Popular Houston Rockets trade target is officially off the market

The Houston Rockets won't trade for Donovan Mitchell any time soon.
The Houston Rockets won't trade for Donovan Mitchell any time soon. / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

Any fan of a rebuilding NBA team has a vision for the future.

They have their preferred players. Fans of the Houston Rockets are no exception. Some fans are ready to build the team around Alperen Sengun, while others hope to see Jalen Green turn his tumultuous career around.

Both sides are understandable. Green's potential is tantalizing. Still, Sengun is already a productive NBA player. There's a temptation to pair him with a shot-creating guard who can already match his productivity.

One such guard just removed himself from the trade market.

Popular Houston Rockets trade target is not available

Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers have agreed to a 3-year, $150.3 million extension.

This is a coup for the Cavs. Mitchell has long been rumored to have an interest in joining a team in a larger market. It's now being reported that part of his willingness to sign this extension stemmed from his confidence that the Cavaliers can compete for the NBA championship.

Now, Mitchell will be subject to trade restrictions. The Rockets can cross him off of their list of targets until next summer at least.

If the Cavaliers flame out, should the Rockets take another look at Mitchell?

Houston Rockets saved from themselves


In our opinion, this is ideal for the Rockets. Trading for Mitchell now wouldn't make sense. As talented as he is, he'd be forming a small backcourt alongside Fred VanVleet. Given Sengun's defensive limitations, the Rockets must contain dribble penetration at the point of attack.

By contrast, Green developed as a defender in 2023-24. We can't say with confidence that he'll be the ideal guard to cover for Sengun, but we already know Mitchell isn't. Why sink your assets into a guard knowing his fit with your best player is potentially problematic?

The Rockets have a lot of questions to answer this summer. Can Amen Thompson play with Sengun? Can he run point? Will Green build on the potential he's shown, or remain inconsistent? Once the Rockets have some answers, they can make their consolidation trade:

By that time, Mitchell could be on the market again.