By: Nick Pooler
A team with high hopes coming into this season, has seen quite the opposite. You could count numerous teams into this equation but this team specifically due to the level of skill and past years experience. The Rockets are supposed to be the team to compete with the Warriors but instead are sitting at 1-5, with a hurt James Harden and are desperately giving away everything they have for Jimmy Butler. In that case, I see both sides of this situation. By sending four first round picks for Butler, the Rockets would be making history. But with the NBA rule stating that you can’t send consecutive year picks in the first round, it would mean the picks are spread out all the way until 2025. With Chris Paul aging, and Butler’s passed injuries, this is risky for Houston. If I am Minnesota, I am accepting this in a heartbeat. Chances are the Rockets are in their small window for the championship at this moment. Which means in about 4-5 years, they could be looking at a rebuilding situation depending on what ends up happening with James Harden.
If that is the case, Minnesota would get two high picks for a player that was leaving them at season’s end anyway.
With a roster of James Harden, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker, there is no way this team should have one win in 5 games. I personally thought they made a mistake by not paying Trevor Ariza. Ariza was one of their best wing defenders but instead they did not want to pay up. This caused them that 3-and-D guy that they are missing. It would be a big move for Houston to get Butler that I think they need to strike on immediately. Not only Butler, but by the deadline I would like to see them make a move for some size down low. Some players I could see them targeting are Marc Gasol (an aging player who still has some play left in him), Nikola Vucevic (underrated double-double machine who will be replaced by Mo Bamba within time), or Harrison Barnes (scoring stretch four who has playoff experience with Golden State). Those are three players I would love to see them go out and get to prove they are contenders to stay.
It will be interesting to see how the remaining season pans out as we are only two weeks in. But for Houston fans, I say do not worry just quite yet.