After suffering another massive defeat at the hands of the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in the Western Conference Semifinals, rumors and speculation started to circulate that the Houston Rockets are planning to make a huge roster overhaul in the 2019 NBA offseason. With the goal of surrounding James Harden with a better supporting cast, Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey has reportedly made all their players and future draft picks available in trade discussions.
One of the NBA teams who could express interest in engaging in a trade discussion with the Rockets is the Miami Heat. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat are expected to “check in” with the Rockets on their available players like Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, and Eric Gordon. In the potential blockbuster deal that would send Paul to South Beach, Duncan Smith of Fansided’s All U Can Heat suggested that the Heat could offer a trade package including Goran Dragic and one of Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson to the Rockets.
“In order to trade for Paul, the Heat would have to send back a heavy salary load themselves, and having acquired Ryan Anderson’s massive contract via trade from the Rockets within the past year wouldn’t be able to send that contract back to Houston. Perhaps the most likely fulcrum of any trade would be Goran Dragic. If and when he opts into his $19 million player option, he could be included in a package going to Houston that would probably also have to involve at least one of Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson.”
The deal makes a lot of sense for the Rockets. Not only it will enable them to add an All-Star caliber replacement for Chris Paul in Goran Dragic and a defensive-minded wingman in Josh Richardson or Justise Winslow, but it will also allow them to unload CP3’s lucrative contract. Unlike Paul who is set to earn $124 million over the next three years, Dragic’s contract will be off the books after the 2019-20 NBA season. Dragic may not be as good as Paul in terms of playmaking, but he could still fill the void CP3 will be leaving in Houston.
Meanwhile, it remains a big question mark why the Heat should push through with the deal. Chris Paul may still be one of the best point guards in the league but at the age of 34, no one can deny the fact that he’s already on the downside of his NBA career. As of now, the Heat will be better off targeting other NBA superstars or just focus on developing the players on their roster.