Rockets Lead

Potential Deadline Deals for the Rockets


The Houston Rockets‘ 2019-2020 season has been intriguing. Some days the Rockets look like one of the best teams in the league. And then on others, the roster construction and rotations make it look like the team is entering a first-round exit. One fact we do know is that the Rockets will undergo some turnover in the next couple of days. Rumors are already swirling around their young big man. With that disclaimer said, let’s take a look at potential deadline deals the Rockets can make before the deadline passes this Thursday.


Hawks, Hornets, and Rockets 3-Way Deal

Rockets Receive: PF/C John Collins, SF Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist, and C Willy Hernangomez

Hawks Receive: C Clint Capela, C Nene Hilario, and the Rockets 2020 1st rounder

Hornets Receive: SG Evan Turner, 2020 2nd rounder via Grizzlies, and 2020 2nd rounder via Rockets

Why the Rockets?

Since the Rockets seem like they want to avoid the tax at all costs, I want to clarify all the trades in this article will have the Rockets taking in less salary then they’re sending out. Besides avoiding the tax, the Rockets get a young big man with star potential in Collins. He also fits the five out style that has been so successful lately. Along with that acquisition, they add Kidd-Gilchrist, so the Rockets don’t have to gather Turner’s salary. However, with the right coaching, he can maybe improve his shooting and become a useful piece. And lastly, there’s Hernangomez standing at seven feet tall and shooting threes. He could come in and be the backup center for the Rockets, while still maintaining the five out style of play they like to run.

Why the Hawks?

The Hawks have indicated that Collins is available for trade. Above, we saw the tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski stating that Atlanta is interested in Capela, so it would make sense the two could be the foundation of a swap.

The Hawks get an excellent young big in Capela who is on a decent contract for the next four years and seems like a good fit next to Trae Young. Now Collins is also a talented young big, but the main difference between the two is that Capela is better defensively where the Hawks mostly struggle. In addition to Capela, the Hawks are capturing the Rockets first this year and the contract of Nene. Both of these pieces give the Hawks the flexibility to make another significant trade by cutting Nene and creating a roster spot. This move would provide them with another pick to potentially make a splash for a wing player to go with Capela and Young.

Why the Hornets?

The Hornets don’t play Kidd-Gilchrist or Hernangomez that often. Kidd-Gilchrist has played in 12 games averaging 13.3 minutes per game. And for Hernangomez, it’s 20 games averaging 9.2 minutes per game. In this scenario, they bring in Turner who can potentially play and bring something to the table to help the Hornets go after the playoffs. Also, the Rockets are giving them both their second-round picks this year, one for saving the Rockets money taking Turner, and one for Hernangomez.

Rockets Get Draft Capital

Rockets Receive: C Tristan Thompson, 2022 1st rounder via Milwaukee, and the Cavaliers 2nd rounders in 2021 and 2022

Cavaliers Receive: C Clint Capela, C Nene Hilario, and C Isaiah Hartenstein

Why the Rockets?

The Rockets add a center in Thompson who does a lot of the same tasks as Capela but at a lesser level. Something he adds, however, is a slight uptick in threes. He doesn’t take a lot of them, but he can make them. In addition to Thompson, the Rockets are getting a nice haul of draft capital. They can turn those picks into a wing this year by going into the tax, or this offseason in a package deal.

The Cavs include Hartenstein mostly so that the Rockets can stay under the tax; they’re getting two-second rounders for him, and considering they never play him, maybe they can turn those picks into someone they trust more.

Why the Cavs?

The Cavs in this trade get their center for the future in Capela to grow along with Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, and Cedi Osman. Along with him, they’re getting potentially a reliable backup center too in Hartenstein. The Rockets never want to play him, but on the Cavs, he should have ample opportunity to showcase his skills. Nene is more salary filler, and most likely, Cleveland will waive him so the Cavs can take a flier on another young player.

The draft picks in this case also don’t hurt very much. The Cavs still will keep all of their original 1st rounders, while the Milwaukee pick they would send most likely will be a very late pick again.


Capela Heads to Cali

Rockets Receive: C Dewayne Dedmon, F Wilson Chandler, 2021 lottery-protected first-rounder via Kings

Kings Receive: C Clint Capela and SG Theo Pinson

Nets Receive: PG Yogi Ferrell and a 2020 2nd rounder from Kings via Miami

Why the Rockets?

The Rockets in this trade turn Capela into two usable pieces in Dedmon and Chandler. Both of them fill huge needs for the Rockets. With Dedmon, you get a reliable defensive center who can stretch the floor. While Chandler finally gives you a wing with some size. In addition to those two, you potentially will capture a first-rounder next year from the Kings if they make the playoffs.

Why the Kings?

The Kings in this trade get their center to pair along with Marvin Bagley and De’Aaron Fox. This trade happens with the idea that the increase in talent from Dedmon to Capela will allow the Kings to finally make a playoff appearance; hence the lottery protection on the 1st rounder. If they do make the playoffs, a late first-rounder will have been worth it for a franchise so starved of playoff action. And if they miss the playoffs again, well then they will still have their pick next year. Pinson is included for salary purposes mainly but gives the Kings another young body. And in exchange, the Kings send one of their four-second rounders this year to the Nets.

Why the Nets?

At the writing of this article, Kyrie Irving’s status for the rest of the year is uncertain, with him having an MRI on his knee. Even with Irving, the Nets have left a lot to be desired on the court. If Irving was to miss significant time, the only point guard left on the roster that has played a decent amount is Spencer Dinwiddie. In this trade, they send out an older wing player for a young point guard to fill in for Irving. And add another pick to their collection to retool for the return of Kevin Durant next year.

All stats and salary info from Basketball-Reference. Follow us on Twitter @RocketsLead for the latest Rockets news and insight. And be sure to check out some other articles over at Rockets Lead.


About Dylan Kelly

Diehard Bucks, Packers, Cubs and Blackhawks fan from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Moved to Green Bay where I am now a proud Phoenix member at UW-Green Bay studying Finance.

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