Rockets News

Houston Rockets face the Pelicans amid their Anthony Davis crisis

By Michael Knight
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 29: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots over Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during a NBA game at the Smoothie King Center on December 29, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 29: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots over Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during a NBA game at the Smoothie King Center on December 29, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets have been rolling recently and will look to stay hot as they face a division foe tonight in the Pelicans. Can they pick up a W against the team surrounded by trade rumors right now?

The Houston Rockets get a chance to take on an undermanned Pelicans team tonight and will look to win their fourth straight game. Their last three wins, against the Knicks, Raptors and Magic, have all come at the end of January as the Rockets are trying to finish the month strong.

Houston has struggled with the injury bug, to say the least, this season. They first lost Chris Paul for over a month at the end of December. Thankfully, he’s back now and will take a little bit of a bigger role tonight, according to Alykhan Bijani of the Athletic and Coach D’Antoni.

Chris Paul’s minutes will get to about 30 minutes tomorrow night according to Coach D’Antoni. #Rockets

— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) January 28, 2019

Eric Gordon has also missed some time due to injury and currently, key piece Clint Capela is out till after the All-Star Break. The Rockets are limping along, but are still finding ways to win games.

Anthony Davis issues

The Pelicans have plenty of their own problems heading into tonight’s contest. Purely on injuries alone, three of their best guys will be out tonight. Nikola Mirotic, who killed the Rockets on Opening Night, is out with a strained calf. Julius Randle, notorious Rocket-killer, also is out with a sprained ankle. The big name that is out, though, is Anthony Davis, who is nursing a left index finger sprain and a trade request.

Wait, a trade request?

Indeed, that’s the truth. The Pelicans got word that their superstar and consensus top-6 player in the league wants out of New Orleans. After not being able to put sufficient teams around the Brow, it was only a matter of time before this happened.

Agent Rich Paul has notified the New Orleans Pelicans that All-NBA forward Anthony Davis has no intention of signing a contract extension if and when presented and that he has requested a trade, Paul told ESPN on Monday.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2019

With Davis sidelined due to injury and this trade request coming out, you have to wonder if we’ll see another game for him in a Pelicans jersey. The deadline is February 7th, which is coming up quickly.

Could the Rockets make a run at him?

The Houston Rockets are lucky to have a front office that will go after any sort of edge to make the team closer to a championship. Having Anthony Davis available via trade is the edge that any team is looking for, so you have to think Houston will be in on him at least some.

The big issue here is that the Rockets don’t have near the assets that other teams will be willing to trade. The Lakers (now) and the Celtics (in the summer) can give multiple young players that have All-Star potential. Those are looking like some of the favorites to land the Brow.

The Rockets can put together a package that includes Clint Capela along with Eric Gordon and multiple first-round picks. Maybe the Pelicans could see value in future first-rounders, as the best window for the Rockets is in these next two seasons.

Kenneth Faried as thriving in his role. Next

More likely than not, though, the Rockets will not walk away with Anthony Davis. They should probably instead focus on smaller pieces that will help the team improve, like a defensive minded 3-point shooting wing. But how fun would CP3, Harden and Davis be?

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