Countdown to NBA trade deadline February 18: Should Rockets trade for….. Ryan Anderson?
Going into the 2015-2016 NBA season, Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets boasted in the fact that they had mostly kept in tact a roster that made it to last season’s Western Conference finals. Having only lost Josh Smith, the Rockets believed they had upgraded their talent in replacing Smith with Ty Lawson.
Unfortunately, as they now approach the the all-star break, the Rockets have lost confidence in the roster they started the season with. With the trade deadline just around the corner, it is likely that the Rockets’ roster will begin to feature new faces.
At this point, the only player not susceptible to trade rumors is Rockets superstar James Harden. That being the case, who should the Rockets have their eyes on?
Perhaps more than any other position this season, the Rockets have struggled at power forward. The Rockets still need a point guard– as Ty Lawson has yet to succeed, and Patrick Beverley is more of a three and D kinda guy– but play at that position, though it could be improved upon, has at least been somewhat consistent.
The more I watch the Rockets I'm not sure a trade can help. They need a power forward who can defend. Could they use another shooter?
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) January 30, 2016
Because of injuries to Donatas Motiejunas, and the inconsistent play of Terrence Jones, the Rockets have struggled to find a player to occupy the power forward position on a regular basis. For that reason, the Rockets have elected to go with interesting lineups at times– including a roster that features two centers, and a small ball lineup that bypasses playing a traditional power forward.
What the Rockets really need is a stretch four, who has enough size to help Dwight Howard rebound the ball, but who can also stretch the floor with his three-point shooting so that Harden and Howard have more room to operate in the paint.
In comes New Orleans Pelicans’ Ryan Anderson, who the Rockets have had their eyes on for years, and who is also a former teammate of Dwight Howard. Anderson is averaging 17 points this season, and is a career 38% shooter from three.
A stretch four of Anderson’s ability is one of the most sought after commodities in the NBA right now, and he would be a great addition to the Rockets.
Next: What Rockets Could Offer
What Rockets could offer
Houston Rockets – The Rockets would gain a coveted stretch four and a consistent point guard in Jarrett Jack, while unloading a struggling Lawson along with Terrence Jones’ expiring contract. If Lawson is unable to fill the point guard shoes the Rockets had hoped for, the Rockets might as well acquire the stretch four they are in desperate need of.
New Orleans Pelicans- The Pelicans would take a step up at shooting guard with Joe Johnson, but they would experience a fall off at the four taking in Terrence Jones. Still, because Anderson is likely to go elsewhere next season, the Pelicans might as well capitalize off of Anderson’s trade value.
Brooklyn Nets- The deal would be the least favorable for the Nets seeing that neither Ty Lawson or Eric Gordon are as good as Joe Johnson. But like Anderson in New Orleans, Johnson’s contract expires this year, and the Nets might as well try to trade him for something while they still can.
Next: Odds Trade Will Occur
Odds trade will occur:
The trade deadline is just a couple weeks away. While I believe the proposed trade makes sense for all teams involved, it is still just speculation.
The Rockets definitely have interest in Ryan Anderson, and there were even rumors that they were also intent on landing Jarrett Jack before he fell victim to an injury earlier this month.
The Pelicans and Nets also have interest in salvaging the expiring contracts of Ryan Anderson and Joe Johnson, respectively.
— House Of Houston (@HouseOfHouston) December 27, 2015
That being said, because the proposed trade is just speculation, and because nobody never knows what Morey has up his sleeve, I’d have to say the chances of the deal happening are pretty slim.
If the trade were to go through, I think the Rockets would see an immediate improvement with Anderson’s presence. His ability to knock down threes and space the floor are exactly what the team is looking for at that position.
If this particular trade doesn’t come to fruition, however, what you can count on is the Rockets making some sort of deal before the trade deadline.
With the trade deadline around the corner make sure you visit Space City Scoop daily for our trade series. Each day SCS will feature an article on who the Rockets should trade for or what it would take to part ways with the players currently on the roster. Finally we’ll assess the Rockets and each team in the Association in terms of what their needs are, if they should be buyers or sellers and also speculate on who would be the ideal trade target.