Houston (CBS Houston) – The NBA Trade Deadline came and went Thursday afternoon, and as usual, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was busy on deadline day with three trades.
The splashiest of the moves was made on Tuesday, but wasn’t made official until Thursday, and will go down as the first trade made by the Lakers under the direction of Magic Johnson.
Rockets receive: Lou Williams
Lakers receive: Corey Brewer and the Rockets’ 2017 first round pick
Rockets’ grade: B-
There’s no doubt that the trade makes the Rockets better now and for next season (Williams’ last year under contract). Williams will give the Rockets better production than Brewer and whoever the Rockets would get with a late first round pick. That said, the 2017 draft is one of the deepest draft classes in a long time, and even a late first rounder is coveted. The Rockets are in a weird spot that they are a good team and playing well, but Golden State looms large in the West. The trade for Williams may give the Rockets a better chance to beat San Antonio in a potential matchup in the Western Conference Semifinals, but the chances of beating the Warriors is the same as they were before Williams.
Now onto the second trade that the Rockets made prior to the deadline, this time with Brooklyn.
Rockets receive: A small amount of money
Nets receive: K.J. McDaniels
Rockets’ grade: A
The Rockets get a little cash for a bench player that never plays. McDaniels has tools, but those tools have never materialized and the Rockets clear cap room to try and sign a veteran that will be bought out.
Finally the last trade for the Rockets prior to the deadline was another small one, and the second trade with the Lakers.
Rockets receive: Marcelo Huertas
Lakers receive: Tyler Ennis
The Rockets will waive, release, cut, buyout, fire, whatever, Marcelo Huertas. Like in the McDaniels trade, the Rockets unload a player who doesn’t play and clear some cap space. Anytime you can trade unused pieces to create options and potentially bring in a player that can help will always get high grades from me.
Rockets’ grade: A
Overall, the last two trades are minor, the Rockets lose nothing this year and for the future and put themselves in position to acquire a veteran that gets bought out. The Williams trade is easily the largest of the three deals under Morey and will be an interesting deal to follow going forward. The Rockets get better now, but will they go any further than they would without Williams? And whoever gets selected with the Rockets pick they traded away will be a player to follow for the length of his career.