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Rumor: Rockets have serious interest in Timberwolves’ Robert Covington

Robert Covington, Timberwolves

The Houston Rockets have some serious interest in acquiring Minnesota Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.

Now more than a quarter of the way in, the Rockets sit at 15-8, which is a good but not great record as they hunt for that elusive title. Their lack of depth has been apparent through the early stretch, and adding a 3-and-D star like Covington could boost their all-around game heading into the rest of a grueling season.

Despite sending a pile of picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Russell Westbrook blockbuster trade, Houston can still shell out its 2020 and 2022 first-round picks, which should make for some interesting bargaining.

Covington is making a little over $36 million for the next three years, starting at $11.3 million for 2019-20 — a salary the Rockets should have no problems matching. Acquiring him would also give the Rockets some flexibility moving forward, considering he does many of the things P.J. Tucker does for this team but at a much younger 28 years old.

RoCo is longer and more athletic than Tucker, but he is a beloved presence in Minnesota, which could make him a hard get if the Timberwolves right the ship and get back into the playoff conversation after losing five straight games.

The 6-foot-8 small forward doesn’t need to do much off the dribble and is content with spot-up jumpers and playing defense — a perfect combination for a team predicated on savior James Harden.

If the Rockets make a play for Covington, it could give them a dramatic boost to match up with Western powerhouses like the Los Angeles Lakers and the newly reinforced Los Angeles Clippers.