10 players the Rockets can add through trade exceptions

Mo Bamba #5 of the Orlando Magic (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Mo Bamba #5 of the Orlando Magic (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Tristan Thompson #13 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets trade target #5: Tristan Thompson

Although Tristan Thompson is in his first season with the Boston Celtics, it’s been speculated that he could be on the move already. At 13-12, the C’s are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference and have gone 5-9 in their last 14 games.

The Celtics’ slow start to the season has prompted general manager Danny Ainge to consider the team’s necessary roster adjustments, as stated by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

“Late Saturday evening, I received a flurry of texts from multiple executives around the league who said the Celtics were up to something. What they’re up to is unclear, but league sources have long said Boston is searching for upgrades to bolster its wing and big man position.”

The fact that Boston isn’t exactly thrilled with their production at the big man position would seem to mean that they’d be willing to get rid of Thompson, who is only receiving 22 minutes per contest, which isn’t exactly indicative of a team’s big free agent acquisition. Although Thompson has recently been removed from the starting lineup, he has played well this season, averaging 11 points and 13.3 rebounds per 36 minutes.

One of Thompson’s biggest strengths is his ability to crash the glass on the offensive end, as he finished fourth in both total offensive rebounds and offensive rebound percentage last season. Thompson averaged four offensive rebounds per game in each of the last two seasons and is averaging 2.8 offensive rebounds this season as well, which is more than anyone on the Rockets have averaged this season.

Thompson is making $9.2 million this season and is under contract next season at a figure of $9.7 million, making him a possibility for the Rockets because of the James Harden trade exception. The Rockets have clearly been in need of another big man this season and Thompson would allow the team to go into next season without having to identify another big man, in spite of the potential departure of DeMarcus Cousins.

Next: No. 4