Both Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks endured similar fates as they got knocked out of the playoffs in their respective Conference Semifinals. Both franchises need to do significant work on their rosters and as such, feature regularly in NBA trade rumors. But there's one swap deal that these parties can execute to solve a problem apiece.
NBA Trade Rumors: Exploring a Brook Lopez-Robert Covington swap between Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks
The biggest issue plaguing the current Houston Rockets roster is their lack of size. Mike D'Antoni was all-in on small ball but he's longer there. Several names have been linked to H-Town for the head coaching job but one thing's for sure, the experiment without a true center needs to end.
Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks lacked an impactful 3-and-D wing besides Khris Middleton. The issue was more evident against the Miami Heat where Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder more or less ragdolled the Bucks.
Based on the aforementioned needs of either roster, Brook Lopez seems like a great fit for Houston Rockets while Robert Covington would suit Milwaukee Bucks' rotation. Standing at 7'0, Lopez is an elite rim protector but can still stretch the floor. On the other hand, Covington can pretty much guard any position on the court and is an able shooter from downtown.
Formulating a workable NBA trade between Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks
It must be noted that the Houston Rockets are the more desperate team here. They need a 3-and-D big man and Brook Lopez is pretty much the third best player in that role after the likes of Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.
Robert Covington would be a huge addition for Milwaukee Bucks too, but then the franchise would have to embrace the idea of going small or switching regularly among Covington, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Robin Lopez at the five. They'll probably end up looking at a conventional big man in free agency.
In such a case, a straight swap wouldn't be satisfactory enough for the Milwaukee Bucks. To sweeten the deal though, the Houston Rockets can attach Ben McLemore and ask for a second-rounder in return.
McLeMore did find his footing with the Rockets as a catch-and-shoot player but his inability to play defense saw him reduced to just 11 minutes of playing time each game in the playoffs. The Bucks though, would find value in him because of his ability to shoot the ball accurately from downtown, a trait lacked by most of their existing marksmen.
Published 15 Oct 2020, 04:00 IST