Ranking 4 superstars the Houston Rockets have been linked to recently

Could the Houston Rockets acquire Devin Booker?
Could the Houston Rockets acquire Devin Booker? / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
4 of 4

1. Donovan Mitchell 

We know. We said that Mitchell was a poor fit with the Rockets before. 

He is a poor fit - with this current roster. As the Rockets continue adding young talent, they're likely to have to consolidate eventually. If they trade for Mitchell, the roster is likely to look a lot different once they do. 

It’s worth noting that Mitchell just signed an extension with the Cavaliers. He won’t be available this year. That’s fine - if the Rockets make a move for a superstar any time soon, it’s more likely to be next summer. 

In any event, acquiring either Booker or Mitchell would likely lead to comparable results. Last year, Mitchell outpaced Booker statistically. He averaged 26.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. Mitchell also lapped Booker in BPM (5.8 vs 3.0) and Value Over Replacement Player (3.9 vs 3.1). 

It's just one season, right? Well, Mitchell similarly outperformed Booker in 2022-23. Mitchell averaged 28.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists with a BPM of 6.3 and a VORP of 5.0. Booker averaged 27.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists with a BPM of 4.2 and a VORP of 2.9. 

You could make a case for Booker. He's listed as 6'6", whereas Mitchell is a modest 6'3". Booker has made a trip to the NBA Finals, and Mitchell has struggled to make a deep playoff run. 

We reject each argument. Neither player is a plus defender - their height is inconsequential. Basketball is a team game, and Booker has been in more advantageous situations than Mitchell. 

Perhaps some day, Mitchell will be in a position to win with the Rockets.