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NBA Trade Rumors: The dream starting-5 for the Houston Rockets going into the 2020-21 season

Westbrook and Harden should run it back once again.
Westbrook and Harden should run it back once again.
Rupam Nag
ANALYST
Modified 30 Sep 2020, 04:00 IST
Rumors
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The Houston Rockets finished fourth in the Western Conference this season, conjuring an impressive record of 44-28. The Rockets are definitely a good team, but they aren't championship material just yet. In this regard, NBA trade rumors abound about potential deals to bring James Harden more help, but in reality, the franchise don't have a lot of assets to work with.

This season, Houston Rockets' aim, as usual, was to try and win the NBA championship. Unfortunately, not only did they struggle to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs, they were also beaten easily by the LA Lakers in the semi-final.

In this regard, their starting lineup most definitely needs a rejig. Let's try to predict the Houston Rockets' dream starting-5 going into the 2020-21 season.

Houston Rockets' dream starting-5 going into the 2020-21 season


Point Guard - Russell Westbrook

Former MVP Russell Westbrook will be 32 by the time the next NBA season commences.

Westbrook was called out by fans and analysts for his lacklustre display in the 2020 NBA playoffs, which led to a number of NBA trade rumors suggesting possible moves for the explosive guard.

However, the former OKC man is about to become the second-highest-paid player in the NBA next season, so he would be difficult to trade away for anything or anyone that holds more value than the player himself.

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Thus it could be best for the Houston Rockets to keep faith in their current point guard. Westbrook was incredible in the regular season and perhaps he would be able to carry that momentum to the post-season next time around as well.


Also Read: NBA Trade Rumors: The dream starting-5 for the Dallas Mavericks going into the 2020-21 season.


Shooting Guard - James Harden

Even James Harden of all people wasn't spared by the NBA rumor mill after the Houston Rockets crashed out of the playoffs.

Harden won the scoring leader accolade for the third season in a row and has truly registered his name among the bevy of top scorers in NBA history. However, the challenge for him now would be to lead a team to the NBA Finals. As an individual, James Harden has nothing more to prove.


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Small Forward - Robert Covington

Robert Covington left the Minnesota Timberwolves for the Houston Rockets this season,
Robert Covington left the Minnesota Timberwolves for the Houston Rockets this season,

The Houston Rockets did extremely well to pick up Robert Covington at the trade deadline last season.

Although the 29-year-old continues to regress as a 3-point shooter, his defense is as good as it has ever been, something he proved in the playoffs.

Covington is obviously at his best when he is effective on both ends of the floor. He gives the Houston Rockets a much larger shot at winning a game when he makes his field-goals attempts just as well as he denies opponents'.

Power Forward - Dario Saric

Dario Saric shot 47.6% this season.
Dario Saric shot 47.6% this season.

The first new name in this starting-5 is Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric who could be excellent with the Houston Rockets.

The 6'10" Croat can space the floor very well and has a pretty good mid-range game. He isn't a great defender, but his height helps him rebound well enough for a player in his position.

Saric is a free-agent this off-season, meaning that the Houston Rockets could pick him up without shelling out anything in return. However, a sign-and-trade will be needed if there is another team willing to offer the player a significant payday.

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Center - Myles Turner

Indiana Pacers could listen to offers for Myles Turner this off-season.
Indiana Pacers could listen to offers for Myles Turner this off-season.

Myles Turner, the biggest acquisition of the off-season, could be the one piece, James Harden feels, the Houston Rockets need in order to become legitimate championship contenders.

Turner is still only 24 and has many more seasons left in his current contract. He's one of the best rim protectors in the NBA right now and can also chuck threes at will. A player of his caliber will undoubtedly receive a lot of offers if made available, so the Houston Rockets will do well to bag him.

Also Read: NBA Trade Rumors: Houston Rockets among 10 teams chasing Myles Turner if he becomes available.

Published 30 Sep 2020, 04:00 IST
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