The Houston Rockets will have a complicated path in their pursuit of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, but could the Rockets turn to a former employee to help pull this off?
It’s been well documented that the Houston Rockets have interest in Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, but the Rockets don’t necessarily have the ability to pull off such a move due to their financial constraints. It’ll definitely be impossible to land RoCo if Rockets’ owner Tilman Fertitta is set on dodging the luxury tax.
But the Rockets will likely have to trade a package including Nene, Gerald Green, Thabo Sefolosha, and either Isaiah Hartenstein or Gary Clark to even have a chance from a mathematical standpoint. This will be impossible to pull off without the help of the Minnesota Timberwolves because in order for them to bring in four players to their payroll, they would have to create the roster space. So the question is whether the Wolves will assist the Rockets in the Covington chase.
First starters, it’s worth mentioning the connections between the Wolves’ front office and the Houston Rockets’ front office. If you recall, T-Wolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas spent 16 years with the Houston Rockets prior to leaving to take the opportunity with the T-Wolves. Rosas was the right hand man of current general manager Daryl Morey, which forced the Rockets to divide his duties upon his departure.
But obviously Rosas’ main priority is running the Wolves and making them better, so he surely wants the best package possible for Covington. Granted, we haven’t necessarily heard anything about any other teams having interest in Covington but you’d have to assume we will if the Wolves make it known that Covington is available.
If the Rockets offer Rosas enough draft picks, would it make it worth it for him to create the necessary roster space for the Rockets’ package of upto four players? It’s worth noting that if the Rockets include Nene the Wolves could simply waive him and not be tied to his bonuses, which is a nice caveat. In this regard, Rosas would essentially be receiving assets for a player he won’t even have to keep on the roster.
On top of that, it’s not like Covington’s presence has lifted the Wolves into contender status, so from that standpoint it would be worth it for Rosas anyways. But the Rockets will have to hope Rosas will help his good friend Daryl Morey, because the Rockets’ pursuit of Covington was instantly made more difficult when the NBA reversed course on Nene’s outgoing salary.
Either way, we likely won’t find out the answer until January 15th, because that’s the earliest date in which Nene can be moved. But it’ll be really interesting to see if Rosas decides to help his former employer.