Grading 4 Rockets trade deadline targets from no-brainer to run for cover

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Run for cover: Nick Richards

Although the Rockets traded for Steven Adams, they still need a big man, due to Adams' injury. The issue is what they gave up, specifically Victor Oladipo, as his $9.5 million salary filler is off the table now.

Three second-round picks also feels steep for a player who won't be contributing this season, especially since the goal is to compete for postseason play in 2023-24. But they're now three second-round picks shorter, although they could recoup that by dealing Jae'Sean Tate. 

Insert Nick Richards, right? 


Richards isn't a rim protector, which the Rockets desperately need. Sure, he's flashed potential as a shot blocker, but he's ways away from being a defensive anchor. 

He gets lost on switches far too often and gets blown by because of his low IQ. Offensively, he oftentimes fails to make the right play and refuses to pass to his open teammates, in favor of getting a bucket for himself. 

Yes, he's averaging 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 68.7 percent from the field, but is that the result of an increase in minutes on a terrible team?