Should the Rockets Trade for Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell
If the Rockets were to trade for Rudy Gobert or Donovan Mitchell, it would represent a radical departure from what they’ve shown the past two seasons. Once the franchise moved on from the James Harden era, they entered into a prolonged and deliberate rebuild. They’ve focused on acquiring future assets and young players to build a roster capable of competing in 2025 at the cost of the present.
Blowing up a rebuild to land a star is rarely a bad idea, but there are questions if Gobert or Mitchell are that quality of player. Gobert is the best in the league at rim protection, but that’s really all he brings to the table. Mitchell is a great offensive player but isn’t so great to offset his defensive limitations.
For all of the pair’s well-documented swipes, what doomed them is that they both weren’t quite good enough to be the best player on a contender. Gobert for a lack of offense, and Mitchell for a lack of defense. While there’s still time for Mitchell to possibly move into that tier, his lack of size and reliance on burst could see him peak earlier in his career than is usual.
The Rockets shouldn’t blow up their rebuild to land a player that can just make them good. This is a franchise that has consistently been in the playoffs and has been a title contender off and on since the 1980s. Being patient and building something
The good news is that the Rocket probably won’t ever engage in serious talks over the pair. However, they should be ready to enter a deal as a third team to grease the wheels. The best thing a rebuilding franchise can do is exploit desperate teams.
As much fun as Gobert or Mitchell could make the Rockets’ 2022-23 season, the upside isn’t worthy of tearing up a multi-year plan. Chasing okay is what the Kings have been doing for the past 16 years. The Rockets know better and should chase great.