Houston Rockets: Why they should trade David Nwaba
The Rockets have been looking to offload players on expiring deals this season and Nwaba fits that bill. P.J. Tucker and Victor Oladipo have been the two Rockets rumored to be on their way out but Nwaba has actually been better than those two and is on a much more manageable contract.
Oladipo is owed $21 million this season and Tucker $7.9 million, but Nwaba’s salary only comes in at $1.8 million. While $1.8 million is not nothing, it is a salary that even the most salary capped teams could easily manage.
Nwaba isn’t the offensive player that Oladipo is but almost every contending team already has the firepower they need to compete. However, compared to P.J. Tucker, Nwaba is a much more appealing trade candidate.
At their respective stages in their careers, Nwaba is a better defensive player and likely a better offensive player. The only thing preventing Nwaba from being the most hotly contested trade piece in the league has been his spotty 3-point shooting.
Nwaba has never been a knock-down 3-point shooter but even his 27-percent shooting from deep this season comes in well below his career average of 32.3-percent. In a better offensive ecosystem, it’s likely Nwaba would see an uptick in his 3-point shooting and he has always been a proficient finisher at the rim.
Before Nwaba’s wrist injury the Rockets could have easily secured a first-round pick for him and as long as he’s back for the stretch run then that could still be in play. The Rockets should trade Nwaba for the simple reason that he is one of their most valuable trade assets at the moment.
The Rockets aren’t going to compete for anything this season and that’s not likely to change next season. When the Rockets signed Nwaba fresh off an Achilles injury the organization would have been ecstatic if they learned they turned him into a first-round pick.
Nwaba is an excellent player in his prime that could land a good return and the Rockets shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to cash in. However, good players are hard to replace and the Rockets and Nwaba could be eyeing an extension.
Next: Why the Rockets should re-sign Nwaba