The Warriors certainly should have attempted to exploit the Houston Rockets' desperation and offered their massive $17.2 million trade exception to acquire Robert Covington. We don't know if they did, but regardless, it doesn't matter, since Covington no longer is available.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday night citing sources that the Rockets have agreed to trade Covington to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for the No. 16 overall pick in Wednesday's 2020 NBA Draft and another future first-round pick.
To clarify: The Blazers are sending Houston the 16th pick in Wednesday's draft and another future first-round pick, per sources. Deal can't be finalized until after Wednesday's draft. https://t.co/hvBf6JppS5
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 17, 2020
The deal can't be finalized until after the draft, but at this point, Covington is off the board. It's unfortunate for the Warriors, as he would have been a tremendous addition to the lineup, and clearly, he was available to be had. However, there's is no chance that Golden State would have been willing to give up the haul that Portland did.
While the Warriors gladly would have absorbed Covington's salary with the trade exception that expires on Nov. 23, they would not have given up a first-round pick for a non-star, much less two. Covington is a great all-around player, but not at the level that the Warriors would have sacrificed future assets to attain him. From a pure value standpoint, it sure seems like Portland overpaid.
It makes total sense why the Rockets would prefer the Trail Blazers' offer over the Warriors' trade exception. It's a considerably better return, and as soon as the Blazers offered it, the Warriors' chances likely went out the window.
So, now the Warriors have one fewer worthy available player to use the trade exception on. Covington was a perfect fit, but alas, he's no longer an option. The Rockets wouldn't have agreed to trade Covington unless a full-blown fire sale was on deck, so it wouldn't be surprising if more Houston players were moved in the coming days.
Perhaps now the Warriors might turn their attention to P.J. Tucker. But like Covington, they won't give up a first-rounder -- or two -- to get it done.