Rockets: Trades Or Free Agency, That is The Question


Now that the draft is over, the Rockets are depending on trades and free agency to improve their roster. With free agency starting on July 1st, trades will be the focus over the next seven days. Do we have any intriguing pieces?

The Rockets have hired Mike D’Antoni as the new head coach, which will undoubtedly be followed by roster changes in an attempt to run his well-known uptempo offensive scheme. With this being said, the draft has come and gone with little to no change to the starting five.

The draft yielded the team two bigs in Louisville’s Chinanu Onuaku and Zhou Qi from China in the second round. Although Onuaku is very athletic and Qi has tremendous upside, it seems highly unlikely that either will contribute in the upcoming season.

With this being said, there seemed to be a last minute signing that could add depth and talent to the teams active roster. Daryl Morey signed Gary Payton II to a three year deal after he went un-drafted on Thursday night.

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Payton, the son of hall of famer Gary Payton Sr., is a gifted point guard who could feasibly thrive in D’Antoni’s offense if given the opportunity to develop. His ability to penetrate could be invaluable in the near future.

Now that draft day is over, Rockets fans are left wondering how we are going to acquire the assets needed to fill out the starting line-up and bench with players capable of executing our new offense. For the next seven days, the answer is trades.

Do we have intriguing  assets that will net us the players we need? I suppose that would depend on our potential trade partners. As of now, Patrick Beverley, Trevor Ariza and K.J. McDaniels have been made available as recent as draft day. The Rockets were in preliminary discussions about a deal that included swapping the aforementioned Beverly and Ariza for Philly’s Nerlens Noel.

Unfortunately, this deal has yet to come to pass. Noel is just the type of player that could catapult the team into the D’Antoni era. He’s tall, athletic and can handle the ball well for his size. This is exactly what we need in a system that requires offensive output and versatility from everyone on the floor.

Hopefully, this does not gauge the league’s interest in what the Rockets have to offer. We have been in a position to make deals for some of our talent that have since become either restricted or unrestricted free-agents, but failed to pull the trigger. Donatas Motiejūnas(restricted) was involved in a  voided trade at the deadline and the team has also been unable to move Terrence Jones(unrestricted) before his contract was up.

Both of these players seemed to have value on the open market, but have reached free-agency, which may prove to be a costly mistake while trying to revamp a roster. Only time will tell which current players Daryl Morey and the new coaching staff feel translate well into the new system. Personally, I believe that we should be seeing quite a few new faces considering our current scoring difficulties.

As far as free agency is concerned, the Rockets have failed to make a big splash in recent years. Maybe a few nice trades could change our fortune in that regard, but who truly knows what comes first between the chicken and the egg. Perhaps we will find out this offseason.

Next: Rockets Bring In Defensive Coordinator For Mike D'Antoni

The Rockets seem to have plans to be busy in free-agency and I personally feel like they should. Do you agree? If so, who do you feel like we should target?