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NBA Trade Rumors: 'One Piece' Houston Rockets need to buy this off-season to get past the Western Conference

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five
Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five
Evan Tiwari
Modified 13 Sep 2020, 23:12 IST

Houston Rockets crashed out of the NBA Western Conference semi-finals after a disheartening loss to the LA Lakers. After winning the first game of the series, the Rockets lost four straight games to allow the Lakers to complete a gentleman's sweep. Unsurprisingly, NBA trade rumors surrounding head coach Mike D'Antoni's future have already hit the internet. 

After the final game, Houston Rockets' star shooting guard James Harden stated that the team is "one piece away" from contending for the NBA championship.

In this article, we will take a look at the 'pieces' Houston can make an NBA trade for in the off-season.

NBA Trade Rumors: Positions Houston Rockets should consider strengthening this off-season

#1 Power Forward/Center

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics
Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

It is safe to say that the Houston Rockets' small ball experiment did not work out well for them in the end. Coach Mike D'Antoni made a midseason trade for Minnesota Timberwolves' Robert Covington, and traditional center Clint Capela was sent to the Atlanta Hawks. Power forward PJ Tucker was moved to the center position, with the Rockets essentially playing a four-guard lineup. 

The Rockets should look to trade for a traditional center and go back to the lineup they had with Capela. One of the targets could be Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love, who is looking to move this off-season per the latest NBA trade rumors. 


#2 Three-point shooter

Washington Wizards v Brooklyn Nets
Washington Wizards v Brooklyn Nets

Houston Rockets rely on the concept of 'Moreyball,' which essentially means attempting and making more three-pointers than your opposition to have a numerical advantage. The Rockets have built their team accordingly, as they have an impressive group of three-point shooters.

Despite that, their shooting has been incredibly streaky in the playoffs, and this has cost them important games. The most famous example of this was the team missing 27 straight threes in the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. 

To address this issue, the Houston Rockets should be looking to sign an accomplished shooter. NBA trade rumors suggest that Joe Harris of Brooklyn Nets might be available, with his current team unlikely to match his salary demands.

Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: Why the LA Lakers need to be careful before making a move for Gordon Hayward

#3 Perimeter defender

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Two
Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Two

With the three-point shot becoming the go-to weapon in modern NBA, the value of perimeter defense is at an all-time high as well. Accomplished perimeter defenders get valued at a premium, with championship contenders boasting of at least one good player who can defend guards and forwards. 

Houston Rockets have good defenders in their roster but lack a player who can defend the opposition's number one guard/wing scorer. The Houston Rockets switch everything on defense, so a versatile player who can defend well on the perimeter and knock down his three should do the job.

According to NBA trade rumors, Denver Nuggets' Torrey Craig will be available this off-season. Craig can fulfill this pressing need for the Rockets, and the team should go all out to get him. 

Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: Dallas Mavericks to 'prioritize' signing Giannis Antetokounmpo this off-season

Published 13 Sep 2020, 23:12 IST
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