Two Potential Draft-Day Trades for the Rockets

By Taylor Pate on May 17, 2016

The Rockets lost their first-round draft choice this year to the Denver Nuggets when they made the playoffs. In the second round, the Rockets have the 37th and 43rd picks. While Daryl Morey has been fairly successful at finding talent in the second round, the Rockets aren't in a position to need two more middle-of-the-road rookies. 

Furthermore, the Rockets are in need of a serious shake-up with their roster. After a 56 win season in 2014-15, the Rockets sputtered their way to 41 wins in 2015-16. Much of the reason for that was a lack of chemistry, both on and off the court. Moving some of the players that seemed to be at the root of the Rockets' struggles could be the best option. Here are two possibilities that could do just that:

Phoenix Suns/Atlanta Hawks/Houston Rockets

  • Rockets receive: Mirza Teletovic, Jeff Teague.
  • Suns receive: Corey Brewer, 43rd overall pick from Houston, 44th overall pick from Atlanta.
  • Hawks receive: Patrick Beverley, 37th overall pick from Houston.

The Hawks were discussing a George Hill/Jeff Teague swap at the trade deadline, suggesting they wanted to shake things up. After the playoffs, the Hawks should also feel confident in Dennis Schröder moving forward. Patrick Beverley could provide some fire to the Hawks' bench unit on a great contract under the new salary cap.

The Suns are competing with the Celtics for acquiring the most picks in this year's draft. They could acquire two more second round picks, while adding a veteran presence off the bench. Prior to injuries to...everyone, the Suns were poised to compete for a playoff spot. They could turn these picks into a bigger trade acquisition or try to move up and acquire a 3rd first round pick in this draft.

The Rockets would acquire a fantastic shooter in Teletovic, making up for some of the terrible stretches of 3-point shooting that spelled them this season. More importantly, the Rockets get a point guard that comes from a system where ball movement is the prime focus. Teague can create for himself and others, while still shooting 40% from beyond the arc. He may need the ball in his hands more than Patrick Beverley, but that would relieve some of the pressure off of James Harden.

Indiana Pacers/Chicago Bulls/Houston Rockets

  • Pacers receive: Derrick Rose, 37th overall pick from Houston.
  • Bulls receive: Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, Rodney Stuckey, Jordan Hill.
  • Rockets receive: George Hill, Nikola Mirotic, Solomon Hill, 48th overall pick from Indiana.

 This trade qualifies as "shaking it up". There have been rumors of the Pacers looking to acquire Derrick Rose, who had his healthiest season since his 2010-11 MVP campaign. Rose will allow the Pacers to push the pace the way Larry Bird wants, but carries a hefty $20.1m salary. To acquire him,

The Bulls know that if they want to keep Jimmy Butler, they're going to have to make him happy by winning now. Acquiring another defensive wing and point guard to take some pressure off of Butler is a good start. With Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol potentially headed for other destinations, Jordan Hill could plug a hole off the bench for Chicago, and Rodney Stuckey is instant offense.

From the Rockets perspective, they get a point guard that can play off the ball as a 40% 3-point shooter (see a trend here?), or who can create for himself by getting to the rim. Hill is also an upgrade defensively, as Beverley seems to be a step slower on that end. Though the Rockets may lose Trevor Ariza, there is reason to believe the team would be looking for a small forward in free agency anyway. Nikola Mirotic had an up and down season, but is a capable scorer and facilitator in this league. He could play as a stretch-four in small-ball lineups, spacing the floor with his shooting. Solomon Hill is a decent rotational player off of the bench and was included to match salaries.

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