Dec. 15 (Monday) was the first day that players signed in the offseason could be traded (paging Lance Stephenson).The Rockets have already been connected to Corey Brewer (that got reheated this week, too) and Rajon Rondo.
In both scenarios, it seems way unlikely the Rockets land either player. One: because the moves the Rockets make are rarely because the front office leaks them; and the pieces/players just don't fit.
The Mavericks are already being billed as the favorites to land the poor-shooting, bizarrely tempered point guard. The Rockets not only have a surly, defensive-minded point guard of their own in Patrick Beverley -- who's on a cheaper deal and is having a superb shooting season -- but they also likely can't afford Rondo, who would require at least a first-round pick and a cheap asset in return.
That cheap asset would have to be one of the Donatas Motiejunas, Terrence Jones and Kostas Papanikolaou triumvirate (it could be two of them). Considering Isaiah Canaan's fledgling emergence, Jason Terry's surprising competence and Nick Johnson's athleticism, I don't see the Rockets shredding their already iffy frontcourt depth for one year of Rondo.
It's three days into official trade rumor season. The trade deadline is in February, and the Rockets have the look of championship contenders. This isn't going away anytime soon.
Part of the reason for that is the growing media coverage. People on the Internet love trade rumors (I can pretty much guarantee that this article will be read by an above-average number of people because of the "t" word in the headline) and reporters love getting credit. It's a never-ending cycle.
Because reporters consistently need to feed the beast, they report "discussions" and "desires" and "phone calls" that likely last all of 30 seconds as news. Each one gets a few paragraphs and a byline, plus a few thousand retweets.
Daryl Morey is a GM who likes to, at the very least, discuss lots of trades. He's always looking for an angle, a way to sneak a little extra value that someone else is missing. That means that the number of people he talks to leaves a wide imprint. The more conversations, the more likely some are leaked to the media and reported as news.
Basically, I'm not looking forward to the next two months, from this angle. And if I had to place a bet on a Rockets deal, it would be someone underwhelming for the traded player exception, and everyone on the team staying put, barring a major injury.