Bleacher Report proposes 2022 NBA trade deadline targets for Rockets

·3 min read

As part of a comprehensive post at Bleacher Report ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline, NBA writer Greg Swartz compiled a list of three targets — dream, realistic, and sneaky — for each team.

For the rebuilding Houston Rockets, the premise is arguably flawed, in that he identifies “point guard help“ as a primary need. He writes:

The Rockets need point guard help, especially if they refuse to play John Wall this season (or ever again). Houston ranks last in the NBA in turnover percentage (16.7 percent) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.35), numbers that can be expected with young, shoot-first guards spending so much time orchestrating the offense.

While accurate on paper, part of the logic in sitting Wall is to evaluate younger options such as Kevin Porter Jr., who has improved of late in many areas. Though Houston certainly wouldn’t turn down a clear upgrade at the position, it’s not as if they are actively searching to make a change there. Thus, the feasibility of a deal likely depends on the price.

Here’s a look at who he sees as potential targets for the Rockets, along with plausible fits for other teams among current Houston players.

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Houston targets

Dream Target: PG Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Realistic Target: G Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs

Sneaky Target: PF Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards

As for the explanation, Swartz writes:

Simmons has never shown the desire to be a big-time scorer, and his ability to set up the other young talent on the Rockets roster while wreaking havoc on defense is exactly what this team needs. Art age 25, Simmons fits the rebuild, and he can’t hit free agency until 2025.

Assuming the 76ers don’t want Christian Wood back as a primary centerpiece, it would likely take a three-team deal to get Simmons to Houston, something the Rockets should absolutely be pursuing.

White is a little bit older at 27, but like Simmons, has four years remaining on his contract and could become an important part of this roster. He can run point guard as needed, plays defense at a high level and would be a veteran presence in the locker room and on the court.

Hachimura lost his starting job in Washington to the Wizards’ offseason additions, but could thrive in a larger role in Houston. At age 23, the 2019 No. 9 pick still has a lot of upside to offer as a scorer.

Potential teams for Eric Gordon

Dream target: Los Angeles Lakers

Realistic target: Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards

Potential teams for Christian Wood

Dream target: Dallas Mavericks

Wood gives the Mavs another go-to option on offense, and he’s a good enough floor-spacer (35.9 percent) to raise the team’s rating. Wood can operate out of the pick-and-roll or face up his opponents, taking offensive pressure off Doncic. Able to play power forward or center, lineups with both Wood and Kristaps Porzingis should theoretically work.

To read the complete article, which provides analysis of potential fits for all 30 NBA teams at the trade deadline, please click here.

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