At the trade deadline, the Houston Rockets only succeeded with finding a trade partner for Daniel Theis. Rafael Stone found a way to send Theis back to the Boston Celtics for a package around Dennis Schroder, which included Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando. With that trade happening, Freedom, DJ Augustin, and Armoni Brooks were released.
Shockingly, there were no draft picks included. Although Rockets’ twitter was frustrated with the front office, Stone allowed himself to not settle but find the right deal for the future. Stone couldn’t get the proper offers for Eric Gordon, Christian Wood, and John Wall. The biggest goal for the Rockets was to receive a first-round pick and/or expiring deals. Luckily, Schroder’s contract is a one-year deal underneath $6 million. Schroder could play a pivotal role for the Rockets, as Stephan Silas mentioned, he should be helpful of the bench.
While having Gordon, Wood, Wall, and Schroder on the roster, it would make sense to bring two of them back. Wood and Schroder could be with the Rockets next season depending how they finish this season off. Executives around the NBA think Wood’s trade value is low, which makes sense. He is consistent on the stat sheet but his 17 and 10 is not effective for the Rockets. Yes, Wood has become a better switch defender and rebounder, but it becomes overshadowed because of the losing. Silas is giving Wood the keys to the Lamborghini, but has not driven it.
Wood has faced criticism and pressure from the Rockets’ fanbase. Although some of the fanbase wants Wood gone, I still think his upside will be shown next season. Wood is 6’9” with an incredible wingspan averaging 17.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game with shootings splits of 48.3/36.9/61.8 percent.
Schroder could relieve pressure off of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., as he can be the main point guard with the second unit. He gives Porter more rest, as he’ll be able to play off the wing more.
Schroder does a great job of controlling the pace on offense with his decisive passing skills and quirky scoring. He feeds off the driving lanes when open. If the lanes clog, he’ll kick it out to certain shooters around him.
Schorder is averaging 14.4 points, 4.2 assists, and 3.3 per game with shooting splits of 44.0/34.9/84.8. Besides his offense, he is a good defender in man and zone defense. He knows how to rotate on time and play the passing lanes well. Schroder has a defensive rating of 105.4. He could make a surprise impact similar to Kelly Olynyk last season.
Although Wall and Gordon did not get dealt, Stone will stand a better chance of trading them in the offseason. Their value is up-and-down because of their contracts. Wall’s contract has $47.3 million dollars on it for next season, which becomes easier to buy him out during the summer or trade him. Gordon is at $40.4 million over the next two seasons, and that worried other teams around the league. At 33-years-old, teams are also concerned about Gordon’s health. For the Rockets this season, he has sat a few games due minor injuries and rest. The Rockets could possibly shut him down at some point this season, as they are 15-40.
Stone tried his best to get first-round picks from the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns but was told his asking price was too high. Keep in mind, Gordon’s shooting splits are 49.1/42.7/75.7 on the season and Wall is healthy and well rested. He did the right thing by not settling. Gordon has been a true professional by helping with the development of the younger players on the team. Although Wall wants to play basketball, he must understand it’s a business.
If the Rockets want to look for a max player in the offseason, it could be Zion Williamson. As of right now, Williamson is in Oregon trying to get healthy from foot surgery. He is also shedding a few pounds too so he can get back in basketball shape.
No word on Williamson returning for the season, as he was unhappy with the New Orleans Pelicans in the offseason because of the lack of talent around him. Although CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram are there, does he want to play with them? If not, Stone could make phone calls to see what players he could send to the Pelicans for him, including draft compensation.
Hopefully, the Rockets’ fanbase can be patient with the front office.