According to a report, the Houston Rockets expect to trade at least one of Clint Capela, P.J. Tucker or Eric Gordon before the start of next season.
After a blockbuster report was dropped last week, stating that Daryl Morey had made the entire Rockets roster available for trade, it appears as if Houston has gained clarity on who they will move in a potential deal.
According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Rockets are still exploring the market for every player on the roster outside of James Harden. Recently, Morey himself confirmed that both Harden and his back court mate Chris Paul will be in Houston next season.
It’s no surprise that Houston isn’t looking to move Harden, but it is surprising that Morey confirmed that Paul will be back next season. At 34 years of age and with $125 million left on his contract, the Rockets probably won’t get a substantial return for Paul in a deal, so perhaps they prefer to keep the back court together and beef up their supporting cast.
In Stein’s report, he said that Houston has been specifically shopping Clint Capela, P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon. He also mentioned that the mood around the team is that at least one of those three will be traded this summer.
In the postseason, Capela was probably the least valuable player of that group, especially in the Warriors’ series.
One could argue that Gordon was Houston’s most consistent player in the playoffs. He averaged 17.8 points on 40 percent shooting from downtown in the postseason and his defense on Donovan Mitchell in the first round was absolutely phenomenal. Tucker was just as good, shooting 45.5 percent from downtown and leading the team in minutes at 38.7 per game. Mike D’Antoni gave Tucker more court time than even James Harden, which proves just how valuable his defense, rebounding and hustle is to this team.
Clint Capela is also an extremely valuable player. He is the team’s best rebounder and shot blocker and his ability to rim-run at an elite level helps create space for Houston’s perimeter shooters. With that being said, Capela’s numbers in the playoffs were disappointing and he really struggles to produce against the Warriors.
Houston’s center position is largely plug-and-play and most athletic big men in the league would succeed as the man in the middle with the Rockets. Kenneth Faried averaged a double-double in games he started with the Rockets, even though he was previously a bench warmer for the Brooklyn Nets and is a true power forward.
It’ll be interesting to see what big move (or moves) the Rockets make over the offseason.