After rebuilding and moving on from the nucleus of James Harden and Chris Paul, the Houston Rockets have been one of the worst teams in the NBA. They have been at the bottom of the pack, selecting top prospects like Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr. and Alperen Sengun toward early in the draft. Compared to young squads like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic, the Rockets are multiple steps behind in arduous rebuilding process that began two-and-a-half seasons ago.
Unfortunately, the Rockets slid out of the top-three in the upcoming 2023 draft, which is a massive disappointment for the organization. Selecting at No. 4 will be more of a challenge, but Houston must choose the best overall talent on the board. The Rockets have more options with the No. 20 overall selection, including a potential trade that would bring back another young player who could help Ime Udoka's team win in 2023-24.
The Minnesota Timberwolves signed Kyle Anderson last summer, but he was underutilized at times this season, especially when both Rudy Gobert and Karl Anthony-Towns were healthy. Anderson excelled alongside Gobert—despite their personal dustup on the sidelines—as a playmaking power forward, though, bringing some much-needed dynamism to Minnesota's offense and defense.
A Rockets team with scoring machines like Green, Smith Jr., and Kevin Porter Jr. need an individual who is willing to set them up. Anderson is the perfect point forward, his all-around versatility making life much easier on teammates. He is the perfect Swiss Army knife and would be a perfect mentor for Houston's young core.
Similar to Anderson, Grant Williams would be a major addition to the Rockets because of his relentlessness and defensive prowess, attributes that would help help them finally establish an identity. Williams has played in Boston for the duration of his career, but he is up for an extension in the offseason, so it is not guaranteed the Celtics will give him the bag he desires.
The Rockets have the cap space to pay him, so Houston must invest in players like Williams who thrive in a particular role. Being a defensive menace and solid three-point shooter has been effective for Williams, but there have been games it is evident there is more room for his game to grow. With a move to a lesser stacked team, Williams would get the payday he desires and the opportunity for a bigger, more consistent role.
A player who really struggled in 2022-23 is Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. Injuries were definitely a factor in his subpar season, so his trade value might not be as high as it was before. The Rockets are a squad composed of a ton of guys who lack NBA experience, so Morris Sr. would provide a valuable veteran presence.
The Clippers have a surplus of players at his position, so they may decide to unload some of them and add draft assets to the roster. Morris Sr. is likely nearing the twilight of his career, but his toughness and shooting ability would benefit a Houston team still in the process of finding itself both on and off the floor.