The Houston Rockets may find it hard to acquire someone of value, should they decide to make some changes before the NBA's February 6 trade deadline; they currently sit tied at fifth in the Western Conference, with their 29-18 record putting them 7.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers. However, a new report suggests that the team might have the assets to make a deal that could improve their chances of making this year's NBA Finals -- a trade that would allow them to land Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans.
As explained by Bleacher Report in its list of best-case scenarios for all 30 NBA teams ahead of the trade deadline, four of the Rockets' key players -- superstar guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook, center Clint Capela, and forward P.J. Tucker -- are all on lucrative contracts that would make them a hard sell for most rival organizations. As such, the team may need to target a player earning less than $10 million this season, which is why Bertans appears to be the best possible target for Houston at this point in the season.
Quoting a recent edition of Shams Charania's "Inside Pass" column for The Athletic, Bleacher Report wrote that the Rockets are reportedly making some of their future draft picks available for trade and prioritizing a "potential wing player acquisition" in the lead-up to next week's deadline. The outlet suggested that Houston could offer one of those picks -- a 2020 first-round selection -- to Washington in exchange for Bertans while also having enough assets to match his $7.5 million salary.While the 6-foot-10-inch Latvian is mainly used as a power forward in Washington, it was pointed out that he has the skills that could benefit the Rockets, as he makes an average of 3.6 three-point shots per game while shooting a strong 42.7 percent from beyond the arc. He is also averaging 15 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game for the Wizards while largely being utilized as a reserve, as shown on his Basketball-Reference player page.
"He'd be an ideal floor-spacer for the Rockets, as he's making 43.6 percent of his threes off a Bradley Beal pass this season. Imagine what he could do playing alongside Harden and Westbrook," Bleacher Report's Greg Swartz continued.
Aside from the Rockets, a few other teams have been rumored to be among Bertans' top suitors in recent weeks. As previously noted by The Inquisitr, the Lakers could also make good use of his accurate and prolific outside shooting, with one report suggesting a deal that would allow Los Angeles to acquire him for a package centered on Kyle Kuzma.