3 reasons why the Rockets should trade for D’Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets, John Wall #1 (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

3. The move could help the Houston Rockets off-load John Wall or Eric Gordon

When the Rockets acquired John Wall prior to the start of the 2020-21 season, the move was made following reports that James Harden preferring playing with Wall than Russell Westbrook, who Wall was replacing. However, Harden was moved to the Brooklyn Nets shortly after, as the addition of Wall did little to change Harden’s desire to leave the Space City.

Although Wall had his moments, the truth remains that a soon-to-be 31-year-old point guard doesn’t exactly fit in with a rebuilding team such as the Rockets. This is especially the case, considering the youth movement of the Rockets, which will only continue, considering how they have three first-round draft picks in this month’s draft.

To make room for D’Angelo Russell’s $30 million, the Rockets could possibly throw in John Wall, although it would take additional draft capital, as the Wolves would certainly require at least one of the Rockets’ later picks in the first round. Sure, there is a familiarity with Wolves GM Gersson Rosas, who previously worked for the Rockets, but Rosas isn’t going to just take on Wall without forcing the Rockets to attach assets and/or sweeteners.

For the Rockets, this would easily be worth it, as they would be freed from Wall’s remaining $91.6 million. For the Wolves, they would be getting draft capital for a player they likely view as replaceable, as Russell isn’t going to help them compete any time soon.

Even if the Wolves don’t have interest in Wall, Eric Gordon could also present an appealing option, as he’s owed $37 million for the next two years, with a non-guaranteed final year in 2023. Rosas has familiarity with Gordon, as he was with the Rockets during Gordon’s 2016-17 Sixth Man of the Year campaign and also during Gordon’s 2019 postseason, in which he was one of the Rockets’ most consistent players, averaging 17.8 points and shooting 40 percent from three on 8.6 attempts per game.