7 recent events that show Rockets need a wake-up call

Celebrities Attend Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets
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4. Pelicans land Josh Richardson in deadline deal with Spurs

Josh Richardson entered the 2022-23 season in a weird place. The 29-year-old was in the final year of his contract and likely held more value for the San Antonio Spurs as trade bait, and not as a long-term rotational piece.

The Spurs were hoping to be in the race for Victor Wembanyama, meaning they'd have to lose a considerable amount of games. Having a vet like Richardson simply didn't make sense for the franchise (especially long-term).

Richardson averaged 11.5 points on 43.6 percent from the floor, 35.7 percent from deep, and 88.3 percent from the charity stripe in just 23.7 minutes of action. This made it a no-brainer for the New Orleans Pelicans to trade for him, although they paid a hefty price in the process.

All told the Pels sent four second-round picks to the Spurs to land Richardson, although some of that was to ship away Devonte Graham's remaining $24.7 million in 2023-24 and 2024-25 combined. Essentially, the Pelicans landed a 3-point shooter and great veteran in the locker room and were able to unload one of their worst contracts.

All for the price of four seconds (2024, 2026, 2028, and 2029).