The Rockets have officially made their first move towards a rebuild.
Late Monday evening, the Rockets sent Robert Covington to the Blazers in exchange for former Rocket Trevor Ariza, the 16th pick in Wednesday’s draft and a 2021 protected first-round pick, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com.
The Rockets are finalizing a trade to send Robert Covington to Portland for Trevor Ariza and 2020 first-round pick and 2021 protected first-round pick, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 17, 2020
While James Harden and Russell Westbrook have been the ones in trade rumors lately, Covington was the first to go.
RoCo was acquired by the Rockets days before the trade deadline in February in a four-team deal that saw the Rockets surrender a first-rounder to the Nuggets and Clint Capela to the Hawks.
After just 22 regular season appearances and 10 playoff starts, Covington is on the move to Portland in exchange for a former face.
Trevor Ariza now begins his third tenure as a member of the Houston Rockets. Ariza played in Houston from 2009-10 and from 2014-18. Since he departed from the team two seasons ago, Ariza has played for the Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers.
However, the big fish in this trade comes in the two future first-round picks that will allow the Rockets to begin their rebuilding process.