Bleacher Report proposes no-brainer trade that gives Rockets all-league defender

New Orleans Pelicans v Houston Rockets
New Orleans Pelicans v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The NBA's annual trade deadline is fast approaching, as February 8th is the last opportunity teams will have to bolster their roster via trade. The Houston Rockets are expected to be buyers at the deadline, as they have several roster needs to address. 

Rockets GM Rafael Stone has to find a way to either find a formidable shooter, a secondary guard who can score and facilitate, or a reserve big to quell the stench of Jock Landale. The Rockets have been projected to target Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson, which would address the shooting and/or scoring.

However, Bleacher Report drew up a trade that would be too good to pass up.


Bleacher Report's latest trade idea is a no-brainer for the Rockets

The writer's logic is explained.

"The Rockets, for their part, should prioritize offense over defense. They also need a backup floor general as Amen Thompson develops. And there's no such thing as defensive overkill for a team with play-in/postseason/actually-winning-a-game-on-the-road aspirations. 

Reuniting Smart with head coach Ime Udoka is at least a slight bonus here."

This proposal is a no-brainer, as Jae'Sean Tate is likely fighting for minutes once Tari Eason and Dillon Brooks have clean bills of health. Not to mention Cam Whitmore, who clearly deserves minutes, as he's provided a scoring punch off the bench as a rookie.

Smart is a tough defender who can also facilitate (shooting not so much). More importantly, he's a culture guy and can further instill Rockets coach Ime Udoka's vision and blueprint.

Yes, I know you're probably eyeing the 2026 first-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets, which is top-four protected. Truthfully, the Rockets will be in win-now mode by then, as they will likely have extended Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr. (Jalen Green is still a question mark), so they won't be looking to add young prospects to the fold.

Also, the Nets' rebuild might be over by 2026. And even if it isn't, the Rockets will keep the pick if it falls in the top four. 

Again, this is a no-brainer.