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Bargain trades available for the Rockets

Can Houston barter for a cheap upgrade?

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, but that doesn't mean that the flash sales are over. With approximately 20 percent of the season already completed, we have a decent idea of who is a playoff contender and who isn't. For teams that want to get a jump start on tanking, unloading some veterans and expiring contracts should come into play over the coming months.

The Houston Rockets appear to be on the road to playoff/play-in contention. and while there’s no rush to change the overall makeup of the roster, adding an additional piece for a playoff push wouldn’t hurt. By using Victor Oladipo’s expiring $9 million contract and some draft equity, the Rockets could move into range to pick up a solid contributor.

Adding another shooter, defender or bolstering the center depth behind Alperen Sengun makes the most sense in any deal.

The perpetually middle-of-the-road Chicago Bulls immediately come to mind, as it’s time for them to blow it up. Alex Caruso may very well become the prize of the midseason trade market, but unfortunately for the Rockets, his price tag will likely be too high.

An actual target on Chicago is Andre Drummond, as he only costs $3.3 million. At the very least, he would provide Houston elite rebounding.

Another worthy swing would be for one of the Detroit Pistons bevy of big men. Jalen Duren is out of the question and Isaiah Stewart would probably cost too much, but there’s always Marvin Bagley III and James Wiseman.

Wiseman, the former top two overall pick, has been delegated as the runt of the litter, but I still would be willing to take a flyer on him. He’s missed a lot of basketball since his senior year of high school, but he still has the athletic flashes that makes me want to see him in whatever system will make it work for him.

Moving to the Western Conference, I’d still be on board to land Kelly Olynyk in a trade with the Utah Jazz. Utah could open up more playing time for some of their younger bigs with KO out of the way. His combination of shooting, passing and size aids the Rockets in multiples categories should they reacquire him.

One last player that I think could be a decent pickup is Otto Porter Jr. with the Toronto Raptors. Toronto fans have likely been underwhelmed with his lack of production — and availability — after he was a key reserve for the Golden State Warriors during their 2022 finals run. When healthy, he provides length on the wing and is a 39.8 percent shooter from three for his career.

However, it could be a hassle getting Porter Jr., as Masai Ujiri is one to ask for the world in any trade, but maybe some second round picks could make him more willing to play ball.

Understanding that none of these players would necessarily shift the balance of the league, it would be nice to have another player that is able to contribute opposed to a roster spot designated for salary filler.

Poll

Which hypothetical trade piece do you like best?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Drummond
    (171 votes)
  • 19%
    Wiseman
    (106 votes)
  • 30%
    Olynyk
    (167 votes)
  • 5%
    Porter Jr.
    (28 votes)
  • 14%
    I hate them all
    (79 votes)
551 votes total Vote Now