Houston Rockets Trade Deadline Recap
The Dream Shake
The Houston Rockets currently have a 33-23 record and are tied for fourth place in the Western Conference standings. Even though they are finally getting healthy and starting to somewhat resemble a team that won 65 games last season, it can’t be stressed how poor of an offseason the franchise had. At the deadline, Houston dealt away every acquisition from last summer in a successful attempt to get under the luxury tax and avoid paying the repeater tax next season. Here is a small recap of the minor trades:
Departures: F James Ennis, G Brandon Knight, F Marquese Chriss, G Nik Stauskas*, G Wade Baldwin*
Additions: G Iman Shumpert
As mentioned earlier, the shedding of contracts have put Houston under the luxury tax threshold, meaning that they will not be required to pay the repeaters tax next season. Despite the tax cut being a plan for years to come, they also added a guard who can defend multiple positions and bring a ton of energy. Only a career 34.2% shooter from deep, Shumpert brings passion and versatility to a Rockets team that needs just that. Plus, he is on an expiring contract.
When healthy, James Ennis struggled to contribute consistently as a starter, while Marquese Chriss struggled to carve out a role in the regular rotation. Also, Brandon Knight’s contract prevented him from being a plan for the future.
To clear the books of their salaries, Houston was forced to strap a slew of picks to the respective packages, including their 2019 lottery-protected first round pick. However, roster spots were cleared for buyout opportunities, in which general manager Daryl Morey has made known that they will be frequent players in the market.
At the end of the day, Houston was very limited in terms of assets. Getting under the luxury tax was one of the main focuses and they were also able to acquire a versatile guard in an attempt to bolster their title chances.