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Forget Anthony Davis, the Rockets need Nikola Mirotic

Houston could add more consistent three point shooting, size and versatility by trading for Mirotic.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies
Pelicans power forward Nikola Mirotic could help the Rockets space the floor in the playoffs.
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Four Houston Rockets first round draft picks were on the table for Jimmy Butler earlier this season and they damn better be again for Anthony Davis.

But without young assets and the presumption Houston’s draft picks will be at the end of the first round it’s unlikely the Pelicans will bite on any offer from Daryl Morey.

The best Houston could muster is probably Clint Capela and four first round draft picks. It’s a haul, but it doesn’t size up to the Lakers ability to offer Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. Which also includes the presumed destination for Davis.

This doesn’t mean Houston can’t find help in the pending Pelicans fire sale. Enter Nikola Mirotic.

The Montenegrin power forward is available for draft picks according to Zach Lowe. He’d be a rental on the last year of his two-year contract.

It makes too much sense.

The Rockets need more three point shooting from guys not named James Harden, which Mirotic can deliver. A career 35.9% shooter from three he’s been sinking 36.8% of his threes while attempting 7.2 a game. That percentage would be third best on the Rockets.

At 6 foot 10 he’d also add playoff versatility. In the home stretch of some big games last season Clint Capela was relegated to the bench as the Rockets went small and attempted to deploy as much shooting as possible. Mirotic at center would allow Houston to deliver the floor spacing look without ceding size.

Getting a deal done would likely include expiring contract Brandon Knight, a first round pick of New Orleans’ choice and possibly a throw in like Danuel House.

Even at that price it makes sense to bring Mirotic in for the rest of the year.