One of the more perplexing moves of the Houston Rockets' offseason just got a bit more strange. As you likely know (if you're a Rockets fan), the franchise sent out 2022 first-round point guard TyTy Washington along with 2021 first-round pick Usman Garuba to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the draft rights to French big man Alpha Kaba.
The Rockets made the deal to clear enough salary to land Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, who ultimately decided to stay put, albeit at a higher price tag ($48 million over two years). The Rockets felt reportedly felt inclined to honor their word with the Hawks' front office and still went through with the trade (which is hard to understand).
After the Rockets rounded out their free agency period, they reportedly felt the roster was thin at guard and wanted to add another one to the rotation. The Rockets seemingly addressed this need on Thursday by adding Aaron Holiday, who ironically most recently played for the Hawks.
In Holiday, the Rockets land a five-year vet who can shoot the three (37.7 career long-range shooter, although on low volume). Holiday has been somewhat of a journeyman, as the Rockets will be his fifth team since entering the league in 2018.
Rockets make peculiar move with addition of journeyman guard
The initial reaction is that the Rockets wouldn't have needed a guard if they had kept Washington and didn't go through with the Hawks deal. Remember, the franchise liked Washington enough to make him a first-round pick just one year ago.
And at just 21 years-of-age, Washington has more upside than Holiday, even if the franchise does view him as a project. At this point, we know what Holiday is.
He's a good shooter, a fairly good defender, and a good free-throw shooter. But he's an end of the bench guy, which is surely how he'll be used in Houston (if he plays much at all). Holiday is reportedly great in the locker room, which might be what the Rockets were going for, but Washington could have also been.
At least we didn't hear anything to suggest the opposite. All in all, Washington seemed to have fallen out of the rotation, which is why they were wiling to give him up, so this could be useless anyways.
But again, Holiday isn't expected to get a significant number of minutes either, so what's the difference? On the surface, adding Holiday after shipping out Washington seems like a bit of a redundant move, and one that didn't need to happen.