Report: Houston’s trade interest in Brooklyn’s Mikal Bridges may have cooled

In the window leading up to the February 2024 trade deadline for the NBA’s 2023-24 regular season, the Houston Rockets were reportedly interested in Brooklyn Nets swingman Mikal Bridges.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be in the 2024 offseason.

Following February’s All-Star break, the Rockets went 17-11 to close the season, and Jalen Green nearly earned Western Conference Player of the Month honors during a brilliant March. Houston finished the season with a 41-41 record, and that 19-win improvement was the biggest annual growth of any NBA team.

With that in mind, general manager Rafael Stone might now swing for bigger trade targets than Bridges — since the status quo is already quite competitive, as is. To that end, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko recently said this of Bridges and the Rockets (in his story regarding Houston’s interest in Cleveland star Donovan Mitchell):

Such a move for an All-NBA type player would be more suitable than for others who could potentially be available — New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram and Brooklyn’s Mikal Bridges — for example.

That insight was seemingly reinforced on a newly released podcast featuring Jake Fischer, national NBA reporter for Yahoo! Sports.

Of Bridges, Fischer says (via the Bad Weather Fans podcast):

I think Houston values Mikal a little bit less, based on how this year unfolded.

That’s not to say there’s no path for a deal bringing Bridges to Houston. After all, he makes comparable money to incumbent small forward Dillon Brooks, yet he’s a better and more versatile player.

Should the price be low enough, he could certainly help a Houston team that wants to make the 2025 Western Conference playoffs.

But as for whether that’s feasible, the ball is in Brooklyn’s court. It doesn’t sound as if the Rockets are ready to aggressively bid on Bridges, at least not in terms of significant assets from Houston’s future draft stockpile or an existing young core of talented prospects.

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire