The Houston Rockets are almost always interested in trying to upgrade the roster, that’s no secret, so it’s no real surprise to see Shams Charania reporting today that the Rockets are being tied to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Los Angeles Lakers in a possible three-way deal also involving the Phoenix Suns, and potentially even a fourth team.
According to Shams, the Rockets are going hard after Caldwell-Pope and would be helping facilitate Trevor Ariza heading to the Lakers. Houston wants to give up Brandon Knight, but that’s where things get sticky and might need to involve a fourth team. According to Shams:
“In this scenario, the teams involved would need to search for a fourth team to acquire Houston’s contract of Brandon Knight along with draft picks, sources said. Knight is under contract for $14.6 million this season and $15.6 million in 2019-20.”
It’s also important to note that Caldwell-Pope has a “no-trade” clause, and it’s unknown if he’d be willing to waive it to go to Houston.
The 6’5” Caldwell-Pope is suffering through a down season with the Lakers, scoring just 8.6 points per game after averaging double-digit points for the previous four seasons. Though it’s also important to note that he’s been playing 21 minutes per night, well below his career average of 30 per night, and his per 36s are relatively similar to season’s past, even if he’s been struggling a bit with his shot this year.
But he’s still just 25 years old, and has shown himself in seasons past to be a competent, if unspectacular, defender, and he did shoot 38 percent from downtown last season on almost 6 attempts per game, so the Rockets would be banking on a change of scenery sparking some rejuvenation for the Georgia-native.
Nothing is said to be imminent, however, so we’ll just have to stay tuned.