traded player exception (TPE) worth $8.4 million. This gives the Rockets the ability to trade for a player making up to $8.4 million dollars by July, 2015. Alternatively, the Rockets could choose to not use the TPE, which is the case more often than not.

The Rockets also traded a future first-round pick and their 2015 second-round pick to the Lakers, along with receiving the rights to center Sergei Lishchuk. A Ukrainian born player, Lishchuk is currently playing for Valencia in Spain.

Recently, reports surfaced via several news sources that the Rockets were in hot pursuit of trading their acquired TPE by a set date of December, 19.  Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided a detailed look at the situation. Though the TPE, as already mentioned does not expire till July, 2015, General Manager Daryl Morey has set an internal date. According to the reports the Rockets want to complete a trade within the 60-day reaggregation window before the February, 19 NBA trade deadline. This gives the option to trade the player again this season. It was reported that if a trade does not come about in the coming week the Rockets would not use the TPE at all – however, that could always change in the future.

Rockets actively talking about deals to use their Lin TPE ASAP, rather than wait for Dec. 15 or trade deadline.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 19, 2014

Rockets have dealt with their fair share of injuries this year forcing Kevin McHale to go deep into his bench. Dwight Howard has missed 12-games due to a knee injury, Terrence Jones has played in 4-games total due to a nerve issue in his left leg, Patrick Beverley’s missed 12-games with a hamstring injury, Isaiah Canaan’s been out for 9-games with a sprained ankle, Francisco Garcia is dealing with a right calf injury which has kept him out for 9-games and Kostas Papanikolaou has missed 4-games with a knee sprain. While James Harden and Trevor Ariza have both dealt with back spasm, they have yet to sit out.

Even with all these injuries McHale has found ways to make his rotation work as the Rockets are off to an 18-5 record, and you could only think with a healthy team they’d be even tougher to beat. Donatas Moetiejunas, Tarik Black and Nick Johnson have been the guys to see their minutes increase with all the injuries and have pleasantly surprised.

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With all these injuries the Rockets aggressively trying to trade their TPE makes sense for the needed depth. Currently, the team has 15 players on the roster which is the maximum number of players. Therefore, if a trade is completed the Rockets would have to waive someone, or trade a player along with the TPE. Beverley and Black are the only players with non-guaranteed contracts this season, so it’s tough to see the Rockets waive anyone.

Currently 15th in the league in three-point shooting, the Rockets could look to acquire a wing player who can knock down the three, or play defense. Another option is acquiring a big man with all the time Howard misses with injuries. It’s been notified that the Rockets have been searching for that third all-star to join Howard and Harden – they missed out on key free agents like Chris Bosh this past summer. The chances of acquiring an all-star with the TPE is slim to none.

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Some trade options the Rockets may have are:

Brandon Bass – Boston Celtics

A power forward, Bass is making $6.9 million in the final year of his contract. The Rockets would most likely have to pitch in a draft pick or a young player to get the Celtics to budge, as Bass could bring them a bigger return closer to the trade deadline.

Joel Anthony – Detroit Pistons

Anthony would be an upgrade from Joey Dorsey, who’s seen minutes with Howard’s injury. Anthony is on the final year of his contract, making $3.8 million.

Samuel Dalembert – New York Knicks

Dalembert is also a free agent at season’s end, making $4 million this year. The Knicks don’t seem to be going anywhere, so Dalembert could bring them a draft pick, which the Knicks are in need of.

Landry Fields – Toronto Raptors

Fields has started the last three games for the Raptors, so his value to the Raptors has climbed. He’s quickly becoming a player that the Raptors would have traded before the deadline, but he’s becoming a valuable piece with DeMar DeRozan out. Fields is making $6.25 million in his final year.

Kosta Koufos – Memphis Grizzlies

With 1-year left, worth $3 million the Grizzlies have discussed Koufos with other teams. He might be out of reach for the Rockets as Koufos’ value seems to very high on the market.

Other options the Rockets may have is looking to sign free agent big man Jermaine O’Neal. It’s reported that O’Neal will decide by 2015 if he’ll return to the NBA. That is after the Rockets December, 19 deadline, but it’s an option if they go without using the TPE.

It has been quiet so far, and now there are only four days left till the Rockets internal deadline passes. Things could pick up over the coming days, but for now it seems the Rockets will be holding onto their TPE past December, 19.