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Houston Rockets: Ranking the contenders with the most assets

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 18: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball against LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter at Staples Center on February 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 18: James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles the ball against LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter at Staples Center on February 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. 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 Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
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Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors, Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors, Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets trade contenders #10 to #8

This group of three could all use a little help to bolster their odds in the playoffs but their asset cupboards are relatively bare. Each team has the ammunition to swing a trade but doing so will make any further moves very difficult.

#10: Milwaukee Bucks: 16-12 – Draft Picks: Own 2021, 2023

The Milwaukee Bucks’ record is a bit of an illusion, as their net-rating is the second-best in the league, and they are in the least need of an upgrade. This franchise is in championship or bust mode but after sending out so many picks to land Jrue Holiday this past offseason they’ll likely want to hold onto their remaining first-round picks.

#9: Golden State Warriors: 16-13 – Draft Picks: Min 2021 pick (top-4 protected), own 2021 if in the top-20, own 2022,23,27

The Golden State Warriors own one of the most valuable assets in the entire league, the Minnesota Timberwolves 2021 first-round pick, and it seems unlikely that they will cash that in for a rental. The Warriors are a playoff team but because Klay Thompson is set to miss the season it appears more likely that they’ll engage in trade talks in the offseason to build the best possible team for 2022.

#8: Phoenix Suns: 17-10 – Draft Picks: Own 2021, 26, 27

The final team on this list, the Phoenix Suns, have the most reason to be aggressive using their draft capital to upgrade their roster. The Suns are still clearly not serious threats to the Lakers, Clippers, or Jazz in the Western Conference. If they want to make a deep playoff run this team will need to bolster their roster.

It cannot be forgotten that the Suns are relying heavily on Chris Paul who only has so many All-Star caliber seasons left. This is a franchise that has three young cornerstone players and giving up future picks down the line won’t come rear their head when the team is atrocious and in need of picks.

The Suns might not be able to add an Oladipo sized salary but they should be in on P.J. Tucker who had a successful stint in Phoenix. The Bucks are tenth because they don’t really need much help and don’t have many assets, the Warriors are ninth because while they need help it’s unlikely that this is the season they go all in, and the Suns are eighth because they need an upgrade but it’d mean they’re all in for this season.

Next: Enough assets contenders: Teams #7 to #5

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