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3 trades the Houston Rockets need to make for Bradley Beal

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Capital One Arena on January 31, 2021 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Capital One Arena on January 31, 2021 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
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Houston Rockets
Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards, James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The moment the Houston Rockets sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets their offense was in trouble. It should come as no surprise but James Harden is a nearly irreplaceable offensive force.

His ability to score efficiently while shouldering a sky-high usage is what makes for a dominant offensive player. However, what separates Harden from the field isn’t his ability to hit shots but rather his ability to draw shooting fouls.

Harden over the course of his Rockets’ career was never near the top of the league in field-goal percentage or 3-point shooting. He was just slightly better than the league average on those shots but he was able to add 8.9 points a game from the line.

Free throws are not free, they are earned, and no one in the league is better at earning them than James Harden. As soon as Harden went out the door so did all of those points from the line.

In the eight games that Harden started for the Rockets, the team averaged 24 free throw attempts a game but that number has dipped to 20.3 since his departure. The Rockets offensive rating before the Harden trade was 109.8 points per 100 possessions, since then it has been 107.4.

The Rockets have lost 2.4 points per 100 possessions and 3.7 free-throw attempts a game.  Harden has converted 85.9-percent of his career free throw attempts, which makes the drop on offense primarily being owed to the loss of James Harden’s trips to the line.

Related Story. 3 ways Stephen Silas can fix the offense

The Rockets’ defense is elite but they need a new offensive force to become a contender once again. Fortunately, there might be another offensive superstar that is available and the Rockets need to pounce.

Next: Why the Rockets need to trade for Bradley Beal

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