Houston Rockets linked to superstar wing in latest rumors

Houston Rockets coach Ime Udoka would likely be pleased to add a certain star wing this summer.
Houston Rockets coach Ime Udoka would likely be pleased to add a certain star wing this summer. / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

If you take a look around the NBA, you'll find more rumors than a Kendrick Lamar/Drake rap beef. People are talking.

Luckily, basketball rumors are less inflammatory - for the most part. We're not talking about children that may or may not exist here. We're talking about potential destinations for NBA stars.

One of those stars is Paul George. He's set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer. With that said, sign and trade possibilities also loom.

Recently, it was suggested that the Rockets could be one of George's suitors.

Houston Rockets named as potential destination for George

It's hard to adjust your thinking with new information. Aren't the Rockets rebuilding? Why would they bring in a veteran like George?

Adjust your thinking. The Rockets aren't rebuilding anymore. This team is in win-now mode. Meanwhile, George would be a tremendous upgrade over Dillon Brooks.

Does that mean that the Rockets should be interested in him?

Houston Rockets need to think carefully

When you're asking if a team should be interested in trading for a player, you're asking two questions within one single question. What should he be worth to them - in terms of trade value, and contract value?

In terms of trade value, we should remember that George is aging, and possibly declining. The Rockets shouldn't give up the farm for him. A package would likely include Brooks and Jock Landale in terms of outgoing players.

That won't satiate the Clippers. They'll need more. The Rockets could part with their upcoming lottery pick from the Brooklyn Nets. If it lands in its projected range (currently favored to land at 9), that would be a fair price.

Should the Rockets part with more? It's debatable. Trading Cam Whitmore, for example, to bring in George feels shortsighted. The Rockets could give up another Brooklyn pick, but they ought to protect it, or else they risk losing out on someone like Cooper Flagg or Cameron Boozer.

After all, George won't come cheap in terms of contract value. The Rockets have cap space now, but it won't last forever. Alperen Sengun and Jalen Green will be due extensions soon. The Rockets will have to make decisions about Whitmore, Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason, and Amen Thompson as well.

So, the Rockets could trade for George under optimal conditions. If they can convince him to agree to a short-term extension, and the Clippers will accept the right amount of draft capital, this could make sense.

Otherwise, the Rockets should leave it in the rumor mill.