RUMOR: Rockets could flip Iman Shumpert to create cap space to acquire Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotic
The Houston Rockets were able to acquire swingman Iman Shumpert in a three-team trade. However. there is still speculation regarding Houston’s interest in New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic.
The Pelicans made it known that Mirotic was available prior to the trade deadline. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Rockets may still look to make a move for him:
If the Rockets were to flip Iman Shumpert before the trade deadline, they could receive up to $13.77 million in salary. (Shump can’t be combined with other players in a deal.) Sean Deveney reported this week the Rockets could make a run at Nikola Mirotic, who makes $12.5 million.
The move certainly would not be too far-fetched for Houston. They have clearly shown a preference for players that contribute more on the offensive end than they do on defense. This would be the case in regards to Mirotic and Shumpert.
Mirotic’s skill set as a sharpshooting big man would make him a seamless fit in the Rockets offense.
He is currently averaging 16.7 points per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from downtown.
Meanwhile, Shumpert has been a solid veteran presence for a promising, young Sacramento Kings team this season. While he may not put up the same numbers as Mirotic, he is still a proven 3-and-D player after shooting 36.6 percent from deep while averaging 1.1 steals per game.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not the Pelicans would even entertain the thought of dealing Mirotic unless it was packaged with a quality pick or two.
Unfortunately, New Orleans has been rather coy about their negotiations at the trade deadline.
Despite the supposed fire sale on all their players, they still have yet to make any moves.