Recent NBA blockbuster impacts the Houston Rockets twofold

The Houston Rockets may wish Josh Giddey was still in their conference.
The Houston Rockets may wish Josh Giddey was still in their conference. / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

There it is folks. The opening salvo of the NBA's offseason.

Josh Giddey is a Chicago Bull. Alex Caruso is an Oklahoma City Thunder. This is a major trade with significant implications around the league.

It even has implications for the Houston Rockets. In fact, it impacts the team in at least two different ways.

Houston Rockets' conference rival just got stronger

We'll start with the obvious. The Thunder improved.

In this year's postseason, Giddey was relegated to just 18.1 minutes per game. As a negative defender and a non-shooter, he was a liability on both ends of the floor.

Still believe in Giddey's upside? You're entitled to that opinion. Still, the odds are overwhelmingly high that Caruso will be a more impactful player in 2024-25.

After all, he's arguably the best defensive guard in the league. Caruso has also been a reliable floor spacer for several seasons. The Thunder just went from dangerous to downright lethal.

That's fine. Let's be honest - the Rockets weren't likely to compete with the Thunder this year anyway. They're probably a couple of seasons away from joining that tier.

Unfortunately, this trade could have made doing so more difficult.

Houston Rockets' draft capital just got weaker

God bless the Bulls.

They're the little engine that couldn't, but tried anyway. The Bulls have refused to rebuild for years despite their obvious need to do so.

Those days are gone. This deal has to signal a rebuild in Chicago. That's bad news for the Rockets.

Before this trade, the Bulls were viable competition to the Brooklyn Nets. They were two teams on similar levels. Now, the Nets have every opportunity to clear them in the standings.

Don't dismiss this as an overreaction. Every team counts. If the Hawks opt to move Trae Young this summer, the Nets may see an easy pathway back to the postseason. Suddenly, the Rockets' dreams of landing a blue-chip prospect in a stacked 2025 draft will be dashed. Hopefully, we see another Eastern Conference team make a move to strengthen their roster soon:

For what it's worth, this is only the beginning of the offseason.