By JOB TENNANT, SportsRadio 610 - Rockets fans are faced with a very daunting problem this offseason. The Rockets need a superstar to anchor this team or they are threatened with the very real possibility of being stuck in a perennial purgatory. The last two seasons have seen the Rockets missing the post-season by one spot in the west and being relegated to the dreaded 14th pick of the NBA Draft. The 14th pick of the draft is a perfect symbol for what the Rockets have become. Not quite good enough to be good and not quite bad enough to be bad. There is talent that can be found at the 14th pick, just like Patrick Patterson showed in flashes last year. However, there is a big difference between talent and someone that can elevate a franchise to the next level, which Paterson can not do. Then in what seemed like a faux attempt at irony Daryl Morey attempted to recreate the 14th pick from a year ago by drafting Marcus Morris with the 14th pick this year. Once again another nice player but not a franchise player. This means that the Rockets must find a way to acquire a superstar via a trade. With that said here are the trades that Rockets fans should be hoping for, even if they are unlikely.(credit: Getty Images)
Chris Paul (credit: Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Normally a franchise point guard isn't moved. However, the New Orleans Hornets are in a particularly tough financial situation and if they are looking to sell the team or relocate it may be easier to do if they cut their salary and have more movable pieces. That would essentially be the only reason to move Chris Paul who may be the best floor general in the NBA. The Rockets most reasonable trade proposal for Paul would probably be Kyle Lowry, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, and a first round draft pick. Lowry is obviously the key piece that the Hornets get back but Hayes would address a back up center for them and be the best defender on the team. Patterson is simply a value pick and makes the most sense if the Hornets are trying to get rid of cap space because they may also look to move David West which would leave them with Carl Landry who is a good player but not suited to being a 35 minute per night type of player. The draft pick would almost certainly have to be unrestricted but the Rockets probably wouldn't worry about that. The starting five for your Houston Rockets would be: Chris Paul, Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee, Luis Scola, and Jordan Hill (or more than likely they would sign another center).
Danny Granger (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Danny Granger is one of the more underrated players in the league. He does almost everything well but isn't necessarily a standout at any one aspect of the game. He is a basketball player through and through. He also fits the need that the Rockets have for a standout small forward. There are two possible trades that the Rockets could offer and should be happy with. The first would be Martin and Hill along with a first round pick, the second would be Scola and Lee with a first round pick. Either trade address a weakness for the Pacers and then gives them depth. They also have been less than satisfied with the Granger era and may be willing to shake things up just to change the atmosphere in the locker room. Your Houston Rockets starting lineup 1: Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee, Danny Granger, Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes. Your Houston Rockets starting lineup 2: Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Danny Granger, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes.
Chris Bosh (credit: Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
It is hard to consider a trip to the NBA finals a failure of a season but some in Miami feel like it was and if they chose to shake things up Bosh is the pieces that is most likely to be moved. Bosh also may have been the most under rated player on the Miami Heat. It is known that Morey coveted Bosh when he was a free agent last year and so the idea of trying to track him down in a trade isn't unreasonable. What the Heat seemed to lack last year in the playoffs was a low post scoring threat, leadership, and in some games hustle. Luis Scola brings all of that. The other thing that the Heat were missing is depth. Patrick Patterson brings that. If the Rockets were to trade Scola and Patterson to the Heat it would give them two big bodies that they are sorely in need of, and creates less drama during the season about who gets the ball and how many times they get it. Scola is more of a back to the basket threat than Bosh is even though he doesn't bring the same amount of athleticism. Of course Patterson brings a more physical presence and the athleticism that Scola doesn't bring and most importantly can provide depth for the Heat who were sorely in need of it during the stretch run of their season. Your Houston Rockets starting five: Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee, Chris Bosh, Chuck Hayes
Dwight Howard (credit: Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ok, so this one is a stretch even in the preposterous trade proposals article but here we go. The Magic absolutely can not allow Howard to walk away and get nothing in return so they will be bombarded with offers for the best big man in the game. Outside of throwing your roster at the Magic and saying "You can have whatever you want!" the Rockets have to put together some sort of an offer. The most reasonable offer they can come up with might be Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris, a first round pick and maybe Dontas Montiejunas. It is hard to believe that the Magic wouldn't be able to get a more compact offer with more high end talent but you can't win if you don't enter into the sweepstakes. Your Houston Rockets starting five: Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Chuck Hayes, Dwight Howard.
LaMarcus and Wesley Mathews (credit: Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
LaMarcus Aldridge fits into the conversation with Granger about the most under-rated players in the NBA. However, he isn't under-appreciated by the Blazers so the Rockets would be paying top dollar for him. To make the trade work the Rockets would need to get someone else in return and Wesley Mathews might be a little bit too much to ask for but he will work for the sake of the article. They may also look at Brandon Roy depending on his medical evaluations. The Rockets would have to trade Scola to start at the four for the Blazers and Martin to start at the two for them. Then the Rockets throw in Hayes to back up the aging Marcus Camby and Patterson as a value pick. The Rockets would probably also throw in a first round pick in this trade, perhaps just because that seems to be in vogue with almost every big trade in the NBA. Your Houston Rockets starting five: Kyle Lowry, Wesley Mathews, Courtney Lee, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jordan Hill.