Grade the trade: Rockets land championship forward in risky proposal

Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets
Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages
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Why the Rockets make the deal

The Rockets have been canvassing the market for win-now players, as coach Ime Udoka doesn’t want to miss the postseason. And owner Tilman Fertitta is surely ready to start back making profits, as he’s taken a huge loss financially as a result of the team’s teardown.

Kyle Kuzma has averaged over 21 points in each of the last two seasons and is currently enjoying the best season of his seven-year career, with averages of 21.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 45.5 percent from the field, and 80.1 percent from the foul line. Kuzma is far from a knockdown shooter, as he’s making just 32.9 percent of his treys on 6.7 attempts, but we’ve seen him fare better from distance (36.1 percent on 5.6 attempts in 2020-21 and 35.7 percent in the Lakers’ 2020 postseason series against the Rockets).

Kuzma has also ascended into a formidable defender who has the ability to guard multiple positions on the floor, and he’s still just 28-years-old. He also has a championship on his resume, which has been a priority for Rockets coach Ime Udoka (see Fred VanVleet and Jeff Green).

The other player in the deal, Delon Wright, is also a plus defender with good lateral movement.

Not to mention his 6-foot-5 frame. Offensively, Wright is a fairly decent facilitator who can also shoot from deep (38.2 percent in 2023-24, albeit on low volume). And he’s on an expiring contract, which makes him even more valuable for this team.

One of the best returns in the deal is the draft capital being shipped off to Houston. The Warriors 2030 first-round pick without any protections will be extremely valuable, as Stephen Curry will no longer be in the fold (along with Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, to a lesser degree).

Hell, they haven’t been able to contribute to winning basketball this season either, as the Dubs rank 12th in the West with a 21-25 record. Adding this pick, along with Kuzma and the Phoenix Suns’ 2024 first-round pick is a great return for Green.

Rockets trade grade: A+