NBA trade season is in full swing and the Houston Rockets are reported to be “open for business.” Opaque phrases like “open for business,” “no one is untouchable,” and “will listen to offers,“ get thrown around.
If the Rockets are “open for business,” what does that even mean? Does it mean people are coming into the office? That fans can go to the arena? That some players are available? All of them? That their asking price is low? That it’s high? Most likely, all it means is the Rockets are looking to move their veterans for future value.
The Rockets' average age of 24.9 years old makes them the eighth youngest team in the league, and a purge of their veteran players could see them quickly Benjamin Button up the standings.
The Rockets have six players that could be classified as veterans. D.J. Augustin, David Nwaba, Daniel Theis, and Eric Gordon are all solidly NBA veterans. The quartet ranges in age between 34 and 29. Jae’Sean Tate and Christian Wood, both 26, could also be classified as veterans, and for our purposes, they’ll be included.
John Wall, while a Rocket and a veteran, is not included. He has yet to play this season and his trade value is so far negative that he realistically won't be moved. If he was on the list, he would be #10 behind the water cooler at #7, the ball rack at #8, and those hotdogs with fruit loops at the Toyota Center at #9.
If the Rockets are “open for business” then they’ll definitely “listen to offers,” on their half-dozen veterans. This is a ranking of the Rockets’ veterans by their trade value.
Houston Rockets Veteran Trade Value Ranking #6
D.J. Augustin (No Trade Value)
D.J. Augustin has no trade value. He’s 34 and a backup point guard on one of the worst teams in the league. At this stage in his career, he’s probably the tenth man on a playoff roster. Could a team be interested in bringing him in to add depth? Yes, but they’d probably only surrender an injured or little-used player to match his $7 million salary and maybe throw in a heavily protected second-round pick that is unlikely to convey.
At this point, Augustin’s trade value is wrapped up in his salary being useful in a larger trade. If he gets moved it’s more likely that the Rockets will be the third team and use Augustin as the salary grease to get a bigger move done.