With the trade deadline right around the corner, teams — both rebuilding and contending for the title — are looking to make some key moves that would shape the fate of their organization. The Houston Rockets fit the profile of a rebuilding team. The likes of Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., Christian Wood, among others, are expected to form a big part of the Rockets' core of future players. All they need is ample time — perhaps two to four seasons — to fully develop their skills and gain experience. As such, Rockets fans understand if the team remains relatively conservative in the next few seasons.
The Rockets are looking to turn things around fast
However, a recent rumor reveals that the organization is not bent on staying in the rebuilding stage for that long. Before the trade deadline, they are eyeing a franchise star — someone who will boost the rebuilding process.
“As for sellers, keep an eye on Houston as we get closer to the deadline. There’s lots of chatter about the Rockets being even more open for business than we may have previously thought, with one rival executive indicating that Houston is still on the lookout for a franchise centerpiece-worthy player and thus open to all sorts of possibilities (translation: While Jalen Green is seen as a big part of their future, Harden’s old spot has yet to be truly filled),” The Athletic.
To acquire a franchise star, the Rockets would need to give up some good assets. For the past few weeks, veteran guard Eric Gordon has been in the rumor mill. Gordon has been with the team since the 2016-17 season and has experienced all the ups and downs of the James Harden era. He has remained professional even after the departure of James Harden and other key players. It is only a matter of time before the Rockets ship him out — a move that will benefit both parties.
How will the rebuilding look like for the Rockets?
The question now is, who will the Rockets include in the trade package? Teams will likely eye the likes of Wood, Porter Jr., and Green. They just won't let go of their star for a bag of peanuts. John Wall, who has not played a single game this season, will obviously be included, but his massive contract will be a mighty hurdle. The veteran guard does not want to be a part of a young and inexperienced team at this point in his career.
It is a matter of wait-and-see who the Rockets will trade away in exchange for the franchise star. As it stands, it is a rather exciting path they are trying to trek. It is a similar move the Los Angeles Lakers did with Anthony Davis. To recall, they traded promising young stars Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks, including the Lakers' No. 4 overall selection in the 2019 NBA draft for The Brow. It was all worth it as the Davis-LeBron tandem brought home the title in 2020.
However, there is a big difference between the Lakers' situation and the Rockets now: LeBron James. Davis was hungry for his first-ever title. It was common sense that a LeBron-led squad was automatically a contender for the title during that time. The Rockets do not have a player that belongs in the category of James. It is not enough to present their young core as their main selling point.