The NBA’s deadline day for trades in here, with the final bell for the 2023-24 regular season coming at 2 p.m. Central on Thursday.
As of Thursday morning, with the deadline less than five hours away, the Rockets have only announced one move. Unfortunately, it will not help this year’s team. Houston agreed to send multiple second-round draft assets to Memphis to acquire veteran big man Steven Adams, who is out for the 2023-24 season but should return in 2024-25 as a very capable backup behind rising star Alperen Sengun.
The Rockets are currently 23-27 and just outside of the current Western Conference play-in field. So, will Rockets general manager Rafael Stone be able to address the backup center’s role on this season’s team? And what about other potential needs, such as more 3-point shooting (referenced recently by head coach Ime Udoka)?
As of Thursday morning, Feb. 8 — with the 2023-24 deadline just a few hours away — here’s our look at the latest rumors and intel.
Teams interested in Aaron Holiday?
Rockets point guard Aaron Holiday has also drawn trade interest from teams looking for backup point guard depth, HoopsHype has learned. Holiday is shooting over 40% from beyond the 3-point arc for the second season in a row.
Acquiring any potential draft compensation could eventually be flipped as part of a trade to acquire another rotation player.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 8, 2024
Rockets interested in Royce O’Neale
Following an aggressive pursuit of Nets forward Mikal Bridges, as first reported by HoopsHype, the Houston Rockets expressed interest in another Nets player, league sources told HoopsHype – Royce O’Neale.
Jock Landale available
Speaking of assets to help Houston acquire another player, center Jock Landale remains available on the trade market as a useful asset thanks to his tradeable contract, as noted on our Rockets salaries page.
Jae’Sean Tate drawing trade interest
Houston swingman Jae’Sean Tate has drawn interest from several teams with the Rockets seeking either a late first-round pick or multiple second-round picks to consider parting with Tate, league sources told HoopsHype. Tate has been one of Rafael Stone’s notable finds as a diamond in the rough from the Sydney Kings who’s become a proven NBA rotation player.
Rockets saving Brooklyn draft capital for blockbuster trade?
A handful of inquiries have been made in recent days about Houston’s available draft capital, particularly ownership of Brooklyn’s 2024 first-round pick, team sources said. But league sources insist rival teams have been left with the impression the Rockets value the upside of those picks and would prefer to use them in a blockbuster trade — an opportunity that likely won’t present itself until the offseason.
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIko) February 8, 2024
Dallas interested in Jae’Sean Tate, Rockets asked for three second-round picks
Historically, Houston has valued their players highly. For example, there were conversations with the Dallas Mavericks, one of the teams that have been monitoring Jae’Sean Tate’s situation, league sources said, but the Mavericks have only two second-round picks available that were offered. The Rockets, according to those sources, insisted on three.
"Dallas Mavericks, one of the teams that have been monitoring Tate’s situation, league sources said, but the Mavericks have only two second-round picks available that were offered. The #Rockets, according to those sources, insisted on three." https://t.co/cziqsIvvqV
— Chris A. White 🐻 (@fyrebear) February 8, 2024
Rockets want backup center for 2023-24 season
Elsewhere, Houston would still like a backup center, league sources said. Jock Landale is averaging less than three points per game and hasn’t played more than 16 minutes since Nov. 1. Even after trading for Steven Adams, the Rockets would like to beef up their rim protection, at least for this season.
Rockets not looking to dump Jeff Green or Aaron Holiday
A few teams have kicked the tires on offseason additions Jeff Green and Aaron Holiday, team sources said, but as mentioned above, the Rockets value them more than others and are not interested in simply dumping them. Both players have strong relationships with Udoka and have carved out roles this season.
Potential Jae’Sean Tate trade construction
It’s why if the Rockets trade Tate, they would prefer to get a player who could contribute right away rather than adding more draft capital, team sources said. One of the Tate-involved thoughts involves Houston sending him to a team, re-routing the second-round picks to a third team and receiving a player in return. Houston, which ranks near the bottom in 3-point efficiency, is actively looking for shooting help — with the caveat they can defend adequately, team sources said.