5 Players the Houston Rockets should target before the trade deadline
Houston Rockets Trade Target #4: Denzel Valentine, 3-and-D help
The Rockets have plenty of great defenders and plenty of great 3-point shooters but short of Victor Frankenstein becoming the team doctor and sowing Ben McLemore to David Nwaba the team lacks a true 3-and-D player. A low-cost option that the Rockets need to explore is Denzel Valentine of the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls shouldn’t be trying to make the playoffs so flipping Valentine for a draft pick is something they should be receptive to. Valentine’s contract is for only $4.6 million which means he can head to Houston without the Rockets having to offload any money.
Is Valentine as good a defender as David Nwaba or Jae’Sean Tate or as good a shooter as Ben McLemore or Mason Jones? The answer is no, but he is good enough at both defending and shooting that he should be able to slide into the starting rotation and help open up the offense.
Valentine is shooting 37.9-percent on 3-pointers, has a career 40.6-percent mark on corner threes, and his on-off numbers have been tremendous this season. The cost for acquiring Valentine shouldn’t be exorbitant and would likely only cost the Rockets multiple second-round picks or a highly protected first-round pick.
The Rockets, for the first time in ages, have assets that they can use to bolster the roster. Using them to snag Denzel Valentine for a playoff run is the type of low-cost move asset-rich teams should make.
Next: Trade Target #3