The trade deadline is less than a month a way now, and we’re all waiting to see what GM Daryl Morey, known for making deadline deals almost every year, has in store for the Houston Rockets this season.
There’s been a ton of rumors floating around already this year (Bazemore, Batum, ect...) and it’s well-known that the Rockets would like to add another wing to their cadre of shooters, but the one rumor that doesn’t seem to be going away is their reported interest in J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to Sam Amico of Amico Hoops and then later picked up by Cavaliers Nation, the Rockets are willing to take J.R. Smith from the Cavs provided that Cleveland is willing to take back one important piece:
“I’m fine if you don’t want Carmelo Anthony under any circumstance. But I’m telling you, the Rockets are the only team that’s slightly interested in Smith. They would do the trade if you took back Carmelo as part of the package. At the very least, they would think long and hard about it. Knowing that, I think it’s a call the Cavs have to make. They MUST find a way to trade J.R. He isn’t taking a buyout. Forget it. Not happening.”
And if you think this is all just talk, remember, there’s been enough smoke to assume there could be some fire; this story doesn’t seem to be going away. Marc Stein reported it a few weeks ago as well, saying that the Rockets, “have expressed exploratory interest in acquiring J.R. Smith.”
The disgruntled Smith has only played in 11 games for the Cavs this season, saying earlier in the year that he “has no interest in playing for a team that has no interest in winning,” and then left the squad. But he’s a career 37 percent shooter from deep, and if he has anything left to contribute from an offensive standpoint, he’d be able to do it in H-town.
Though that doesn’t solve Houston’s need for another defensive wing— Smith’s never been a good defender— but you know the old saying: you can never have too many shooters.
And if he can be had for Melo, well, Anthony is obviously dead weight for the Rockets right now, and there’s no one out there drooling to take him off of Houston’s hands. It’s going to require another team that has a player in a similar situation — on the roster, taking up space, not contributing— and Cleveland and Smith fit that criteria.
What do you think, TDS? Would you trade Melo for Smith?