Houston Rockets linked to Marcus Smart in recent rumors

Could the Houston Rockets reunite Marcus Smart and Ime Udoka?
Could the Houston Rockets reunite Marcus Smart and Ime Udoka? / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

We can't wait for draft night.

The Houston Rockets have been the subject of so...much...speculation. At this point, we just need the draft to happen. The rumor mill is churning relentlessly.

It's rehashing some concepts, too. We already touched on the rumor that the Rockets could acquire Marcus Smart from the Grizzlies on draft night.

Now, those rumors are popping up again.

Houston Rockets linked to defensive ace

This shouldn't come as a shock to anybody.

Udoka is a notoriously defensive-minded coach. Smart was the first guard to win the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year since Gary Payton. Moreover, Udoka coached Smart when he was with the Celtics.

Udoka didn't come to Houston to oversee a long-term rebuild. He joined to usher them into their next phase of competitive basketball. Acquiring Smart would likely make the Rockets a better team.

Does that mean (if you'll pardon the pun) it would be a smart decision?

Houston Rockets have a lot to consider

We've been over this before. Let's quickly rehash the details. If the Rockets traded for Smart, they'd likely be sending the Grizzlies the third pick, and receiving their ninth pick in return.

There are at least two valid concerns about acquiring Smart. The first one is simple. Smart is a poor shooter, and the Rockets are a poor shooting team.

At some point, the Rockets have to address this, right? Establishing a defensive culture was always a wise decision. Now that the culture is established, the Rockets need to fix the most pressing concern with their roster.

More broadly, moving from the third pick to the ninth pick just to pick up Smart could be seen as shortsighted. Where does Marcus Smart get this team? The Rockets won't be in the mix for an NBA title until the 30-year-old Smart is well out of his prime.

That's not to say the Rockets couldn't justify trading for Smart. They just shouldn't shortchange their future. If there's a prospect who's likely to be available with the Grizzlies' 9th pick that they like as much as anyone they could nab third, this could be a good deal.

After all, there's value in improving. Smart may not be an optimal fit with this roster, but he will make the Rockets better. That will make them more attractive to stars around the league. Improving for the sake of improvement is worth considering:

Next. 5bestdraft. 5 best players the Rockets could trade for on draft day. dark

We'll see what the Rockets do on draft night.