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Rockets should pull the trigger on proposed Christian Wood trade

Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets v Memphis Grizzlies / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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While the Rockets would probably be better off holding onto Christian Wood at least until the season begins, this proposed trade works pretty well.

Should the Rockets move on from Christian Wood at this point? Probably not based on their lack of quality big men with a proven track record, but being able to find something as a return in that regard could make a difficult trade all the easier to stomach.

Wood was still one of the best players on the Rockets last season. This team is still trying to grow and likely doesn't want to move on from a relatively-young piece that is a coveted trade option on several teams throughout the league for a reason, but this trade proposal by Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report works well.

In the trade, the Rockets would send Wood to Memphis for Brandon Clarke, De'Anthony Melton, and the 22nd overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

This trade checks all of the boxes for Houston.

Clarke isn't going to turn heads after a mediocre regular season, but he is young and would be able to provide some minutes as a bigger guy on a team that still needs size.

The Rockets could pair Clarke with Alperen Sengun and the upcoming rookie down low and eventually develop a solid rotation, but Clarke would have to step up offensively to reach that point.

De'Anthony Melton is also an interesting addition for a group of guards that could use a bit more help from a true one. Eric Gordon could be on his way out this offseason, and while the Rockets like what they have in Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Josh Christopher, another veteran is going to help.

Melton isn't a gamechanger, much like Clarke, but they would be enough to prop up this younger roster in several areas to get the team through the 2022 season without having to rely on pricier veterans that have no long-term future in Houston.

Finally, a first-round pick for a guy on an expiring deal never hurts. The Rockets could use this to add depth where they need it, namely at center, or they can package some of their later picks to move up and take someone in the early teens that they like more.

While this trade would hurt somewhat in the short-term, the potential payoffs of this deal make it something that the Rockets shouldn't have to think about for very long.

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