Now that the Houston Rockets are looking to become younger, how long does John Wall and Eric Gordon have on the team? Gordon and Wall could possibly play for another contending team in the playoffs. They provide shifty movement with the basketball and scoring. The only problem is Wall and Gordon suffer from injuries.
Wall was continually in-and-out of the starting lineup during the season because of knee problems. While Wall was dealing with that balky knee, Gordon got sidelined due to a groin injury. Teams in the NBA can become skeptical because of injuries. Minus the time off, Wall and Gordon did have good seasons.
Wall averaged 20 points, 6.9 assists, and 3.2 rebounds with the Rockets this season. His effective field percentage was 45.8 percent while having a 50.3 true shooting percentage on a 31.6 usage rating. Gordon had a huge improvement from his previous season by averaging 17.8 points per game and shooting splits of 43.3/32.9/82.5. Gordon made 2.6 out of 7.8 attempts from three, so that’s why his shooting percentage is low. Gordon even had a 52.7 effective goal percentage and 57.7 shooting percentage, which is incredible.
Gordon and Wall could contribute on another NBA roster because of their veteran stature. What are the teams that could possibly need their skill set? Teams like the New Orleans Pelicans and Indiana Pacers have inquired about a veteran. The Pacers have thoughts of trading the 13th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft for an experienced player. Besides those two teams, who else?
Gordon would fit perfect in a Celtics uniform, as they need more veteran players with playoff experience. He would provide slashing, strong driving, and the ability to cut to the basket without the ball. Gordon will also be able to focus on his shooting because of Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown forcing so much attention in post-up opportunities. The Celtics could also spread their shooters out on the perimeter. He could also take most of the responsibility on defense, as his size and strength play a huge part. Although Brad Stevens is in the front office now after Danny Ainge stepped down, things might be a little different underneath new head coach Ime Udoka.
Hopefully, the Celtics offer a younger role player who is a good shooter. I personally like idea of Aaron Nesmith from the Celtics. As he did at the University of Vanderbilt, his shooting was impressive off 14.5 minutes with the Celtics. He shot 37 percent from three this season and had three break-out games against Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, and Portland Trailblazers. Nesmith scored 16 points versus the Spurs, 15 points against the Hornets, and 16 points off the bench, as the Celtics were matched up against the Trailblazers. Within those three games, he shot 57 percent from three.
Nesmith is also a good defender along the perimeter because he knows how to move his feet in a trailing position. He has great lateral movement for a player who is 6’5”. He’ll likely be a solid player in the future because of his upside.
The Celtics cap sitch is ridiculous and hard to look past if they’re trying acquire good players from other teams. I was able run my own trade measure to see what it cost for the Rockets and Celtics to acquire each player. A three-team trade is the only solution for both teams.
Tyler Herro could also be included in a three-team trade that sends Goran Dragic somewhere else than the Rockets. This is a smarter way for Herro to become a Rocket. The Rockets would have to lose their 23rd and 24th pick in the NBA draft to accommodate the Celtics and Miami Heat. To be honest, this trade would be tough to pull off but its worth a try if I was Rafael Stone.
The Rockets would also receive Grant Williams too. He provides a tough frame and energy on the court. Williams is a sturdy defender because of his strength and toughness. His strengths would show in one-on-one coverage.
The Celtics would receive Dragic, which adds another veteran presence in the backcourt. He is extremely shifty and a great shooter from three. He did deal with inquires this season while still averaging 13.4 points per game and shooting 37 percent from three. Dragic would be a good replacement after the Celtics traded away Kemba Walker.
The Heat would receive Grant Williams, Evan Fournier, and Payton Pitchard. Williams is a tenacious rebounder, rim runner, and defender. Fournier is great playmaker off pick-in-roll and shooter from the perimeter. During the season, Fournier averged 17.1 points per game and shot 41 percent from three, which is valuable to Heat because they have shooters already. Pitchard would have a great opportunity to learn from Jimmy Butler. He is a young guard from Oregon with great potential because of ability to score and see the floor well. He shot 41 percent from three.
Tyler Herro had a slight drop off year by shooting only 36 percent from three after making 39 percent the previous year, which was his rookie year. He did score more by averaging 15.1 points per game in the regular season. His biggest struggles became obvious in the playoffs. Herro shot 31.6 from three off 4.8 attempts per game in 23.2 minutes. He even became a defensive liability in zone or one-on-one situations. His minutes decreased by 10 minutes from the previous playoffs inside the bubble. After the Heat were swept, trade rumors surrounded Herro, which linked him to the Rockets.
I believe that Herro can turn it around because he is only 21 years old and it’s just his second year in the NBA. He would provide prominent catch-and-shoot ability from the perimeter, in addition to being able to put the ball down and attack the basket.
The Rockets are consistently talking to teams about Gordon, so they’re able to make a deal before, during, or after the NBA Draft. While the Rockets are trying to find a suitor for Gordon, Wall was seen liking trade ideas to the Los Angeles Clippers. Since Kawhi Leonard could miss part of next season due to a slight ACL tear, Wall could be a good decision for the Clippers, as Paul George and him have a great relationship. He was seen sitting with George’s folks at Game 1 versus the Dallas Mavericks.
I decided to dial up another trade opportunity that would send Wall to the Clippers, which involves another three-team trade.
Marcus Morris would be great fit for the Rockets, as he would bring experience, toughness, and the ability to score when needed. He can have random big nights, as he did in the playoffs. Morris scored 22 points off 52.9 percent shooting from the field in a playoff exit versus the Phoenix Suns.
Terance Mann is almost similar to Jae’ Sean Tate, as they relate to each other on defense and athletic ability. He dropped 39 points in a playoff win versus the Utah Jazz after only averaging 7.6 points per game.
Luke Kennard would be an added professional sniper who is skillful with the basketball. On 19.6 minutes, Kennard shot 44.7 percent from three while averaging 8.3 points per game.
The Sacramento Kings would get two veterans that they desperately need. Patrick Beverley and Patrick Patterson would have a huge voice on that team. Their leadership would be pivotal. In my opinion, I think the Clippers would be ready to dump Beverley because they would have Wall and Rajon Rondo, which is a stronger upgrade.
Gordon is owed $18-20.9 million for the next three years while Wall’s contract is between $44-47.3 million with two years left. Their contracts play a tough part as well because it is a a lot of money for older players.
Hopefully, the Rockets find two NBA teams that fit Wall and Gordon before the season starts.