I think it goes without saying that with Daryl Morey as the general manager the Houston Rockets are always going to be involved in any big name trade rumors. Since taking over the front office, Daryl has made moves (usually small ones) before every all star game and his go-to response for several years now regarding trades is that he is always looking for ways to make the team better. With the arrival of James Harden this season, Morey's tune has changed:
Morey's squad has lost six out of their last 11 games since that tweet, which isn't horrible, and for the first time this season we're starting to see the Houston Rockets pop up in trade rumors around the league.
On January 16th CBS Sport's Ken Burger reported on a meeting between Josh Smith's agent and the Atlanta Hawk's general manager Danny Ferry. During that meeting Smith's agent listed Houston as one of three destinations that interested the explosive forward:
Among the teams that would appeal to Smith are Dallas, Houston and Memphis, a league source told CBSSports.com.
I know what you're thinking: just say no to Josh Smith. Smith has never really been the kind of player you want to throw a max contract at but at just 27 years old he is averaging an impressive 16.9 points, 8.5 boards and 4 assists per game. Smith has a history of terrible shot selection and he hasn't proven himself to be an alpha dog for a team that has spent several consecutive summers in the playoffs. While I'll concede that Smith isn't worth the contract he will surely demand, his style of play would fit in well with Houston's fast paced transition offense and his contributions on the defensive end would be huge.
It all starts with Smith. He reportedly has drawn serious interest from Phoenix. But Dallas is another potential destination, as are Charlotte, Houston, New Orleans and Sacramento. [...] Houston is one team reported to have a keen eye on Indiana forward Danny Granger. The Pacers aren't totally against keeping the 29-year-old forward, who has missed all of the season with a knee injury. But following the emergence of All-Star Paul George, they are taking and making exploratory calls.
Paul George is Indiana's answer at small forward and the future is bright. Danny Granger, the odd man out, is a versatile scorer who can do a bit of everything on offense and would complement James Harden quite well. At 29 years old, Danny Granger would cost the Rockets almost 15 million in the 2013/14 season and I'm not sure he's a huge upgrade over Chandler Parsons at the small forward position. Parsons continues to exceed expectations as a consistent offensive threat, has a much higher ceiling as a wing defender, and is on one of the most attractive contracts in the NBA.
For instance, league sources say the Rockets have a strong interest in Cavs guard Daniel Gibson, a veteran with a decent perimeter stroke (when healthy) - and an expiring contract that makes him a prime target everywhere.
Daniel Gibson is no game changer. He might not even be an upgrade over Toney Douglas or Patrick Beverly. When he's not injured, Gibson is a three point specialist who doesn't need the ball in his hands to help the team. At back-up point guard or shooting guard on an expiring contract, I'd welcome Gibson so long as it doesn't cost us anything more than a Cole Aldrich or a second round pick.
Questions for discussion:
Are the Rockets a playoff lock this season and next with Josh Smith?
What would you be willing to give up for Danny Granger?
Who would you play at back up point guard: Daniel Gibson, Toney Douglas, or Patrick Beverly?