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
D’Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

2. The trade wouldn’t affect the Houston Rockets’ second overall draft pick

Although the Rockets would surely have to attach draft picks to give up either Eric Gordon or John Wall, they would almost certainly be able to reel in the former All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell without having to give up their second overall pick. Sure, Russell is a star-level player but he’s not to the caliber of a #2 pick, and the Wolves wouldn’t require that just to off-load him.

Furthermore, many draft experts have the Rockets drafting USC big man Evan Mobley, so acquiring Russell wouldn’t interfere with that, as they would still have that same need for a big man. But even if they were to draft Jalen Green with the second pick, they could still bring in Russell as a sixth man off the bench, much like he was used for a bulk of the 2020-21 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Over the last thre seasons, Russell has averaged 21.1 points per game, which is scoring productivity that Rockets coach Stephen Silas could put to use, irrespective of his role on the team. In addition, Russell has averaged 6.4 assists during that same span, which the Rockets would welcome, whether he’s in the starting lineup and feeding Christian Wood (and possibly Mobley) or whether he’s generating looks for others on the second unit.

Regardless of who the Rockets intend to select with the second pick, Russell could have a significant role on the team either way.