Bleacher Report Offers Wall, Wood, Mathews Trades For Rockets

With the 2022 playoff field reduced from 16 teams to four, the NBA’s highly anticipated 2022 offseason is just around the corner. As the June 23 draft approaches, trade negotiations will resume in the league.

As usual, general manager Rafael Stone and the Rockets should be among the most active teams. Although Houston is clearly in a rebuilding phase, there are a number of very expensive veterans (John Wall, Christian Wood and Eric Gordon) who might be of interest to competing teams.

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Even better, each member of this trio is entering the final season of their existing contracts in 2022-23, which could make them more desirable in the commercial market due to the lack of long-term financial commitment.

As trade rumors swirled, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz recently offered an off-season trade idea for each of the league’s 30 teams. Here’s what he offered involving the Rockets, along with our verdicts on whether or not Stone is advised to sue each. All of these proposals operate within the NBA’s wage-matching rules for trades.

The Golden State Warriors receive:

The Houston Rockets receive:

  • C James Wiseman
  • SG Moses Moody

(Explanation from Bleacher Report)

Our verdict for Houston: If available, do it in a snap. Wood is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 offseason, which makes his future with the Rockets uncertain to begin with, and it’s also an open question whether Wood can play successfully in a frontcourt alongside talented central prospect Alperen. Sengung.

The Rockets won’t trade Wood just to trade him, as they would likely prefer the salary cap space that comes from Wood simply leaving in free agency over contracts that could be viewed as having negative value. He is also, of course, still a good player. But if they could trade Wood for two first-round lottery picks from the 2020 and 2021 NBA drafts, who would likely each retain at least positive trade value (based on their youth and upside) in case cap space is needed ? Yes.

The Houston Rockets receive:

  • PG Russell Westbrook (to redeem)
  • 2023 second-round pick
  • 2027 second-round pick

The Los Angeles Lakers receive:

(Explanation from Bleacher Report)

Our verdict for Houston: Perhaps. If the going gets tough, revisiting Wall-Westbrook talks and walking away with two future second-round draft picks (while buying out Westbrook) is a better-case scenario than just buying out Wall’s contract and the Rockets get no value. .

That said, while Wall alone can’t get the Lakers to give up the kind of unprotected first-round asset that Stone wants, it’s worth exploring whether a combination of Wall and Gordon — or perhaps Wood — might do the trick. Second-round proposals should be a last resort.

New Orleans Pelicans receive:

  • SG Garrison Mathews
  • G/F David Nwaba

The Houston Rockets receive:

(Explanation from Bleacher Report)

Our verdict for Houston: Probably not. Lewis was a late lottery pick of a relatively weak 2020 NBA Draft, and he just tore his ACL. While he’s not a terrible recovery draft, it might not be worth giving up on Mathews, who is only a season ahead of Lewis in NBA experience and provides a solid 3-point shooting on an extremely friendly contract. Plus, the Rockets already have young point guards they love in Kevin Porter Jr. and Daishen Nix, and it’s possible they could add another with one of their two first-round draft picks. 2022.

Stephen Silas’ system needs a 3-point volume shot to provide ground spacing for the likes of Jalen Green, and Mathews provides it at a reduced rate. Our bet is that the Rockets should legitimately believe in Lewis — and not just view him as a flier or experiment — to drop a cheap rotation player like Mathews as part of the deal.

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