5 Rockets who are expendable, 2 they can't afford to trade

Sacramento Kings v Houston Rockets
Sacramento Kings v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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 Alperen Sengun

Alperen Sengun has not only been the Rockets' best player, he's also been one of the league's top players. Sengun has formed into the Rockets' closer, which was on display during the Rockets' loss at the Los Angeles Lakers, as he went head-to-head against LeBron James earlier in the season.

Sengun simply outmuscled one of the game’s greatest players ever with the game on the line.

Granted, Sengun didn’t fare as well in the second game against James and the Lakers (8-of-25 for 21 points), but he’s been very consistent this season for the Rockets, racking up 6 double-doubles, nine 20-point games, and two 30-point games. All in all, Sengun has averaged 21 points, 9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 54.4 percent from the field, and just a hair below 60 percent true-shooting. Sengun has already immersed himself as a top-25 player this season, which bodes well for his future, as he just turned 21-years-of-age in July.

 Fred VanVleet

Outside of Ime Udoka, Fred VanVleet has arguably been the most impactful player among the Rockets' new additions over the summer. Sure, we can talk about his inability to finish around the rim and his less-than-ideal shot selection, and if you're disgruntled about that, it's understandable. 

However, his playmaking (4th in assists at 9.1 per contest) and ability to run the pick-and-roll with Alperen Sengun covers up alot of that. Not to mention his defense and veteran leadership. Not to mention the fact that he's cut the turnovers down (11th in assist-to-turnover ratio), and the fact that his shooting ability (38 percent from three) allows the Rockets to pair him with Amen Thompson in the same lineup.