The Houston Rockets are in for an action-packed offseason this year.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 12, 2020
Houston is fully comfortable keeping Harden and Russell Westbrook into the season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 16, 2020
This shocking announcement comes after just 1 year of Russell in Houston.
Per multiple reports throughout the year, Westbrook had multiple concerns with the organization and team as a whole.
“Westbrook, sources say, has made it known for quite some time now that he would like to see significant changes to the Rockets’ culture. Specifically, his desire for more team-wide accountability, discipline and structure have been the focus of talks with team officials. Throughout the season, Westbrook was the consistent presence who kept Harden accountable and the two close friends had several verbal exchanges that sources described as ‘tense, but needed’.”
This is taken from an article by The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, Sam Amick, and Shams Charania.
While Westbrook was the most noteworthy to complain, multiple Rockets were frustrated with the team.
P.J. Tucker was reportedly “irate” with his contract situation.
Eric Gordon was frustrated with not having a defined role – bouncing back and forth between the starting lineup and the bench.
Danuel House wasn’t pleased with his involvement with the offense, which spilled onto the court during a January game against Atlanta.
Danuel House got frustrated during the timeout and kicked a chair. pic.twitter.com/Yl0ZQxkFLe
— Salman Ali (@SalmanAliNBA) January 9, 2020
And finally, Austin Rivers was “unhappy” with his inconsistent playing time.
At one point, he reportedly “went on an ‘expletive-laden tirade’ after one game in which D’Antoni had called for him to go in, only to change his mind and insert DeMarre Carroll, instead.
But as the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
The Golden State Warriors may find some treasure in Houston’s trash.
Warriors Trade Possibilities
While the Rockets just traded Robert Covington, P.J. Tucker is still a solid option for the Warriors.
The Warriors were the first team to truly weaponize the “small-ball” lineup.
The Rockets took that to the next level in recent years, utilizing Tucker as their starting center.
Tucker is only listed at 6’5″.
With his experience playing the 5, the Warriors could immediately plug him into their new “death lineup”.
The Warriors death lineup shut the door in the second half. pic.twitter.com/1zZlZhXGN5
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 15, 2018
All 5 players can shoot from 3 and they could switch everything on defense.
The Warriors could also look at House.
House is a career 37% shooter from 3 who plays solid perimeter defense.
He would strengthen the Warriors bench and provide depth if Thompson’s latest injury is serious.
Golden State’s Other Trade Options
The Warriors are reportedly shopping around for an All-NBA frontcourt player.
One name they have been linked to recently is San Antonio Spur’s big man LaMarcus Aldridge.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe discussed what that deal would look like on his podcast.
“Someone within the league today texted me, ‘Hey there’s a little bit of buzz about No. 2 to San Antonio for LaMarcus Aldridge and No. 11. And obviously there would have to be salary going out. And my response was, that’s crazy. The Warriors should not do that. You don’t trade the No. 2 pick for LaMarcus Aldridge, and I don’t care if you’re getting No. 11.”
The baseline of the trade would be pick #2 for Aldridge and pick #11.
Lowe has the correct response to this deal.
Aldridge is already 35 years old who is not exactly quick on his feet.
While he was a vastly improved shooter from deep this year, he still only averaged 3.0 3PA per game.
He traditionally prefers to work in the post with his back to the basket.
At pick #2, the Warriors will likely have the chance to draft James Wiseman.
Golden State is targeting James Wiseman with the No. 2 pick, per sources.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 19, 2020
Wiseman is a 7′ center out of Memphis who has the ability to score from all 3 levels and the athleticism to guard multiple positions.
Golden State is nearing the end of their dynasty and needs a player to bridge the gap to the next dynasty.
Not only can Wiseman help Golden State this year, but he can also better them in the future.
Between him and Andrew Wiggins, the Warriors would have 2 players who can grow together and form the next dynamic duo.