Scenario 1: The Conservative Route
With the core of Russell Westbrook and James Harden just being created this season, Daryl Morey and the Rockets’ front office may still believe that this dynamic duo is good enough to lead the Rockets to a push in the playoffs.
One possible scenario, and maybe the most likely, would be the Rockets completely blowing up the roster around Westbrook and Harden. The highlight of this rebuild would be the departure of Eric Gordon.
Actually, in any rebuilding scenario, it might almost be certain that Gordon would be moved from the Rockets roster. He’s been a great player for the team, however, his contract is just too big for the Rockets to hold onto, especially with James and Russell now taking up a lot of the cap space.
One potential trade I could see happening is Gordon being moved to the Orlando Magic for Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu.
The Rockets’ reasoning for making this acquisition would be to create more depth for this Rockets small-ball lineup by adding big, strong, agile forwards who can also shoot from 3-point land.
The Magic’s reasoning for acquiring Gordon would be to add more scoring to their team that’s currently 27th in the NBA in points per game and to spread the floor out more for their young core of Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic.
Other Potential Moves for the Rockets
Some other moves that the Rockets could make in this rebuilding scenario would be releasing some players that weren’t used much or don’t really fit in the current system run by Mike D’Antoni. These players would include Thabo Sefolosha, Tyson Chandler, and DeMarre Carroll.
Another release the Rockets could potentially make is letting go of Ben McLemore. Although he was lights out from 3-point range this season, he wasn’t really effective on the defensive end, which is what Houston needs.
McLemore’s release, along with the rest of the players who would be let go, would allow Houston to open up just enough cap space to sign one more key piece to the roster.
Scenario 1: Win-Loss Prediction: 50-32
Playoffs Prediction: Loss in Western Conference Finals
Next: Scenario 2