Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 15
HOU receives: SG Kent Bazemore, C Dewayne Dedmon
ATL receives: PG Brandon Knight, C Nene, PF Marquese Chriss, PF Carmelo Anthony; 2019, 2021 Lottery-Protected First Round picks
Houston GM Daryl Morey has made it known time and time again that the Rockets are in win-now mode. With James Harden in his prime, it is critical that they don’t waste any chances. The team has been plagued with injuries this season, most notably to Chris Paul, Clint Capela, and Eric Gordon. Gordon has returned, Paul is set to come back sometime in the next two weeks, and Capela is out until the all-star break. Even with all three back and healthy, Houston is still in need of a wing and big man depth. This trade checks off both of those boxes without giving up too much.
Bazemore is averaging a career-high 14.0 PPG and would be an upgrade over James Ennis III who has not lived up to expectations, while Dedmon is scoring 9.8 and grabbing 7.6 rebounds per contest, and would be a huge depth acquisition as Houston primes for another deep playoff run.
From a player perspective, this doesn’t make too much sense for Atlanta. Brandon Knight could fill a backup point guard role if Jeremy Lin is traded, Chriss is a young prospect who some feel can tap into his potential eventually, while Melo and Nene serve as veterans on small contracts. Chriss and Anthony will become free agents this summer; Knight’s and Nene’s (player option) contracts are set to expire next offseason.
However, Houston throwing two first-rounders into the pot changes the game. For a rebuilding Hawks team, they need all of the assets they can get. On top of the pick from Dallas (top-five protected), Atlanta could find themselves with three selections in the first round, with another one coming in 2021. Though not a huge return personnel wise, they use an expiring contract and a valuable wing to acquire two solid future assets.