Houston Rockets GM Rafael Stone has faced a rather daunting task of late: trying to morph a team that won just 22 games less than a year ago into a contending roster essentially overnight. The Rockets upgraded at the point guard position this offseason by adding Fred VanVleet and shored up their defense with the addition of Dillon Brooks.
Which is a great start, but it'll take much more if the team wants to have even a shot at the play-in tournament. The Rockets traded Kevin Porter Jr. to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and a $4.5 million trade exception.
The Rockets are expected to use Oladipo as a trade chip and have already had conversations with the Utah Jazz- an inner-Western Conference foe.
Rockets must resist the urge to trade for Talen Horton-Tucker and his potential
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the teams have reportedly had exploratory trade talks centered around Talen Horton-Tucker.
Which would be a huge, seismic mistake by Stone. Perhaps even catatrosphic and ginormous.
For one reason: he's just...not good. And wouldn't be able to help the team much. THT received that "young, promising Los Angeles Lakers player" moniker in the bubble, specifically when the Lakers and Rockets faced off in the second round of the postseason.
Horton-Tucker played sparingly (8.5 minutes in just two games) but showed promise, as he made 50 percent of his shots and 40 percent of his threes in the two-game stint. Which quite literally never happened again.
Perhaps there's no better example of fool's gold than Horton-Tucker, especially in regards to his 3-point shot (or lack thereof). Again, he made 40 percent of his treys against the Rockets in the 2020 postseason, only to shoot a worse 3-point percentage than Russell Westbrook in 2021-22.
Who we know is not even a league-average long-range shooter.
The Lakers bought into the THT hype a bit too much, as they turned down the chance to land Kyle Lowry in 2020-21, as they didn't want to part with....you guessed it....THT.
Only to trade him one year later to the Utah Jazz.
Horton-Tucker's inability to shoot would be problematic for the Rockets, who also don't have shooters. And while I understand the upside in THT- he's still just 22-years-old and has been a double-digit scorer for the last two seasons- the Rockets can find better players to acquire for Oladipo's $9.5 million.
Think about it.
For as much as people love to point out Jalen Green's inefficiency, he's posted a better true shooting percentage than THT in each of the last two years. Let that sink in.
And it's because he forces shots. Which you could live with if he could add playmaking and formidable defense but....well, he's neither a playmaker not a defender.
And he turns the ball over a ton.
Yuck. The Rockets would be wise to pass on THT.