The NBA trade deadline is a little over a month away, but the Houston Rockets and other teams are already evaluating their current rosters. The Rockets are a team in a weird situation. They are currently out of the playoffs but still close enough to believe they have a chance to make it and not far enough away from a top-four seed to consider major changes.
With players like Victor Oladipo and P.J. Tucker on the last year of their deals, a trade involving one or both is becoming increasingly likely with the team’s current state. Even if the team fights for a playoff spot and decides not to pack it this year, trading both players could still yield an upgrade, especially in Oladipo’s case, which is still considered an above-average player in the league.
When Oladipo was traded to Houston, both sides acknowledged that it would be a test run the first few weeks to see if it is a basketball fit for both sides. As the trade deadline looms next month, the Rockets need to be ready when the next under-the-radar star becomes available, and it may be time to look into those trade possibilities now.
If John Collins is available, the Rockets need to be aggressive
The Atlanta Hawks reportedly have a “willingness to listen” to trade offers for the fourth-year big man out of Wake Forrest, John Collins. The Houston Rockets are still evaluating their own roster, and a player like Collins, who is only 23, would fit in perfectly next to their own emerging star big man, Christian Wood.
According to Cleaning the Glass, the Hawks are 12.6 points worse on defense when Collins is not on the floor. That mark is in the 97 percentile and shows the tremendous improvement Collin’s has made on defense since last year.
Collins isn’t just a defensive stalwart, he is shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range and has the ability to score in the post. With his 3-point range, it would open the floor for Wood and the other Rockets.
However, with the Hawks, Collins’ scoring has gone down because Clint Capela has clogged the paint due to his inability to score from outside. With the Rockets, that would not be an issue because Wood is almost as good from 3-point range as Collins’ is.
John Collins would be a perfect long term building block for the Rockets to pair with Christian Wood. Here are three trades that could bring John Collins to the Houston Rockets.
Next: Trade #3