After recently signing Austin Rivers, the Houston Rockets continue to shop the trade market and are reportedly interested in Justin Holiday of the Chicago Bulls.
The Houston Rockets have been linked to Jimmy Butler, Kent Bazemore and even J.R. Smith, among others, in recent months. The Rockets missed out on Butler, as Minnesota’s asking price was too high for the star wing, but that hasn’t stopped the team from looking for additional talent in the trade market.
Houston’s latest target, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, is Justin Holiday of the Chicago Bulls. Additionally, the Bulls would prefer to include Jabari Parker in a package with Holiday or Bulls center Robin Lopez, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
This season, Holiday is averaging 11.8 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 36.2 percent from the 3-point line. Just 13.1 percent of Holiday’s 387 shot attempts have been mid-range jumpers this season. Furthermore, he’s shooting a sizzling 41.9 percent on corner 3-pointers, making him an excellent fit in Houston’s offense.
Justin Holiday is 29 years old, and he will turn 30 on April 5. The 10-27 Bulls are clearly in the beginning of a rebuild, so trading away Holiday makes sense for the team both on the court and on the balance sheet. Holiday signed a very budget friendly two-year, $9 million contract in July of 2017. If he proves to be a good fit with Houston, the team could re-sign him this summer. If Holiday doesn’t work out with the Rockets, the team can simply let him walk as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in July.
In the past, the Rockets were reportedly willing to split with four draft picks in exchange for Jimmy Butler. In a potential deal for Holiday, a filler along with a draft pick should get the deal done.
If Chicago really is committed to moving Parker along with Holiday, that would make a potential deal a lot more tricky for the Rockets. Parker hasn’t played in the last eight Bulls games, as Chicago doesn’t want him on the floor while they look for a trade partner for former second overall pick.
On July 14, 2018, Parker signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Bulls. The 23-year-old was supposed to be apart of Chicago’s long-term plans, but after just 29 games with the team, the Bulls are ready to move on.
Fortunately, Parker’s contract has a 2019 Club Option. If the Rockets were to trade for Parker and Holiday, they could decide to not pick up Parker’s contract for next season, making him a free agent. Parker isn’t the best defender in the world, but he can score at a relatively high level and he could give Houston’s bench a big boost.
If the Bulls were willing to take on Brandon Knight, some additional fillers and a first round draft pick, it could be a good deal for both parties. The Rockets get additional wing depth and Chicago would receive a draft pick so they can build towards the future.
But Houston has to be careful not to give up too much in a deal with Chicago, as neither one of these players moves the needle enough to warrant trading away a key piece.