Last year, the Rockets needed all three of Terrence Jones, Josh Smith and Donatas Motiejunas to get to where they did as injuries ravaged their roster. But with all of them (plus Dwight Howard, knock on wood) healthy, there just aren't enough minutes to go around.
Yes, Smoove's a free agent, but I have a hunch he'll be back if and when the Rockets strike out on LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love. The question on Rockets fans' minds for a while now has been, are we trading T-Jones or D-Mo? Now ESPN's Marc Stein has provided the answer.
To that end also hearing that the Rockets are likely to try to trade Terrence Jones as part of today's draft proceedings— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 25, 2015
Of course, this doesn't mean that the Rockets will succeed in dealing T-Jones, but he can be a real asset for a team that's shallow at the 4. He'll have suitors; the question will be if Daryl Morey can strike a deal. Donatas Motiejunas is on the road to recovery, so even if T-Jones is still on the Roster Friday morning, it'll still be a surprise if he's there in October.
I can't help but feel a little sorry for Terrence. He had a truly scary injury early last season that forced him to miss months of action, came back looking amazing, got hurt again, and then had another poor showing in the playoffs as he got torched by Blake Griffin and couldn't find his offense with a healthy Dwight Howard around. I hope he finds success wherever he winds up (even if he beats the odds and stays), though it'll be weird to see him in another uniform.
But still, nothing's as exciting as speculating on what we could get for him. The fact that Stein's rumor focuses on Draft Night specifically leads me to believe that Jones could be packaged with the 18th pick for a trade-up, or perhaps for a current player/future picks. Morey moves in mysterious ways, so all options are on the table.