Rockets could lure All-Star to Houston with the right coaching hire
The Houston Rockets face a pivotal offseason, as they surely had a timestamp in mind for their rebuild, and they'll have to pay the credit card bill on the Russell Westbrook trade from 2019, so to speak. The Rockets' 2024 first-round draft pick will go to the Oklahoma City Thunder (top-four protected) so the Rockets won't have much of an incentive to lose next season.
Plus, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta surely doesn't want to see another year of diminished revenue, because what team owner would? Especially after three years of it.
For this reason, the Rockets are expected to swing for the fences this season, as they've already been linked to premier players, such as Jaylen Brown and franchise legend James Harden. In the same regard, the Rockets have been rumored to have interest in Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, along with former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka.
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Adding Nurse would be a huge boost to the Rockets, as he prides himself on defense, which this Rockets team surely lacks, and it doesn't hurt that he's won a championship within the last five years. The man has cache, that's obvious.
And that's the type of splash move that would make fans happy, after bearing witness to the current operation for the last three years. But should the Rockets stop there, as it pertains to plucking from the Raptors?
Anyone who has watched this iteration of the Rockets knows how badly they need a point guard, which is partly why the team is interested in a Harden reunion (aside from his status as a franchise icon). Sure, Kevin Porter Jr. can be a secondary creator, but he's not a legitimate point guard, even in a positionless era.
So what about Fred VanVleet? After all, VanVleet just dropped a 20-point 20-assist game, with just two turnovers, and is a stellar defender. Not to mention the fact that FVV was just an All-Star in 2021-22.
The 29-year-old is averaging 20 points and seven assists, and is capable of providing not only veteran leadership to a Rockets team in dire need of a veteran presence, but also brings championship experience, along with a familiarity of Nurse's system, should the Rockets go down that path.
Not to mention the fact that FVV will surely come at a much lower price tag than Harden, as FVV is likely looking for a contract north of $100 million, whereas Harden surely will be seeking his $200 million max, because otherwise, why leave Philly and Joel Embiid in the first place?
Granted, VanVleet has his limitations, but bringing both him and Nurse to Houston from Toronto would be beneficial and well-worth the cost of admission for a young Rockets team that's striving to take a leap and put an end to being one of the worst teams in the Western Conference.