Rockets News

Grading the Houston Rockets Offseason, Thus Far

N.B. Lindberg
2022 NBA Rookie Portraits
2022 NBA Rookie Portraits / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Christian Wood, Houston Rockets
Sacramento Kings v Houston Rockets / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages

Trades

Traded Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks for Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, Boban Marjanović and Wendell Moore Jr. Dallas also received a trade exception Houston also received a trade exception

Traded the 26th Pick for the 29th pick for two second-round picks

When a team trades their best player, they seldom win the deal in terms of production, and the Christian Wood trade is no different. The four players the Rockets received: Sterling Brown, Trey Burke, Marquese Chriss, and Boban Marjanović, may not start the season on the Rockets, and the 26th pick in the 2022 draft isn’t high-value. 

In terms of expected value, the Mavericks won the Christian Wood trade. However, the Rockets continuing to roster Wood wasn’t without its issues. Wood’s 3-point shooting and rim running will be missed, but his lackluster screens and poor defense won’t. His lack of effort at times was concerning, especially as the best player on a young team, and he would present a roadblock for the Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr pairing. 

Swapping Wood’s minutes for more Sengun and Smith won’t win the Rockets more games in 2022-23, but it could very well in 2023-24. Sengun is one of the most creative passers in the league, and getting game reps with the rest of the young core will help develop the chemistry necessary to maximize it. 

Trading Wood was a necessary move for the future of the team. It’s the ultimate take one step back to take two steps forward move, which is the entire philosophy of a rebuild. Would it have been nice to land more for Wood? Of course, but in a world where Jerami Grant gets a future first, a swap, and a second-round pick, it isn’t surprising that Wood’s trade value was far lower than anticipated. 

RELATED: Grading the Christian Wood Trade

The Rockets flipped the 26th pick they received in the Christian Wood trade for the 29th pick and two second-round picks. The average career of the 26th and 29th pick is essentially nonexistent, so adding two second-round picks to the coffers was a great way to add value. It was an unexciting yet shrewd move that could prove valuable in years to come. 

The Rockets still have a few players they will likely trade. Not having moved them is not an indictment. Until the Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell situations are resolved, smaller moves are likely to be on hold. Once the two superstar dominoes fall, expect the trade chatter to heat back up. 

Grade: B+

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