The NBA Trade Deadline is coming in about 37 hours, and there have been few murmurs about what the Rockets plan on doing. They've been connected from everyone from Dwight Howard to Eric Gordon in recent weeks, but most of those reports have been shut down repeatedly. Now, from the god of trade rumors, Adrian Wojnarowski, we learn of something reasonably substantial, the Rockets' apparent willingness to move Terrence Jones for a first round pick.
Houston's showing a willingness to move rookie Terrence Jones for a 1st-round pick, sources tell Y! Rockets are deep at forward spot.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 20, 2013
It is true that the Rockets are deep at forward, but the report is interesting in that it appears to establish somewhat of a hierarchy between Jones and Donatas Motiejunas. Both are young, first year players and it doesn't appear that there is enough room for the both of them at the power forward spot moving forward.
Among the other power forwards, Royce White has no value and Marcus Morris and Patrick Patterson are more established commodities, but Motiejunas and Jones' values seem to be pretty similar.
Given Jones' relative struggles in the D-League, especially of late, the fact that the Rockets would value Motiejunas more highly makes sense. Motiejunas appears more NBA-ready, at least to the coaching staff, and would certainly fit in better with Dwight Howard than Jones would because of his ability to stretch the floor (trololol).
Still, it would be disappointing in a way to give up on Jones after just half of a season. He's long, athletic, and has a tremendous handle, giving us such highlights as this, so to see him go without getting to give him a legitimate chance would really hurt.
But the question remains, is there going to be a spot for Jones in Houston? Even with the mediocre play this season out of the power forwards, he's been unable to move up from fourth on the depth chart, and has shuttled between Houston and Rio Grande Valley. For the Rockets, who don't have a single pick in this year's draft if they make the playoffs, perhaps moving Jones for a pick would give them a shot at a bigger deal.
When the dust settles at 3 PM EST on Thursday, the Rockets' roster will likely look a lot like it looks today. However, I'd be shocked if a little move like this one his Wojness alluded to doesn't go down for the Rockets.