Former Udoka player No. 1: Jaylen Brown
We finally land on the one star in his prime on this list, the kind of player who can completely change a franchise's future. Jaylen Brown received All-NBA votes last season playing under Ime Udoka in Boston, and was arguably the team's best player in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Teams don't usually trade that level of player, especially not when they are a contender and plan to stay one. Yet Brown could very well want his own team and communicate that to the Celtics. Add in the financial stress on the Celtics' team-building due to the new CBA, and the prospect of paying Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both supermax contracts could force their hand.
The Rockets likely don't have the right pieces to trade for Brown directly, but let's assume for a moment they work out a three-team trade with a team like the Chicago Bulls. Brown would immediately be the best offensive player on the Rockets, an on-ball star with the size to take on the best defenders thrown his way. Brown has room to grow as a playmaker, but at age 26 he still has room to develop.
A star two-way wing is the best building block you can have in the NBA, and everything else fits around it. Brown's scoring makes it easier for Jalen Green to thrive; his defense paired with Jabari Smith Jr. would be a formidable front line for opponents to try and pierce. He can play the 2 or he can play the 4 in smaller lineups, unlocking plenty of lineup flexibility.
Ime Udoka would love to have Jaylen Brown back at his disposal. He leads the list of players that Udoka used to coach that the Houston Rockets could trade for this offseason or beyond. Will any of them make their way to H-Town?