The Houston Rockets were closing in a deal to nab DeAndre Jordan from the Brooklyn Nets before time expired. What all went into it? Let’s take a look.
The team does seem committed to the small-ball lineup with P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington as the anchors along with James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Danuel House/Eric Gordon/Ben McLemore filling out the rest of the starting lineup.
The strategy worked just fine against the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night in their impressive 121-111 win but the laid a rotten egg against the Phoenix Suns last night. They fell in 127-91 decision with them trailing by as much as 38 points, going to show that small-ball will not work for every game that they field in their schedule.
With the deadline having passed, they’ll have to either seek those players that are sitting on the couch or even more appealing, players that are eligible for buyouts from any given team. Since the team is in “win now” mode, the buyout market is ever more attractive for a team like the Houston Rockets.
But was the team fully committed to the small-ball concept as much as it seems that they are communicating?
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets were closing in a deal to land center DeAndre Jordan by trying to add in the Brooklyn Nets as one of the teams in the four-team deal that shipped Capela, Gerald Green and their 2020 first-round pick away.
It’s apparent that the Houston Rockets weren’t willing to give up their first-round pick for Jordan to the Nets or else that deal would’ve been closed easily. It also makes me believe that the Denver Nuggets were the team that was late on the way in and the Nets were the team the Houston Rockets wanted to deal with in the first place.
My statement is predicated on what each respective team acquired in this blockbuster deal, and it makes sense because the Houston Rockets long wanted to acquire RoCo and the Atlanta Hawks had shown interest in Capela for quite some time. The aforementioned teams would’ve been involved in a deal with the Houston Rockets no matter what, making the Nugs the dark horse instead of the Nets.
If the Houston Rockets were to acquire Jordan, who is a native of Houston, one of the newest monikers would’ve been Titletown U.S.A. He makes that much a difference on both ends of the floor and the rebounding production would’ve been easily replaced by D.J.’s presence for years to come.
Jordan, 31, is still working off the four-year, $40 million deal that kicked in this season. His $10M
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per season salary would’ve definitely put the Houston Rockets past the luxury tax threshold for this season as well as likely beyond; and, believe me, he’s the type of player that’s worth going over the line for.
But if anything, I honestly think the pick, as well as the lack of assets going their way in a multi-team deal, caused the Nets to back down from their stance of striking a deal with the Houston Rockets.
It’s all good — we can all dream of what would’ve been, endless lobs for dunks from Beard and Russ and continued dominance for this team on the boards. Now they’ll have to work a little harder until extra help comes their way, whenever that may be.
Let’s see how that buyout market bodes for the Rockets! Here we go!
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Jordan is averaging 7.9 points. 9.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists off 67.7 percent shooting from the field and a notable 69.4 percent from behind the charity stripe through 42 games — four starts — for this season. He’s been averaging 20.9 minutes per game off the bench.