2. Derrick White
Derrick White would be an ideal fit on the Houston Rockets but it would be challenging to get the San Antonio Spurs to send him away. White is averaging 10 points per game off the bench for the Spurs and is playing 23.8 minutes per game, which is fifth-most on the Spurs. White is also shooting 37.8 percent from deep, which is the fourth-most on the Spurs.
To put that in perspective, White would be the second-best 3-point shooter on the Houston Rockets and would certainly get more than the 2.6 3-point attempts he’s averaging per night. Although the Rockets don’t necessarily need another guard, White’s 6-foot-4 frame would fit well with Mike D’Antoni’s small-ball lineups.
On the defensive end of the floor, White’s defensive win shares would be sixth-best on the Houston Rockets and his defensive field goal percentage would also rank sixth on the Houston Rockets. From a contractual standpoint, he’s making $1.9 million this season, which would be fairly easy for the Rockets to match.
The Houston Rockets could trade Gerald Green and Chris Clemons to make the salaries match or they could simply trade Nene, but the Spurs would certainly demand a draft pick or two, which the Spurs would put to good use. The Spurs are one of the best at maximizing on draft picks, if not the best, so draft capital would certainly seem to appeal to the Spurs.
If there is any potential motive for the Spurs to trade away the third-year guard, it’s the fact that he’s set to become a restricted free agent after the 2020-21 season, and could possibly land a larger contract than the small-market Spurs are wanting to pay White. This would especially be the case if a big-market team comes in with an offer, but this is a trade that would be difficult for the Rockets to pull off.
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