By: Mike Meltser
This morning, Chronicle beat writer Jonathan Feigen wrote a detailed article summarizing the Rockets position as they head into the NBA’s trade deadline. It’s a very good piece, and I wanted to take the time to address a number of points:
Though Morey’s primary goal is to land a centerpiece star, he would be happy to come away from the Feb. 24 trade deadline with a starting center
This makes a lot of sense to me. While landing Carmelo Anthony is obviously the number one priority, Daryl Morey needs to start thinking about changing the overall foundation of his basketball team. At 25-29 on the season, it’s clear the mix isn’t good enough. One of the major reasons for that is the lack of a real center inside. If Morey can land a young one, that would be huge for the future of the team.
The Nuggets, however, have seemed more receptive to the Rockets’ offers for Nene than they had been for Anthony
I discussed the idea of trading for Nene this morning during my solo hour. He’s 28 years old (soon to be 29), and is a 15 ppg-7rpg type of center. Nene is athletic, and a legit 6-11. Would you make that deal? Let’s be honest; if you’ve watched Jordan Hill this season, you’d have to pull the trigger on shipping him for Nene in a split-second.
Though several veteran centers might be available at the deadline — Morey could seek a deal for Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman or Samuel Dalembert — the Rockets are more likely to pursue a younger though less-proven talent.
Trading for a veteran center makes little sense for the Rockets at this point. Marcus Camby and Samuel Dalembert are two good rebounding-defending centers, but those are players who are ideal for a team that is one guy away. Houston is not at that point. I’d consider Chris Kaman, but I’m not really going gaga over the idea of bringing him here.
The Rockets have not seemed inclined to move Aaron Brooks, despite his expiring contract and his one-game suspension this week for conduct detrimental to the team. Coach Rick Adelman said the Rockets are not interested in trading Brooks.
The one piece of the article that makes zero sense to me (from the Rockets standpoint). Let me get this straight: Brooks has had arguably his worst season, just left the court on Saturday night, and now the team is NOT inclined to move him? Why exactly is that? Like I say almost every morning, if a team is under .500, there’s no risk in shaking things up. I wouldn’t move Brooks for the sake of it, but he certainly has to be an eminently tradeable commodity.
The Knicks have been willing to move Anthony Randolph and Memphis has gauged interest in Hasheem Thabeet, but the Rockets have sought more immediate help. Memphis’ Marc Gasol will be a restricted free agent, but the Grizzlies have so far said they will keep him through the deadline.
Anthony Randolph has had acres of talent since his days at LSU. Unfortunately, he’s found himself in the doghouse with both the Warriors and Knicks. Hasheem Thabeet is a #2 overall draft pick who plays about as much NBA basketball as I do. As far as Gasol, I’d throw a parade down Richmond Avenue if Morey could swing a trade for him, but I doubt Memphis is looking to move a young and improving big man.