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3 unrealistic trades Rockets must try to make in 2022 NBA offseason

jalen green, rRockets 2022 NBA Draft grades

The Houston Rockets finished the 2021-22 campaign on a sour note with the worst record in the association, 20-62. It was a full rebuilding season for Houston after just making the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs two seasons ago. Drafting Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. with the no. 2 and no. 3 overall picks over the last two draft classes have bolstered their chances of building a competitive team in the next few seasons.

For the other transactions of the franchise, John Wall and Christian Wood have departed from last season’s roster as the Rockets organization has moved on a new trajectory to focus on the youth movement. Currently, the highest-paid individual on their lineup entering next season is Eric Gordon at $19.5 million. It will make them tough to manufacture any sort of huge trade in the next few months, but here are a few plausible trades that will likely become unrealistic in the 2022 NBA offseason.

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Unrealistic Rockets Trades

Deandre Ayton

Trading Christian Wood in the offseason proved the front office’s intention of opening up more opportunities for Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr. to receive more minutes. Both names have tremendous upside in the NBA, but they are still at the early juncture of their career with relatively raw talent.

Adding the disgruntled Deandre Ayton from the Phoenix Suns has a small chance of happening, but they must at least call the Suns for a meeting. Pairing Ayton with the backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green would put them in a similar timeline and complement each other’s repertoire. The problem lies on the Phoenix side because the Rockets may need a third team in the trade to entice the Suns to push through with the trade.

OG Anunoby

It is shocking to hear that OG Anunoby’s name has been circulating in trade rumors for the Toronto Raptors. Despite the lingering injuries, he has been incredible when he is present on the floor as one of the top-tier 3-and-D wings in the NBA. Furthermore, Anunoby is just 24 years old which would fit perfectly into the timeline of the current nucleus of the Houston roster.

OG Anunoby fills in the gaping hole in the first unit of Houston as it would be composed of Porter Jr., Green, Anunoby, Smith Jr., and Sengun. This lineup would not compete for a deep playoff run in the Western Conference, but it gives them a sufficient chance of being competitive in the next 3-5 years. With the lack of players that could intrigue Toronto, this swap may seem unrealistic, but the Rockets must inquire about the asking price of Anunoby.

Donovan Mitchell

A huge acquisition that would change the landscape of the Houston Rockets organization is adding star guard Donovan Mitchell to H-Town. The Utah Jazz just recently traded Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neal, so it may seem like a possibility that Mitchell would be the next individual on the move. With the aforementioned core of Houston, they still lack a go-to ball-handler who can create his own shot, especially in clutch situations.

The assets Houston could send in return would revolve more on the plethora of draft capital and salary fillers which would unlikely allure the Utah organization is pulling the trigger. With the whole shenanigans occurring in Brooklyn, the Rockets could negotiate and increase the interest of the Jazz on the pick swaps and draft picks from the Nets because there is a strong possibility that these could be in the lottery.

Trading any of their current pieces may not be the priority for the Houston front office, but continually shopping and communicating with other teams must be a point of consideration. Internal player development and enhancing team chemistry are the current goals for this year’s squad, but a shocking move in the offseason can always be a possibility.