Scenario 2: Letting Go of Small Ball
Daryl Morey and the Rockets’ front office took analytics to the extreme and went all-in on small-ball this season in the hopes of bringing home a championship. Anything less than a ring this season would mean that this extreme analytical approach would be a bust.
Sure, the sample size of this micro-ball experiment might be small due to the pandemic, but the goal of conducting it was to bring home an NBA title. If the Rockets can’t do that, then the experiment is a failure.
A loss in the playoffs may spark the idea to go back to what the Rockets had before they acquired Westbrook: a team with two dominant ball-handlers who can shoot well, more 3-point shooters surrounding them and a big who can run the pick and roll.
In order to get back to this style, the Rockets would likely need to trade one of their star ball-handlers away.
Getting Bradley Beal on the Rockets
A potential deal the Rockets could make in this scenario would be a blockbuster trade with the Washington Wizards. The Rockets would acquire Bradley Beal and Thomas Bryant from the Wizards in exchange for Russell Westbrook and a future second-round pick.
Beal has been caught up in a lot of trade rumors in the past few months, and with the Rockets looking to restructure their roster, this move makes sense. The Wizards would get an elite talent in Russell Westbrook back on their team, and the Rockets would get a star in Bradley Beal to pair with James Harden. The Rockets would also receive a big man who can run the pick and roll in Thomas Bryant.
With the Rockets already having a great group of wings on their team, this deal they would make for Beal and Bryant would likely be the only one they would have to make. Now, the Rockets would have two primary ball-handlers who can both shoot, and both can run the pick and roll with an athletic big man in Thomas Bryant.