The Houston Rockets season hasn’t exactly gone to plan. The Westbrook-Harden experiment has earned the Rockets fifth place in the West, six wins out of first place. While this doesn’t exactly mean panic stations for Daryl Morey and co. there is some urgency to get the ship sailing smoothly again. And despite the NBA regular season slowly becoming less and less relevant in regards to the bigger picture of the postseason, this dip in form comes as a surprise to a franchise that hasn’t finished lower than fourth since 2016.
With the trade deadline fast approaching, here are three players the Houston Rockets can acquire to strengthen their position in a loaded Western Conference.
Covington, otherwise known as ‘Rocco’, has spent the last season and a half milling away in Minnesota. For the T-Wolves, Covington is currently averaging 12.8 points per game off of 43% shooting. From three, Covington has a 35% career average rate. This season Covington is making close to three 3’s a game on 34.6% shooting.
Rocco’s 12.8 per game along with his ability to space the floor and defend multiple positions on the floor would make him a suitable addition to the Rockets. While Covington is not a season-altering type of player, he is a top pedigree role player and within D’Antoni’s system, he has a real chance to make his presence felt come Spring.
Once regarded as the most exciting high school player since LeBron James, Jabari Parker’s career has not exactly panned out how many had hoped. Seven years on, Parker seems destined for the infamous ‘Jeff Green club’ of players who we swear will turn out good, but never do.
However, Parker, only being 24, still has the opportunity to alter people’s perceptions of him and have a successful career. Everywhere the forward has gone he has been productive. Parker has never averaged less than 10 points per game in his seven-year career (15.0 this season). If Parker were to be traded by the Atlanta Hawks, his skillset, similar to Covington’s, would flourish in D’Antoni’s system.
Sticking down South, there are strong rumours that the Rockets are looking to trade big man Clint Capela. Moreover, there are rumblings of discontent springing up from the camp of John Collins regarding his position in Atlanta. Collins is set to earn around $2.6 million this season. That is $16 million cheaper than Capela.
As well as being cheaper, Collins is younger, fleeter of foot and a better shooter than Capela. Collins is attempting more and more 3 pointers as his career goes on; 0.6 in the 2017-18 season, 2.6 in 2018-19 and this season Collins is attempting 3.6 3’s a game with a 3 point percentage od 34.9%.
Versatility is not a luxury for D’Antoni, it’s essential. Collins has that in abundance when compared to the more traditional play style of Capela.