Countdown to NBA trade deadline February 18: What it would take for the Houston Rockets to trade Trevor Ariza
During the summer of 2014 many Houston Rockets fans were disappointed to see forward Chandler Parsons sign with their I-45 rivals, the Dallas Mavericks in free agency. Parsons left a huge void to fill at small forward which Houston decided to fill by bringing back veteran Trevor Ariza from the Washington Wizards.
Ariza’s signing was a mostly unpopular decision among Rockets fans, who criticized Houston for re-signing the veteran player. Many thought Ariza was going to become another disappointment just like his first stint in 2010.
Looking back, the departure of Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming put the Rockets in the midst of a rebuilding stage. At the time fans saw Trevor Ariza as a sign of a new era, but when he failed to meet those expectations they became disenchanted with the small forward. After failing to reach the playoffs that season, Ariza was traded to the New Orleans Hornets in a four team, five player deal.
Cut to the second iteration and while the Mavericks witnessed Chandler Parsons’ decline, and later saw his season end early due to a knee injury, Houston quickly realized that Ariza was a much better fit than Parsons. Other than James Harden and a healthy Dwight Howard, Ariza played the most significant role for the Rockets last season. Appearing in all 82 games, he averaged 12.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and posted a career high 1.9 steals.
Unfortunately, the Rockets have not experienced the same level of success this season, and it might be time to start rebuilding. Averaging 12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and steals this season, Ariza has arguably been the most reliable and consistent player during the Rockets inconsistent season.
If Howard is traded or walks during free agency, Superman’s departure will leave Houston with another huge void to fill. With reports that the Milwaukee Bucks currently have Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams on the trading block, perhaps it may be the best available trade for the 2009 NBA champion. (Los Angeles Lakers)
What Rockets Could offer
While acquiring Greg Monroe, Houston will continue having a solid presence down on the low post. At 25 years old, Monroe would be a better big for the Rockets. Especially if Howard leaves. Since Monroe is younger and faster, the Rockets would be able to play at a rapid pace, without slowing the game down for their center.
In just five years, Monroe has established himself as one of the league’s up and coming big men. Averaging 16.7 points on 55 percent shooting, the best part about Monroe’s game is his mid range scoring. With Monroe’s ability to score from 15 feet, the high pick and roll offense with James Harden, will make Houston a tough team to stop.
Adding Michael Carter-Williams to the Rockets may be the best move for his career. Despite winning rookie of the year in 2014, Carter-Williams has yet to find the opportunity to showcase his abilities. Since 2014, he has shown the potential to become a good point guard thanks to his play making abilities. Perhaps Harden will have a bit more trust in sharing the ball with Carter-Williams than in Ty Lawson.
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On the defensive end, both Carter-Williams and Greg Monroe would be an upgrade to the Rockets defense. As a point guard who stands 6’6, Carter-Williams will have the size advantages on most guards in the Western Conference. Since entering the league three years ago, he has ranked among the league leaders in steals with a career averaged of 1.8 per game.
For Milwaukee, they could use the veteran leadership of Trevor Ariza, to help rising stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Ariza would mesh perfectly in the Bucks’ small ball offense. Since J.B. Bickerstaff lineup change, Ariza has had one of the best scoring stints of his career. Over the past 10 games, he has averaged 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, while shooting 47.4 percent from the field.
Ariza has proved even if he is undersized, he can be a legit stretch four. If he is added into their offense, look for Ariza to become their second leading scorer, no longer playing alongside James Harden.
If Ty Lawson is added, the Bucks would have a consistent point guard, and no longer have to trust O.J. Mayo as their primary ball handler. Lawson can still play at a high level despite having his worst season since his rookie year. Playing in Jason Kidd‘s system would create the best opportunity to get his career back on the right track. Kidd can also become a great mentor who can help Lawson overcome his legal issues, and regain his status as one of the NBA’s top play makers.
Odds trade will occur:
Both the Rockets are Bucks are in a tough situation as the trade deadline quickly approaches.
This trade seems to be a long shot, but it does not hurt to try. As frustrating as this season has been, the Houston Rockets should be willing to try their luck with any player. Especially if the Dwight Howard era comes to an end sooner than anyone expected.
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.