When projecting players that a particular team should acquire, one of the primary factors to consider is believability. Should the Houston Rockets try to acquire Giannis Antetokounmpo? Absolutely! Will they? Not a chance. With that in mind, here are two targets the Rockets could hone in on over the next few months who may aide them in their quest for reaching the NBA Finals.
Why venture far from the 3-point shot? Adding a sharpshooting veteran in Redick to the mix would be an even more legitimate commitment to shooting from long range, especially in the wake of the injury to Eric Gordon, who has become a giant question mark in the middle of the team’s depth chart.
It’s unlikely that New Orleans has much incentive to keep Redick, who is owed just over $13 million in 2020-21, unless the team feels it can make a rapid turnaround once rookie Zion Williamson takes the floor. It may take some massaging from the Houston front office, but adding Redick, who is on pace to set a new career high with 3.5 made triples per game, would be a coup for their general plan of attack when it comes to spacing the floor at all times.
There are only three players in the league who are averaging more makes from deep on a nightly basis, one of whom is James Harden. Deploying Redick behind the arc while Harden and Russell Westbrook operate would be a terrifying conundrum for opposing defenses deep into May and June.
Redick is eligible to be traded on Dec. 15.
As the brief absences from center Clint Capela have exposed, Houston does not have much in the way of a backup big man. Sure, Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein have been serviceable when tasked with increased minutes, but adding a premier asset like Portis off the bench — one who can space the floor with a jump shot — gives the Rockets a dominant additional layer.
Portis inked a deal with the New York Knicks during the offseason, yet it seems unlikely that the scuffling franchise would be interesting in picking up his $15.75 million option for next year. How compatible the two teams would be on a deal remains to be seen, but sitting at 4-17 — the worst mark in the Eastern Conference — entering play Tuesday, New York would certainly seem compelled to move all significant veteran assets to pave the way for younger talent. The big man is eligible to be dealt on Dec. 15.
Portis is even accustomed to coming off the bench, having started just 51 of his 270 career regular-season games. His numbers have dipped to just 8.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest this season, although a vast majority of that has to do with the plethora of mouths to feed in the Knicks’ offense. Should Houston snag the 24-year-old, he’d be able to key the second unit and still fit within the parameters of what the team is attempting to accomplish with its offensive shot selection.