After losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in the recent free agency, the Houston Rockets succeeded to fill the roster spot by acquiring Carmelo Anthony in the buyout market. However, the Rockets’ offseason didn’t end with Melo’s arrival in Houston. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Rockets have engaged in a trade deal with the Phoenix Suns.
The deal sent Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton to the Suns for Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight. The trade allows the Rockets to get rid of Anderson and the two years and $41.6 million left on his contract. Houston has been trying to move 30-year-old power forward since he failed to live up to expectations from the lucrative deal he signed in the summer of 2016.
Aside from successfully dumping Ryan Anderson to Phoenix, the Rockets will be receiving two players who can help them become more competitive in the 2018-19 NBA season. The acquisition of Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight will boost the Rockets’ frontcourt and backcourt. Though Chriss and Knight aren’t expected to be in Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni’s starting lineup, they will undeniably be reliable contributors in Houston’s second unit.
Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post believes Marquese Chriss and Brandon Knight will fit well with D’Antoni’s system. Chriss could play both center and power forward. He could greatly help the Rockets in terms of rebounding and protecting the rim. Since entering the league in 2016, the 21-year-old power forward has been trying to improve his three-point shooting. In the 72 games he played with the Suns last season, Chriss averaged 7.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks on 42.3 percent shooting from the field, and 29.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, Brandon Knight is expected to serve as the Rockets’ primary backup point guard next season. When both James Harden and Chris Paul need to rest, Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni could pair Knight with Eric Gordon. Knight and Gordon could form a deadly backcourt duo that will make the Rockets a more dangerous team next season.
Most Suns fans are shocked with the team’s decision to trade Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss for Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton. Anderson is not expected to see the court next season as the Suns are set to give more playing time to young forwards like Josh Jackson and Dragan Bender. Melton, the No. 46 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is yet to sign a contract, and it remains questionable if he can earn a roster spot in Phoenix.