Although the Houston Rockets are a team marked by youth, they also have a few veterans on their roster who could contribute much more in more competitive contexts. Which makes them one of the main animators of the market closing. It is evident that John Wall, Eric Gordon, Christian Wood or Daniel Theis paint little in the Texan franchise right now and there are already several teams that have come to ask.
In your last article for The Athletic, Kelly Iko goes deep into possible Rockets exits. Starting with John Wall, his mammoth contract remains a difficult barrier to overcome. It has already rained since the player requested to play with the team again. Thing that was denied in the post of developing the young backcourt formed by Green and Porter Jr. It seems impossible for Wall to leave Houston without giving up part of his salary via buyout. However, the Clippers have been the only franchise that has shown consistent interest in the point guard. His plans to carry out the movement are already more opaque.
As bizarre as it sounds, the Lakers would be the second team in contention and their currency would be Russell Westbrook. In a kind of reissue of the move that brought Wall to Houston and Russ to the Wizards, the Lakers and Rockets appear to be at different points. The Texans are looking to get Wall’s contract out of the way, which would mean bringing in an almost impossible-to-find third team — since it would have to absorb Westbrook’s salary. In addition, those of Rafael Stone would request the first round of 2027 from the Lakers.
To big problems, expensive remedies
Leaving aside the poster that John Wall will always carry with him, Eric Gordon is the undisputed biggest draw of the Rockets when it comes to the transfer market. A tremendously professional and productive veteran whose style of play is adaptable to any team in the NBA. As if that were not enough, his contract, although high, is much more flexible than Wall’s. Gordon has this year and one more year guaranteed for a figure close to 20 million dollars a year. Price range more than affordable in a player like him.
The problem, once again, is to reconcile the salaries that leave with those that arrive. The Rockets have already received a myriad of offers that they have decided to decline. According to Iko, the deal would have to reach a very high profit for Houston to let him go. The journalist points out that, given the demands, it is most likely that Gordon will remain with the team after February 10. Although there are always teams desperate enough to undertake this type of movement.
The Rockets have already spoken several times about their intention to keep the shooting guard. The idea is that Gordon be the veteran profile that gives the necessary balance of competitiveness in a group that has a lot to learn.
If Green causes the Rockets’ perimeter to look to the future, Alperen Sengun does the same with the interior line. The Turk has stretched himself to show himself as the team’s second most attractive young project. Moving Wood and Theis away from medium and long-term plans. In the case of the first, it is the Heat that have shown the most interest in recent weeks. But then again, only an unrejectable offer would get the Rockets to release him.
It is easier for Daniel Theis to leave the team, who is barely counting on minutes when the squad is completely healthy. At the moment, offers with names and surnames are not reported, but his value as a veteran generates general interest around the league. The same happens with profiles like David Nwaba and DJ Agustin.
(Cover photo Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)