Why Rockets may not grant McHale his wish
McHale has been vocal about the Rockets’ small ball approach, as he had the Rockets picked to lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the opening round of the playoffs, due to the Rockets’ lack of size. It’s also not surprising that McHale, who was a Hall of Fame big man himself, is pushing for the re-birth of the big man.
But the Rockets will have an uphill battle as it pertains to adding a quality big man, aside from fringe players who can be added on the margins. The Rockets are currently in financial trouble, as pointed out by Rockets salary cap enthusiast David Weiner.
LUXURY TAX UPDATE: Based on a flat cap/tax level (the prevailing wisdom at the moment), if the Rockets JUST keep the guys under contract (Rivers opts in; they retain McLemore, Nwaba & Clemons at the min) & re-sign Jeff Green *for the vet min*, they will already be over the tax.
— David Weiner (@BimaThug) September 13, 2020
If the Rockets want to trade for a top-tier big man, they’ll likely have to include the likes of Eric Gordon, Danuel House, and/or P.J. Tucker, as they lack the necessary assets outside of those three players to draw interest around the league. Granted, this will all be dependent on the salary of said player, if they pursue a big man via trade.
What also complicates matters for the Rockets is their lack of draft capital, which is partly due to the Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington trades.
Those two trades saw the Rockets part with a total of five first-round draft picks, which entails their 2020 1st round pick, 2021 1st round pick, 2024 1st round pick, 2025 1st round pick, and 2026 1st round pick.
Adding top-tier big men would certainly behoove Morey and the Rockets, but it will be a tough task for the Rockets to pull off. At least not without parting with Eric Gordon or P.J. Tucker, which could arguably set the team back.