The Rockets are going all in. In the ever intensifying nuclear war that is building a championship contender in the NBA in 2017, the Rockets and longtime General Manager Daryl Morey realize that if they want any chance to compete with the Warriors western conference supremacy they need to accumulate as much star talent as possible.
Step 1 in this plan for a super trio (something the Rockets have been trying to put together ever since acquiring James Harden) is complete. They acquired the best pure point guard in the game (yeah I said it) to join the best hybrid point guard in the game for a super back court.
Now they are putting all of their efforts toward step 2: acquiring the 3rd star to fill out their trio.
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) June 28, 2017
This part will be much more difficult as their amount of assets to deal that would interest the Pacers in a deal for Paul George is low. The Pacers want nothing to do with most players on their roster one would assume, acquiring Eric Gordon or Ryan Anderson make little sense for them, and the best young asset the Rockets can deal is Clint Capela, which plays the same position as the Pacers best player moving forward, Myles Turner.
The Pacers will surely want a 1st round pick, but with the Rockets dealing their 2018 pick to the Clippers in Wednesday’s trade for Paul, the Rockets by league rule can’t trade their 2019 1st round pick which means the Pacers would have to wait until 2020.
A more realistic possibility could be Paul Millsap, whom the Hawks could negotiate a sign-and-trade with in return for a player like Clint Capela or maybe Eric Gordon if the Hawks don’t want to completely tank.
The best option for the Rockets to add a 3rd star is fellow aging veterans Carmelo Anthony or Dwyane Wade if either is bought out by the New York Knicks or Chicago Bulls respectively.
With Phil Jackson now being out and the Knicks being on the hook for the final $24 million of his contract and whatever they pay their new general manager, they may not be as open to completely buying out Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks also probably have zero interest in Ryan Anderson or Eric Gordon at this point.
It will be interesting to see if the Rockets are able to acquire a third star to round out their super trio and hypothetically compete with the Warriors. They should maybe focus their efforts on acquiring current Warrior Andre Iguodala to give them more athleticism and defense and truly have a chance to defend the Warriors.
NBA off-season madness is officially in full swing.