4 Trade targets the Houston Rockets should avoid at all costs this summer

It's too late for the Houston Rockets to acquire Jimmy Butler
It's too late for the Houston Rockets to acquire Jimmy Butler / Tim Warner/GettyImages
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There's been a lot of talk about who the Houston Rockets should trade for.

It's that time of year. Rockets fans have little else to think about. So, they're busy envisioning their team with their preferred star player on the roster ahead of 2024-25.

Here, we're going to rain on some parades. Spoiler: we're about to play the spoiler. It's easy to produce fan fiction about all the superstar players the Rockets could acquire.

Here are 4 potential trade targets they need to avoid this summer.

1. Darius Garland

If this was last summer, we might be more open to a Garland deal.

After all, he averaged 21.6 points and 7.8 assists on a sterling 58.7 True Shooting % (TS%) that season. Unfortunately, time doesn't only heal wounds - it can open them up as well. In 2023-24, Garland averaged 18.0 points and 6.5 assists with a 56.0 TS%.

Player Efficiency Rating (PER) tells an even grimmer tale. Garland had a PER of 18.8 in 2022-23, and just 14.5 last season. A PER of 15.0 represents a league-average player.

We can hear the hipsters now - "imagine using PER in the year of our Lord 2024". The broader point holds. Garland suffered a steep decline in 2023-24.

Now, it seems the Cavaliers will look to move him. Garland is a young, talented player. He's also redundant alongside Fred VanVleet. With no assurances that he'll hit his previous levels, the Rockets should avoid investing assets in Garland this summer.