Houston Rockets Rumors: A proposed trade did include Trevor Ariza

Former Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza traded to the Washington Wizards (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Former Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza traded to the Washington Wizards (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets had a proposed trade that would’ve included Trevor Ariza but was he returning back to H-Town? Let’s take a look at what would’ve been.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s hands were working hot and heavy as the red-letter date of Dec. 15 became a reality.  As us hoops heads know, this is the earliest date that players could be traded that were acquired within the same season.

Many of us are wondering — and still are — if the Houston Rockets were going to find a way to package Carmelo Anthony in a deal.  There’s no word yet on that.  Although Melo has long severed his ties with the team, he technically is still associated with the team and the remainder of the $2.7 million that he’s owed this season — approximately $1.5 million — is still a tab the Houston Rockets will have to pick up, unless they find a taker.

But the trade market for Melo is drier than the gulches of the Grand Canyon and I think that eventually the team will just have to officially waive him as teams will not trade for him.  But I do think that there’s a strong possibility that if he does become a free agent again, some team will try their hand at having him help them with their stretch run.

Any team that brings Melo into the fold will be one that is actually playing for something because a team that’s headed for the lottery has nothing much to gain, other than marketability of name to help put butts in the seats.

He still has a strong, cult-like following of fans.  How do I know this?  Any time I go on the record criticizing Melo, fans of his come out the woodwork come to combat my assertions.  That’s cool and all but it further demonstrates that wherever he goes, he has the ability to sell tickets for any given franchise.

But back to the matter at hand — what if I told you that the Houston Rockets were putting together a trade package that would’ve included Trevor Ariza?

Would he have made a return from the team he helped get within one game of reaching the NBA Finals last season?

Not necessarily.  According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Houston Rockets were going to be part of a three-way trade that would’ve included the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks.

The team had their eyes set on guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the proposed deal would’ve

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involved veteran guard Jeremy Lin being packaged from the Hawks to the Suns with an extra asset while the Rockets would’ve shipped Brandon Knight and a first-round pick to the Hawks.

As you know by now, Ariza was traded back to Washington Wizards and the Suns acquired Kelly Oubre and Austin Rivers in exchange.

I think including the first-round pick cost would’ve been a bit high but quite frankly, this team needs a spark and Caldwell-Pope would’ve been able to provide that off the bench.  Who knows? He would’ve been able to spot-start as needed.  His 36 percent mark from behind-the-arc is definitely something the team would’ve been able to use as the former first-round pick has proven he can nail his threes at a high-volume (1.5 makes versus 4.2 attempts per game), so there’s that.

Caldwell-Pope is currently on a one-year, $12 million deal so the prorated portion would’ve been $9 million that the Rockets would’ve owed while they would’ve been able to dump Knight’s $14.6 million salary for 2018-19 to the Hawks with a prorated portion of $10.95 million.

This deal would’ve offered some relief of about $2 million to the cap, which does offer the team some opportunities to be able bring in some diamonds in the rough to the fold either by way of two-way or 10-day contracts, of which the latter seems less commonplace than of yesteryear.

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But bar none — Melo is still with this team and Caldwell-Pope hasn’t been traded yet so I hope both find their way off and on this team respectively, hopefully before Feb. 7 trade deadline.

We’ll have to see — I still trust in you Morey!