After struggling earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Houston Rockets have finally returned to the playoff race in the deep Western Conference, thanks to reigning MVP James Harden. When some of the Rockets’ key players went down with injuries, Harden stepped up and once again started posting incredible statistics. As of now, the 29-year-old shooting guard is back from dropping MVP numbers, averaging 36.3 points, 8.2 assists, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.0 steals on 44.0 percent shooting from the field and 36.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
However, if they are serious about winning the NBA championship title this season, the Rocket shouldn’t be complacent and should still consider addressing some of the issues on their roster before the February NBA trade deadline. Since losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, the Rockets are yet to solve their major problem in the wing.
According to Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report, the Rockets may consider targeting Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic before the February NBA trade deadline. Ross may have been through ups and downs in his three-year stint in Orlando, but Fromal believes he could be a good fit in Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system.
“In the right location, Ross might shine. That’s why a team such as the Houston Rockets, one that heavily prioritizes deep shooting and off-ball athleticism next to James Harden, might be willing to take a flier while searching for more useful depth. The allure of his volume-shooting numbers may even cause general managers to overpay. But in a value vacuum, the Magic shouldn’t expect much more than salary filler (Brandon Knight), a post-hype prospect (Marquese Chriss) and a second-round pick for his services.”
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Rockets will be sending Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, and a 2019 second-round pick to the Magic for D.J. Augustin and Terrence Ross. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Terrence Ross, 6th Man of Year candidate @OrlandoMagic, has an obsession: Comic books & superhero movies. He goes to movies alone on road trips to “lock in” on latest release. He loves great origin stories, so here’s his, @CBSSportsNBA: https://t.co/NmWegjf7mh— Reid Forgrave (@ReidForgrave) January 16, 2019
Aside from addressing their problem in the wing, the Rockets will improve their backcourt depth with the acquisition of veteran point guard D.J. Augustin. The Rockets may already have Austin Rivers to serve as the primary backup for Chris Paul, but having Augustin will give them insurance if something bad happens once again to CP3 during the 2018-19 NBA season. Despite his age, Augustin could still be a reliable contributor for the Rockets. In 49 games he played, Augustin is averaging 11.6 points and 4.7 assists on 46.4 percent shooting from the field and 43.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The Magic may ask the Rockets for more trade assets in exchange for Terrence Ross, but as Fromal noted, it is less likely that Orlando can get a better offer from a player who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.