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Rockets, Knicks, Bucks, Victor Oladipo, PJ Tucker, Kevin Knox, Donte DiVincenzo

2 best trades the Rockets must make before the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

When you’ve lost 17 in a row and have expendable veteran pieces on your team during the midst of a rebuild, it’d be wise to send those parts elsewhere. This is exactly the situation the Houston Rockets have found themselves engulfed in. After trading James Harden to Brooklyn earlier in the season, the roster shakeup isn’t and shouldn’t be done in Houston. Here are the two best trades the Rockets should make before the trade deadline.

Bucks receive – P.J. Tucker

Rockets receive – Donte DiVincenzo

The Milwaukee Bucks keep popping up as a trade partner for the Rockets as they look to move P.J. Tucker. Tucker has been a healthy scratch and will not play for the Rockets again until he is traded or bought out. It’s an odd trend that has gained steam this year in the NBA as Andre Drummond has done the same, sitting out, in Cleveland and it’s what Blake Griffin did in Detroit before agreeing to a deal with Brooklyn. Nonetheless, Tucker won’t be in a Rockets uniform again and because of all the teams that have interest in him, a trade is a likely route here.

Houston is said to desire young talent and draft compensation in a deal for Tucker. While this isn’t far-fetched, it depends on what type of young talent is involved that dictates if draft compensation should be included.

The Bucks don’t have a full array of tradable parts on their roster. In fact, DiVincenzo is easily the most desirable asset for any opposing team who is looking for a younger prospect. You’d have to think if the Bucks were willing to part with DiVincenzo, this trade would’ve already been stamped and approved. Whether or not the Bucks budge on this, time will tell.

In this trade, the Bucks get a “three and D” specialist in Tucker. His numbers have drastically been in a tail-spin this season but so have the Rockets in general. Adding Tucker to the Bucks lineup gives them a veteran who can play guard multiple positions and knock down the corner three on offense. The Bucks are trying to win a title now, acquiring Tucker gets them that much closer.

Houston gets DiVincenzo. DiVincenzo has started in all 39 games he has appeared in this year. He’s averaging a career-high in points (10.3), rebounds (5.1), and assists (3.0) all while shooting his best percentage from three-point range (37%).

DiVincenzo keeps peeling back the lairs to his game and has gotten better and better each of his first three years. In this trade the Rockets get a young guard that they can add to some of the other young talent on the roster like Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr.

Knicks receive – Victor Oladipo

Rockets receive – Dallas Mavericks first-round pick that the Knicks own in 2021 (unprotected), Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina

The Knicks have long been linked and reported to be smitten on Victor Oladipo. After Oladipo passed on an extension offer that the Rockets placed in front of him earlier this year, it’s time to consider trading the versatile guard.

In this trade the Knicks get Oladipo and they cross their fingers the injury concerns are behind Oladipo and that he regains his all-star form of 2018 and 2019. It’s not the superstar the Knicks crave, but it’s someone who fits in well with a Tom Thibodeau scheme and has the potential to get back to his old self in New York.

Houston gets a decent haul in return for Oladipo with the key piece being the first-round pick. When Kristaps Porzingis was sent out of the big apple and to Dallas, the Knicks received draft compensation which included this 2021 unprotected first-round selection. The fascinating angle with this particular pick is that the Mavericks are right now in the 8th spot in the west but are no sure thing to make the playoffs. This could end up being a lottery pick for Houston.

Kevin Knox, the former first-round pick from a few years back has fallen out of the rotation for Thibodeau. He’s never quite gotten over that hump to reach that spot that the Knicks thought he would. A change of organizations with an opportunity to play right away could do wonders for Knox and his confidence.

Ntilikina is a defensive specialist who has been in and out of the rotation this year. He has shown flashes but not the consistency. At only age 22, there could still be some untapped potential to get to.

The Rockets will be busy at the deadline. These two trades could get them headed in the right direction.