Ep: 89: Breaking down the Ryan Anderson trade

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) and Forrest Walker (@DUNOTS) analyze the Rockets-Suns trade that sent Ryan Anderson to Phoenix.

Listen to The Red Nation Hoops Podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.

Report: Rockets trade Ryan Anderson to Phoenix Suns, acquire Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss

By Matthew Cardenas on August 31, 2018
Embed from Getty Images

Is an offseason ever dead and quiet with Daryl Morey involved?

Morey shocked the NBA once again Thursday night and moved Ryan Anderson's hefty contract to the Phoenix Suns. Second round draft pick De'Anthony Melton will also be shipped to Phoenix, with Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss set to bring their talents to a 65-win Rockets team that was one win away from the NBA Finals last season. Adrian Wojnarowski announced the trade late Thursday evening, leaving many Rockets fans shocked that Anderson's contract was able to be moved.
The Suns have been in active in prying away Rockets players this offseason. Along with Anderson and Melton, Trevor Ariza also signed with the team for a one-year, $15 million contract. Anderson will fortunately head to Phoenix with some familiarity.

Even after winning 65 games last season, this summer has been far from quiet for the Rockets. Other acquisitions include Carmelo Anthony, James Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams along with the re-signings of Gerald Green, Clint Capela and Chris Paul.

Trading Anderson seemed nearly impossible for the Rockets. Countless efforts were made with no success in trading the power forward who inked a four-year, $80 million contract back in 2016. That summer featured many mid-level players receiving hefty contracts that are constantly on the market now. Getting Anderson's contract off the books was a high priority for the organization in order to make future moves a possibility from a financial standpoint.

Anderson's role was dwindling as his tenure with the Rockets progressed. Anderson had become an increasing liability on the defensive end and was basically unplayable during the postseason, especially against the Golden State Warriors. Opting to insert P.J. Tucker into the starting lineup in place of Anderson did wonders for the team in its Western Conference Finals run, adding more versatility on the defensive end with the offensive contributions still in tact. Fortunately, Anderson didn't pushback at all to his new bench role.

This trade may explain why Melton was never signed to a contract after being selected 46th overall in this years draft. He sat out the 2017-18 season at USC due to violating NCAA rules, which plummeted his draft stock. Melton's summer league play showed he may be one of the steals of the draft, though. His defensive game is already polished with his toughness, length and quick hands. He averaged 2.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per 40 minutes during his lone season with the Trojans. Melton's offensive game caught many by surprise during Summer League. His rebounding and court vision should have the Suns confident in his ability to run an offense. Most importantly, Melton's shooting seems to have vastly improved. He showed full confidence shooting from the perimeter during Summer League, whether that be off the dribble or in spot up.

One underrated attribute Chriss and Knight are bringing to the Rockets is youth. Chriss is 20 and Knight is 26. One of the older teams in the association got significantly younger with these acquisitions. Some have worried about the Rockets' stamina going forward with Paul and Anthony in their mid 30s.

Knight has struggled to find consistency since being selected 8th overall by the Pistons in the 2011 draft. This will be the fourth stop in his career, with other tenures featuring the Milwaukee Bucks and Suns. He missed the entire 2017-18 season after tearing his ACL back in July of 2017, leaving questions as to where Knight's game currently stands. He averages 15.3 PPG, 4.3 APG and 3.3 RPG for his career. Knight shot 40.9 percent from the perimeter in the 2014-15 season in 52 games with the Suns, leaving some hope for his shooting highs to return.

Chriss is an interesting player to watch. Being only 20 years old, he hasn't even scratched the surface of his potential. While his perimeter shooting numbers aren't noteworthy, Chriss will sometimes show a willingness to shoot from deep. He is active on the floor as well, giving Paul and James Harden another alley-oop option. He averaged 7.7 PPG and 5.5 RPG last season with the Suns.

It is possible both Chriss and Knight could see consistent minutes off the Rockets bench. While one of Paul and Harden will always be on the floor, Knight could provide solid minutes as a secondary guard and let either Paul or Harden rest longer. Chriss is a forward who provides more versatility than Anderson and can survive on the floor with certain matchups Anderson couldn't.

Getting Anderson's contract off the books was a priority, and the Rockets were able to do just that. Youth was added in this trade and the organization has set themselves up for hopefully another deep playoff run. Even with the losses of players such as Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute this summer, all of the acquisitions the Rockets have made this summer should have fans hopeful.

Report: Carmelo Anthony Signs 1-Year, $2.5 Million Deal With Rockets

By Matthew Cardenas on August 15, 2018

It is finally happening. There are no more hoops to jump through. Carmelo Anthony will sign with the Rockets after he has now officially cleared waivers. Anthony was recently involved with a trade involving the Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks bought Anthony out and he gave the organization $2.4 million, which he got reimbursed by the Rockets.

Ep. 88: Grading Rockets Offseason, Over/Unders + Schedule Thoughts

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) and Forrest Walker (@DUNOTS) grade the Rockets offseason, discuss Las Vegas over/unders for the team, and share their thoughts on the schedule.

Listen to The Red Nation Hoops Podcast on iTunesGoogle Play Music, and Stitcher.

Ep. 87: Sixers Chase Morey, Melo To Sign With HOU, + Clint Capela Re-Signs

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) and Forrest Walker (@DUNOTS) discuss:

-The Sixers try to hire Daryl Morey
-Carmelo Anthony plans to sign with the Rockets for the minimum
-Clint Capela Re-Signs with the Rockets
-Should the Rockets trade their 1st round pick this year?

Listen to The Red Nation Hoops Podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.

Report: Rockets sign Clint Capela to Five-Year Deal

By Forrest Walker on July 27, 2018

Embed from Getty Images

The Houston Rockets have announced the re-signing of cornerstone center Clint Capela, confirming reports by Jonathan Feigen and Kelly Iko. The deal is reported to be $90 million over five years, with $80 million guaranteed and approximately $10 million in incentives, according to Shams Charania. With this signing, the Rockets have locked down their three best players through 2022, relieving the largest remaining stress for Houston in this offseason.

This deal closely resembles the initial reported offer Houston made to Capela, which can only be seen as a huge win for the Rockets front office, but less exciting for Clint Capela. This number is a few million per year below the max offer he surely would have preferred, but was seemingly unable to get.

There was concern that Capela might take the qualifying offer, seeking greater fortunes next summer. As the weeks dragged by with no progress, money around the league continued to dry up, eventually leaving Capela with no larger offers even possible. This stalemate had remained one of the largest snags in the league over the summer, with the possibility of Capela leaving the team in a year as a very real and chilling possibility for Houston's long-term prospects.

It seems, however, that Capela was the one to blink, taking an offer somewhat below his worth in a less cash-strapped market. Rather than worrying about losing their best young player for nothing, the Rockets are privileged to instead worry about losing money to the luxury tax. This team will be enormously expensive, but if Capela's showing the 2017 playoffs was any indication of future performance, his bill will be easily worth it.

Ep. 86: Mbah a Moute signs with Clippers, Rockets sign James Ennis, + HOU's Pursuit of Melo

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) and Forrest Walker (@DUNOTS) discuss Luc Mbah a Moute leaving Houston for L.A., Clint Capela turning down $85 million, the James Ennis signing, and the Rockets' continued pursuit of Carmelo Anthony

Listen to The Red Nation Hoops Podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.