RUMOR: Rockets active in trade talks, have not targeted a specific position
The NBA’s trade deadline is one week away, and rumors are running amok. The Houston Rockets are one of the teams said to be active in trade talks, though reports say they have no concrete plan yet.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, a source revealed that the Rockets “have been as involved as in past seasons.” However, they reportedly do not have any particular target in terms of position yet.
They have not targeted a specific position, the individual said, other than seeking a deal for a player likely to get playing time, which would rule out point guards. Their scarcity of future first-round picks will not be a factor in determining whether to deal the 2020 pick they still hold.
Houston currently boasts a 29-17 record, good for fifth place in the Western Conference standings. However, they stumbled recently and seemed to be struggling to find consistency.
The Rockets made a big splash in the offseason after acquiring former MVP Russell Westbrook, who had previously spent all of his first 11 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The All-Star point guard has been on a tear with a streak of 20-point games, while his fellow former MVP James Harden continues to lead the league in scoring with 36.1 points per game.
Given their up-and-down season so far, the team is likely going to find players that can help bolster their bench unit. Several factors may affect their options, however, including a relative inflexibility and lack of trade assets — having sent picks and swap rights to the Thunder in the Westbrook trade.
In addition, Eric Gordon and Chris Clemons are not eligible to be traded. Clint Capela and P.J. Tucker are also valuable members of the team and are unlikely to be traded.
With the deadline set on Feb. 6 next Thursday, several teams — especially playoff contenders like the Rockets — are expected to make significant moves to secure a stronger case for a championship run. Non-contending teams may also get rid of expiring players for future assets, seeking younger players or draft picks.