With Clint Capela recovering from a fibula fracture in his left leg, the Houston Rockets have taken to the trade market in search of reinforcements.
And that’s led them to Kosta Koufos of the Sacramento Kings, per ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Trade rumble: Houston has made no secret of its desire to add a big man and the Kings' Kosta Koufos, I'm told, has emerged as a prime target
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 30, 2016
Koufos is owed under $8.1 million this season and $8.4 million next year, and he has a player option worth a little more than $8.7 million for 2018-19. That’s backup money in the new salary-cap climate, so the Rockets could bring him off the bench behind Capela long term without viewing him as a wasted investment.
In the meantime, Koufos would give them a decent rim protector during Capela’s extended absence. He can’t defend in space, but he does an okay job picking up pick-and-rolls and will, again, challenge shots at the rim. He should also find ways to work as a rim-runner in Mike D’Antoni’s spread offense.
Price is the only issue. Koufos’ salary is easy to squeeze on the books, and the Kings have a glut of bigs, but this isn’t the type of deal in which the Rockets should fork over a first-rounder.
Corey Brewer and a second-round pick certainly works, but Sacramento probably won’t want to take on the rest of Brewer’s deal while receiving such a tiny pot-sweetener. Attaching Tyler Ennis or K.J. McDaniels to Brewer’s contract is probably the way to go. The Kings get another switchy wing, albeit one who can’t shoot too well, in Brewer, and then get to bet on the upside of a serviceable younger player.