Lots of Opportunities For Rockets Before and After Trade Deadline

GM Daryl Morey (right) always seems to have something up his sleeve at trade deadline time.
GM Daryl Morey (right) always seems to have something up his sleeve at trade deadline time. Photo by Jeff Balke
With Daryl Morey, you never know. The Rockets GM often approaches the NBA trade deadline like a kid playing NBA Live. And more often than not, he has pulled off a deal that stunned onlookers even when his opponents knew his reputation as a wheeling and dealing wizard.

This Thursday is the league's deadline and the Rockets will be both buyers and sellers. They will certainly look to deal guard Brandon Knight, who has played little while still recovering from nearly two seasons off after a knee injury. With the addition of Austin Rivers, what time Knight may have gotten has dwindled to nothing. But Knight's $14 million-plus price tag might be a lot for teams to swallow.

The Rockets will also be looking to buy, perhaps using their mid-level trade exception and players like Marquis Chriss on a wing who can shore up perimeter defense and support likely MVP James Harden.

At this point, it seems unlikely the Rockets will make a significant deal given their limited resources, but a deal for a role player is certainly possible.

But, there are options for the Rockets after the trade deadline passes as well. Several players are expected to be bought out of their contracts making them free agents. Already this year, Morey has managed to sign both Rivers and Kenneth Faried, two of the most sought after players available after buyouts in the NBA.

At the top of that list must be Wesley Matthews, who will likely be released by the Knicks after he was dealt there from Dallas in the Krisatps Porzingas deal. Matthews fills the very hole they are most looking to plug, a wing defender who is a competent three-point shooter.

There is another potential buyout prize in Deandre Jordan, former teammate of Chris Paul in Los Angeles. Jordan, a native Houstonian, has made it clear in the past he would like to play in Houston. As good as Faried has been, Jordan would give the Rockets arguably the best one-two punch at center in the NBA and Faried could provide needed depth at center and power forward. Imagine the alley-oop game with Clint Capela, Jordan and Faried.

Whatever happens, the chance of nothing happening must be near zero given the Rockets needs and the guy running the show. Sure, we probably won't have a blockbuster trade to talk about on Friday, but you can't rule it out.

With Daryl Morey, you never know.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke