3. Rockets and Nets make another deal
Brooklyn has a logjam on the wing. They attempted to clear it this summer, but could not find an agreeable trade. Ben Simmons making a comeback further crowds their rotation. His preseason performance has been encouraging, and Brooklyn is building around Mikal Bridges with Cameron Johnson, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Nicolas Claxton locked in as starters.
That forces Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith to come off the bench. Both have been starters in recent years and are strong 3-and-D wings that every team wants. Brooklyn wanted a first-round pick for O'Neale this summer, but could not find a deal. If the playing time is not there, the Rockets could swoop in and get a key piece at a discount.
O’Neale is a career 38.4 percent 3-point shooter who guards multiple positions and is coming off a career year. He averaged 3.7 assists, and the 30-year-old could be the perfect fit in Houston. Royce O’Neale would likely come off the bench, but more minutes and ball-handling would be available.
He is on a $9.5 million expiring contract and extension extension-eligible. The Houston Rockets would have interest in keeping him multiple years as they attempt to contend. O’Neale would be a significant upgrade who gives the franchise ten trusted rotation players heading into the season, but are the Rockets willing to meet the Nets asking price?