Category Archives: houston rockets

Rockets Trade Talk: Enes Kanter, Robin Lopez Deals to Bolster Depth

The Houston Rockets are slowly but surely working towards getting healthy once again. With Eric Gordon recently returning from injury and Chris Paul set to return Sunday, it essentially covers the backcourt depth. But the Rockets could use an extra body in the frontcourt, even with the signing/emergence of Kenneth Faried.
The injury to center Clint Capela will leave him out through the All-Star break more than likely, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed in mid-January that he had suffered a thumb injury. Unfortunately, it proved to be worse than originally thought, as Capela’s MRI showed ligament damage.
At this point, the addition of Faried could be enough to hold the Rockets over until Capela’s return, but adding another legitimate center to the mix makes sense. The key is that Houston almost certainly won’t want to give much up in a potential trade. Fortunately, two options in New York Knicks center Enes Kanter and Chicago Bulls big man Robin Lopez could come at a low cost to the team.
Let’s look at two potential deals, one for both players, which wouldn’t leave the Rockets shorthanded and will allow them to bolster their frontcourt prior to the homestretch of the year.
*All trades courtesy of ESPN NBA Trade Machine.

Robin Lopez Finally Gets Moved
ESPN NBA Trade Machine
*Note: Houston adds a second-round draft pick.
The Chicago Bulls seem to have little interest in buying out Lopez, although that may happen if the deadline gets closer and no deal happens. But instead of risking watching Lopez go elsewhere, the Rockets could offer up Brandon Knight for contract reasons and a second-round pick to make the deal happen.
The worst-case scenario for Houston is if they wait out the Bulls release of the big man and then he chooses to head to another team. With that said, the options are all on the table for the Bulls, but a deal with the Rockets makes sense for Lopez as an opportunity to see a solid workload and contend for a title.

Enes Kanter Traded to Rockets

*Note: Deal includes a second-round pick from Houston.
Things between the New York Knicks and Enes Kanter have taken an ugly turn. The big man can’t seem to find his way onto the floor at this point, even with starter Luke Kornet sidelined due to injury. And after a recent game, Kanter essentially asked for a trade out of town, as The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov revealed.
“What they’re doing to me is pretty messed up. I deserve better.”

“You either play me or let me play.” Kanter said, according to Vorkunov.
I can’t envision a world where the Knicks opt not to deal Kanter before the deadline. The problem is since head coach David Fizdale won’t play him and it’s known the team wants to trade him, Kanter’s value isn’t all that high. Plus, he’s on an expiring deal, so it makes little sense for the Knicks to stick him on the bench for the rest of the year.
READ NEXT: 3 Anthony Davis Trades Involving Lakers’ Brandon Ingram


Jimmy Butler Trade Rumors: Latest on Future of Timberwolves Guard

The Jimmy Butler trade saga of the 2018 NBA offseason has been one of the most well-documented and head-scratching in recent memory. While Minnesota Timberwolves president and head coach Tom Thibodeau seemingly has no interest in moving his All-Star guard, that may not be a great option.
The Timberwolves could technically opt to hold Butler throughout the season, but they’d eventually lose him in free agency. In turn, this has led to trade talks ramping back up and rumors beginning to fly once again. After the earlier stages of the offseason were loaded with a plethora of rumors and a wide range of options, it’s become far more streamlined as of late.
Butler’s potential landing spot via trade has been narrowed down somewhat, largely due to the fact that many teams pulled back after hearing Minnesota’s high asking price. But let’s take a look at the latest rumors which have come out on a possible deal.

Potential Miami Heat Trade Cools Off
Originally, the Heat seemed to be the most likely landing spot for Butler. They wanted the 29-year-old badly and apparently came closer than any team has to this point. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first revealed, the Timberwolves nearly had a deal in place with the Heat, but it fell apart when Butler’s current team pushed for more.

ESPN Sources: Minnesota-Miami talks escalated close to a Jimmy Butler deal over weekend – only to see trade fall apart. Minnesota shared Butler’s medical info with Miami, owners were involved and sides prepared to finalize. Minnesota pushed for more, talks fractured.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 7, 2018

The two sides were unable to bounce back from that, at least to this point. And shortly after that news came to light, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel revealed the Heat were reportedly not re-engaging with the Timberwolves.
The Heat, according to a source familiar with the dealings, “are not trying to re-engage” in the talks. The process, however, seemingly remains fluid in light of Butler’s recent behavior and comments.
For now, the talks of a potential move to Miami are on hold, and very well may be dead altogether.

Houston Rockets Offer Their Future in Picks
Shortly after Butler had accepted the fact that he’d be with the Timberwolves to start the season, the Rockets upped the ante a bit. As ESPN reported, Houston offered a deal which included an eye-opening four first-round draft picks. While that wasn’t enough to get the deal done, largely due to the fact that these picks would have been at the bottom of the round, it got the ball rolling again.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania later detailed that along with the first-round selections, the Rockets included Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight in the deal. After turning down Houston’s previous deal, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported that Eric Gordon is a “mandatory” piece of any trade for the Timberwolves.
So as of now, it seems that unless Gordon is included in a deal from the Rockets, the Timberwolves won’t send Butler to the Western Conference juggernaut.
READ NEXT: Jimmy Butler Trade: Four Realistic Deals for Timberwolves Guard