Anybody following Houston sports over the last year or so knows that it's been one of the more tumultuous periods in the sports history of your fair city. Despite the Houston Astros' best efforts to keep afloat the golden age of sports that it appeared we were on the cusp of two years ago, times have been tough. We haven't lacked for drama, but we have lacked for victories.
Hopefully, the Texans and Rockets begin to pull out of their nosedive, and if they do so any time soon, this week will likely be viewed as somewhat of a turning point for one or both teams. Call it the sports gods throwing us a bone, call it serendipity, but man oh man, this is a HUGE week for sports in the city of Houston, for all three of the big teams in town.
We will lay it all out for you below, but keep in mind that any drama surrounding our professional teams in Houston is happening with the backdrop of the University of Texas and Texas A&M ready to go to civil war over the transfer of the Longhorns into the SEC for their sports programs. Yep, it's a pretty glorious time to be a sports fan here in town.
Let's take a look at it, team by team....
JULY 28: The first training camp practice of the Nick Caserio Era
BIGGEST QUESTION: Will Deshaun Watson actually practice on Wednesday?
It appears, as of right now, that Texan fans will get to see Deshaun Watson in a Texans uniform at least one more time, albeit in a red practice jersey, but still. The biggest question, once Deshuan takes the field, is what string Watson is on the depth chart. Is he taking first string reps? Is he taking fourth string reps? It's going to be fascinating.
BIGGEST POTENTIAL BOMBSHELL: Deshaun Watson gets traded this week.
Reports were running wild on Monday morning that the Texans are now listening to trade offers from other teams, which makes practice on Wednesday even more interesting. Look, despite the 22 lawsuits, teams have been calling GM Nick Caserio and making offers. It's just the offers have been underwhelming. A trade of Deshaun Watson this week would be the biggest July bombshell in recent league history.
MOST LIKELY OUTCOME: Honestly, who the hell knows?
I hate that this is my answer. As a hopefully provocative radio host and writer, I'd like to have an opinion, but I have zero clue as to what will happen, and nary an inkling of what to make the betting favorite. All I know is it will be a circus on Wednesday, assuming Watson practices.
JULY 29: Rockets enter the NBA Draft Thursday night with the second overall pick
BIGGEST QUESTION: Is the Jalen Green smoke all true?
As of Monday afternoon, Green was the -200 betting favorite to get taken with the second overall pick, and right now the Rockets own that pick. There has been quite the game of "dueling pianos" between NBA insiders on just how aggressively the Rockets are looking to get in this draft, including a possible move up to the top pick, but in the end, the high scoring Green makes a ton of sense.
BIGGEST BOMBSHELL: The Rockets move up to the first pick to take Cade Cunningham.
But sometimes the most sensible thing isn't the most fun thing. A trade up to the top pick in any draft is fun. However, as good as Cunningham is, I'm not sure he's so much better than Green that I'd give up assets to go get him, if I were Rockets GM Rafael Stone.
MOST LIKELY OUTCOME: The Rockets stay at No. 2 overall and select Green
This is the most likely outcome, and the one I am hoping for, quite frankly.
JULY 30: Major League Baseball trade deadline
BIGGEST QUESTION: Will James Click channel his inner Luhnow?
The Astros team that is currently up big in the American League West is largely the creation of former general manager Jeff Luhnow. Part of Luhnow's signature was an ability to make deals, regardless of the juncture on the calendar. Winter trades, deadline trades, random deals scattered during the season — Luhnow did them all. To this point, Click's most significant deals are the re-signing of Michael Brantley and the signing of Jake Odorizzi.
BIGGEST BOMBSHELL: Astros trade for Nationals SP Max Scherzer
Luhnow's signature was the deadline deal for a big arm, as he made the Justin Verlander trade in 2017 and the Zack Greinke trade in 2019. Both of those were deals that any GM would do again. Scherzer is the big gun on the market this deadline, and if Click pulled that off, he would finally truly put his stamp on this year's Astros squad.
MOST LIKELY OUTCOME: Click makes one or two small tweaks, preferably building some bullpen depth
In the end, I expect Click to improve the roster, but not with a deal that is going to gut the young talent pool in the team's minor league system.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.