It's not every day that your team is contending for a championship. Rockets fans know this, unless you've forgotten the past 20 years. When a team has a chance to be great, it has to go all in.
This team, with Harden, Howard, and MoreyBall piecing it all together, has a chance to be great. That being said, the Rockets still have a gaping hole to be filled: point guard.
Ethan did an excellent job outlining who the Rockets could deal, but who should the Rockets be going after? Big names being tossed around the league include, Goran Dragic, Ty Lawson, Enes Kanter, Wilson Chandler, Isaiah Thomas, and Gerald Green.
Which of those names really make sense for Houston?
Keep in mind, Dragic still may not have forgiven Morey for choosing Jeremy Lin over him in 2012. Also, Dragic's agent also represents Patrick Beverley, so trading Dragic to Houston would surely negatively impact Beverley.
Houston has the interest and the assets to get Dragic, but there are many outside factors that could prevent a deal from going down. It's becoming more and more unlikely.
None of the teams on Dragic's list had a ball-dominant shooting guard. It's obvious that he wants to be the alpha dog on a team and that definitely won't be the case in Houston.
However, Dragic doesn't negotiate trades, front offices do. The Suns have a history of dealing with Morey and, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets are still very much in play.
Dragic is a solid point guard, but I don't think it's worth it if we're only renting him for the rest of the season. Sure, everything has a price, but I'd prefer it if Dragon would commit to Houston and re-sign long term.
In my opinion, Lawson might be a better option than Dragic. They're both B+, second-tier point guards, but that's a slight upgrade over Beverley. Dragic either needs the ball in his hands or needs the team to run plays for him to be effective. How would that work?
Productivity-wise, the two PGs are very similar, so the cheaper option is the better choice.
Lawson on the other hand, is better at picking his spots and facilitating. His quickness allows him to drive-and-dish when necessary and he is fantastic on the break. Both Lawson and Dragic would take some of the load off Harden, but it's less likely Lawson disrupts the system like Dragic might.
There have been whispers that Lawson and Brian Shaw don't get along and Denver is trying to start their rebuilding stage, so a Lawson trade is plausible.
Earlier this season, Denver got two first-round picks for Timofey Mozgov, so they are expecting even more for Lawson. A fair offer for Lawson would probably be Terrence Jones, the Pellies' first round pick, and a future lottery-protected pick.
Isaiah Thomas/Gerald Green
Before the Dragic news, the Suns were aggressively shopping Thomas and Green. Depending on the price, these two players could help the Rockets. Thomas is too small to defend anyone, but Dragic isn't much better and backup point guard Jason Terry is allergic to defense too.
Gerald Green can create for himself but is a notorious ball-hog. Both players are considered "me-first" players and that is the biggest turn off of this deal.
Bringing in two offensive players isn't a problem, but two selfish players would be. The Rockets probably sniffed around these players, but I doubt they talked about offering more than this and a second round pick:
It appears the Thunder's backup point guard wants a trade, and, surprise surprise, the Rockets are interested, if Chris Broussard is to be believed. Jackson is like a very poor man's Goran Dragic: he's great at attacking the basket, and not particularly great at everything else.
When Russell Westbrook was out for large chunks of last year, Jackson performed well in his absence. This year, with Westbrook healthy and destroying the league, the Thunder's trade for Dion Waiters and Jackson's expiring contract, the point guard wants out.
The Thunder aren't looking to simply deal Jackson away for nothing, and I doubt the Rockets would part with a rotation piece for him (Terry doesn't count unless Scott Brooks wants another ancient point guard to replace Derek Fisher in his nonsensical rotations). But the Rockets have assets of all flavors -- he could be a Dragic fallback.
Personally, I don't really understand all the hype around Jesus Shuttlesworth for this season. He's 39 years old, hasn't played basketball in 6 months, and he wasn't even that good last year.
Houston definitely isn't a preferred destination for Allen, but sure, he could help the Rockets. Coming off the bench, he could space the floor with a group that lacks three-point shooting (the Smoove-Brewer unit).
It's incredibly unlikely that Ray Allen makes his way to Houston considering he has roots with the Clippers, Wizards, Cavaliers, and other contending teams, but if the Rockets could sign Ray Allen, it would be a positive transaction.
I know it's crazy, but hear me out on this one. Picture this: Boogie, Vivek Ranadivé, and George Karl are sitting in a room right now.
Cousins: "I've had enough of this revolving door of coaches and point guards. I still don't understand why you fired Malone! You have one day to trade me."
Ranadivé: "But we were so excited to see what coach Karl could do with you."
Karl: "Actually, for my system to work, everyone needs to buy in, especially you, DeMarcus. If you're not going to play hard here, I don't want to coach you."
Ranadivé: "I'll see what I can do in the trade market."
If Cousins became available, every team would be interested. The Boston Celtics probably have the most assets, but the Rockets might not be far behind.
If Vivek Ranadivé called Daryl Morey and told him DeMarcus is on the table, what would Morey offer? I think a fair offer for DeMarcus would be Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, and the Pelicans' pick. Now that's what I call going all in for the chip.
The Kings would receive 75 cents on the dollar (maybe even more depending on who they draft) for Boogie and the Rockets swap their breaking down center for a younger, more dominant one. While the Rockets surrender the pick, they don't mortgage their future because Cousins is so young.
If the Rockets added a locked in DeMarcus Cousins tomorrow, who isn't picking them to win the title? This whole idea might be completely ludicrous, but anything can happen in the NBA. #BoogieToHouston