Houston Rockets trade deadline don’t #2: Give up first-round picks
The Rockets shouldn’t look to give up their first-round picks at the deadline. It’s not that they shouldn’t use any first-round picks, it’s that they shouldn’t surrender any of their own picks.
The best part about acquiring other people’s draft picks is when you use them, you’re essentially spending other people’s money. The Rockets have a lot of other people’s money and they shouldn’t hesitate to spend it.
The Rockets have the Bucks 2023 first-round pick and the Trail Blazers 2021 first-round pick. Those picks project to be outside the lottery and if a quality player is available then they should cash them in for a player of value.
However, what the Russell Westbrook trade has shown is that giving up your own picks is a dangerous business because if things go south in a hurry then you’re left with few options. The Rockets need to protect their own remaining picks like a mother bear.
Unless Bradley Beal suddenly has an urge to come to Houston then the Rockets shouldn’t entertain any of their first-round picks, even if it could land them a player like Aaron Gordon. The Rockets are building for the future and they need to hold onto all of their own assets in case they embark on a drawn-out rebuild.
Next: Trade deadline do #1