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3 players the Rockets can get in a P.J. Tucker trade

P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets trade target #1: Lonzo Ball

This trade is much different than the others, as it’s a three-team trade, which could make it more difficult to pull off. In this deal, the Brooklyn Nets land Tucker, who would bring much needed defense to a Nets team that ranks 27th in defensive rating, which will certainly have to improve if they want to have a shot at winning a title.

The Nets would also get back utility player Danuel House, who has proven to be a positive on the defensive end, and has made 37.1 percent of his threes since joining the Rockets in 2018. The Nets give up Spencer Dinwiddie and a 2021 second-round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans, who would benefit from adding a player like Dinwiddie, as he’d bring a veteran presence to a young Pelicans team, due to his seven years in the league.

Dinwiddie also brings postseason experience, which can’t be said about many of the Pelicans’ core players. Such a move would also reunite Dinwiddie with Stan Van Gundy, who coached Dinwiddie in 2015-16 with the Detroit Pistons, which is the only season in which Detroit made the playoffs under Van Gundy.

For the Rockets, adding Lonzo Ball would be a plus, as it would present another playmaking guard, which the Rockets don’t have much of, outside of John Wall. Ball is averaging 14.3 points, 5 assists, and 4.3 rebounds this season, and averaged 11.8 points, 7 assists, and 6.1 rebounds just last season.

Ball has quietly developed a 3-point shot throughout his four years in the league and has had improvements in 3-point efficiency in each season, as outlined below:

  • 2017-18-30.5 percent from three
  • 2018-19-32.9 percent from three
  • 2019-20-37.5 percent from three
  • 2020-21-39.1 percent from three

Ball leads the Pelicans in made 3-pointers this season, which further illustrates how he’s added that element to his game. If there was a drawback to adding Ball, it’s the fact that he becomes a restricted free agent at the end of this season, and there will certainly be interest in the 23-year-old guard, but the Rockets would have the final say in whether to match an offer or not.

For House, Tucker, and a first-round pick, the Houston Rockets would be wise to make this move, and each team wins with this deal.

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