In the latest offseason trade idea involving the Houston Rockets, a new report suggested that the team could acquire center Al Horford from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a package centered on veteran shooting guard Eric Gordon.
As opined on Friday by Bleacher Report, the Rockets’ contract commitments make it hard to come up with ideas for hypothetical trades, especially since they have virtually emptied their “pick-and-prospect armory” through recent deals. Given that it might be difficult to trade superstar point guard Russell Westbrook, who has three years and $132.6 million remaining on his contract, the publication suggested that it might be plausible to move someone such as Gordon instead.
This, as noted, may hold true despite the fact he is owed a guaranteed $54.7 million through the 2022-23 season and isn’t seen as an attractive asset by most teams.
With this in mind, Bleacher Report recommended that the Sixers — an organization with its share of lucrative contracts — might turn out to be the Rockets’ “tough-to-find match.” As Westbrook might not be a good fit alongside young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the outlet speculated that Philadelphia might agree to “soak up” Gordon’s contract if it means trading away pricey players such as Horford or Tobias Harris, with an emphasis on the former as a theoretical target.
“Horford’s money is easier to match if the Rockets don’t want to include [Robert] Covington, [P.J.] Tucker or Danuel House. Sending out Gordon, Chris Clemons, Ben McLemore (non-guaranteed) and David Nwaba (team option) satisfies financial requirements. Austin Rivers can be subbed in for McLemore or Nwaba if he agrees to pick up his player option.”
As further pointed out, Horford might be able to help out on the defensive end if he gets traded to Houston, but at 6-feet, 9-inches, he might be too tall for its preferred “microball” style of play. Gordon, meanwhile, would be cheaper for the Sixers, though his recent shooting struggles were mentioned as a potential caveat.
According to his Basketball Reference player page, Horford averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and four assists, and shot 45 percent from the field during the 2019-20 regular season, where he started in all but one of the 62 games he played in.
Per Basketball Reference, Gordon saw action in just 36 games in 2019-20, starting 15 of them and averaging 14.4 points in just 28.2 minutes per game. The former Sixth Man of the Year winner shot only 36.9 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from three-point range.
The aforementioned scenario isn’t the only recent Rockets trade idea involving a swap of high-priced players. Earlier this week, The Inquisitr reported on a hypothetical deal that would allow Houston to acquire Gordon Hayward from the Boston Celtics in exchange for Gordon, Covington, and a 2021 second-round draft pick.