Houston Rocket trade value #6: D.J. Augustin
The Rockets did a shrewd bit of business when they acquired D.J. Augustin this season as part of the P.J. Tucker trade. While Tucker’s defense has been lauded in these playoffs against Kevin Durant he spent most of the season looking like a shell of the player he once was.
The Rockets, as part of the P.J. Tucker deal, swapped their 2021 second-round pick for the Bucks first-round pick and swapped their 2022 Bucks first-round pick for the Bucks’ 2023 first-round pick. For the Rockets to improve their asset situation they had to take on Augustin’s contract, which was deemed a sunk cost by the title contenders.
Last season, Augustin produced 0 VORP but it should be noted that a replacement player, someone found on a 10-day contract or the G-League, is a -2 VORP player. Augustin doesn’t raise your team’s ceiling in any way but he also won’t completely tank your chances.
D.J. Augustin, at this stage in his career, has no real business being on a title contender but he isn’t a completely useless player either. Any playoff hopeful in need of a backup point guard could do a lot worse than the 12 year NBA veteran.
Augustin is set to make $7 million next season and has a non-guaranteed $7.3 million coming to him in 2022-23. Augustin, for all intents and purposes, is on a one-year deal worth a little more $7 million, which means his contract isn’t prohibitive to acquire.
Chances are the Rockets will receive calls for Augustin either this offseason or ahead of next season’s trade deadline. The cost of landing him won’t be more than a second-round pick unless a team has an injury crisis or Augustin turns back the clock.
At the end of the day, Augustin is just an extension of the P.J. Tucker trade. If he is traded for a second-round pick then the Rockets will have turned Tucker into an extra first and second-round pick, which isn’t a bad haul considering Tucker was posting career-worst numbers this past season.
Next: Trade value #5