Evaluating Rockets Assets Before Trade Deadline

Thursday’s trade deadline will be Daryl Morey’s tenth as Rockets general manager, and if you use history as a guide, it’s a lock that he makes some sort of move before the clock strikes 2:00 pm.

A trade deadline has not passed without the Rockets making some sort of tweak to their roster since Morey took the reins of their basketball operations. In that span he’s traded starters (Rafer Alston, Shane Battier), guys that don’t matter (Alexy Shved, Kirk Snyder), and Aaron Brooks twice.

It’s any guess as to what type of move Morey will decide to make this week, but lets look at the assets he has at his disposal.

The Untouchables
James Harden- No explanation needed

Ryan Anderson- He’s in the first year of a 4-year deal and has been exactly what Morey thought he would be.

Eric Gordon- See Anderson, except he’s been better that what Morey thought he’d be.

Trevor Ariza- Might be the most under-appreciated player in the NBA, and he’ll make $7.4 million next season, the final year of his contract.

Patrick Beverley- Speaking of under-appreciated, do you realize that Beverley is on the books for $5.5 million next season, with a $5 million team option the year after. In this inflated NBA economy, you can’t trade bargains like that.

The assets
Clint Capela- Slated to make $2.3 million in the final year of his rookie deal next season. He’ll be eligible for an extension, so a team could have him for the next six seasons. Because he’s so reliant on Harden, it’s hard to guage if Capela is really a good player, but he’s young, with tools, so that makes him valuable.

Sam Dekker- He’s only in year two of his rookie deal, so he’ll make $1.8 million next season, and $2.8 million the next year, after which he’d hit restricted free agency. Dekker’s played well in what is essentially his rookie season. He’s cheap, young, and springy, and has flashed a 3-point shot. Teams love that skill set.

Montrezl Harrell- He’ll make a million dollars next season before hitting restricted free agency. What you see now is pretty much what he’s going to be. A big guy who brings energy and put the ball in the basket, but won’t rebound a lick.

Chinanu Onuaku- Second round pick who is in year one of a dirt cheap three year deal.

The draft picks
The Rockets own all of their first round picks going forward, with 2017’s slated to be 28th as of now. Their second round pick belongs to the Knicks, but the Rockets will get second rounders this June from Portland and Denver, which should fall anywhere from 40-45. They do not have a second round pick in 2019.

The contracts
Corey Brewer- He makes $7.6 million this season, but the problem is that he makes $7.6 million next season. Brewer would have to be involved in almost any reasonably big deal the Rockets make, but in doing so, Morey will have to add to the pot in order to get someone to play that 2017-18 salary.

K.J. McDaniels- Makes $3.3 million this season with a $3.5 million team option for next season. At this point in his Rockets career he’s nothing more than a filler.

Nene- Under contract for $2.9 million this season, but he’s played well, and out of respect I thought about putting him in the untouchable section. Problem with trading Nene is that if he’s sent to a non-contender there’s a good chance he gets bought out and winds up with a team that faces the Rockets in the playoffs.

Tyler Ennis- $1.7 million

The roster spots
Kyle Wiltjer- He isn’t enough of a prospect for other teams to want and doesn’t make enough money to matter.

Bobby Brown- 15th man on the roster who can’t be traded until March 15 since he was signed in December after everything unraveled with Donatas Motiejunas.

More from Adam Spolane
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