Late last month, reports claimed that the Houston Rockets are making all of their players available for trade discussions after a disappointing 2018-19 campaign where they failed to get past the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. Some players on that list, such as superstar guard James Harden, may be much less likely to get traded than others, as noted by Bleacher Report, but the latest update on the matter suggests that there are three key contributors from last year’s team who are being shopped around ahead of the 2019 offseason.
In a report published Tuesday, Marc Stein of The New York Times clarified that the Rockets are “indeed shopping everyone on the roster not named Harden,” but are also concerned that it might be difficult to trade Chris Paul due to concerns with his age (34) and the remaining three years and $125 million on his contract. As such, Houston is “actively exploring” the possibility of trading center Clint Capela, guard Eric Gordon, and forward P.J. Tucker.
“As one source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said, they are operating under the belief that at least one of those three mainstays will not be a Rocket next season,” Stein added.
Per Basketball-Reference, Capela averaged 16.6 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game and shot 64.8 percent from the field as the Rockets’ starting center in the 2018-19 regular season. Gordon, a former Sixth Man of the Year winner, started 53 of 68 games and registered averages of 16.2 points per game while sinking 3.2 three-point shots per game at a 36 percent clip. Tucker, a defensive specialist who started all 82 games as an undersized power forward, finished last season with 7.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game, but shot just 39.6 percent from the field.
Since last week’s reports surrounding the Houston Rockets, a number of hypothetical trade proposals have been floated around for the team’s players — Capela, Gordon, and Tucker included. According to Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale, the Rockets could consider packaging Capela with seldom-used forward Gary Clark and two future first-round picks if they end up trading for Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Earlier this week, The Inquisitr cited a report from USA Today‘s Celtics Wire, which suggested that the Rockets could send Gordon to the Boston Celtics in exchange for the latter team’s No. 14 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Such a trade, as noted, would allow the Celtics to address their lack of three-point shooting, a weakness that became apparent when they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last month.