The Rockets are interested in guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, currently of the Los Angeles Lakers. The underwhelming Houston Rockets are seeking roster upgrades, and one potential deal may be in the offing.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signed a one-year, $12 million deal to return to the Lakers last offseason and has veto power on any trade. He and his agent, Rich Paul, would only sign off on a trade should a deal arise that would benefit Caldwell-Pope’s career.
The Rockets could be a third team in certain Lakers deals, as Los Angeles has been interested in players such as Trevor Ariza of the Phoenix Suns. No deal is close, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can’t even be traded until Dec. 15. He also has veto power over any potential deal.
Houston is desperate for wing help, especially after they poorly executed the Carmelo Anthony experiment and are now looking to save the season with some sort of addition. Caldwell-Pope, who is a free agent at season’s end, is said to have a number of suitors.
The 12-14 Rockets have looked at other wing players in a bid to address their issues. Some sort of upgrade feels rather inevitable.
The Rockets have also shown interest in acquiring JR Smith from the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein.
The Rockets have expressed exploratory interest in acquiring JR Smith, according to league sources. Smith is currently on hiatus from the Cavaliers as Cleveland seeks a new home for the veteran shooting guard via trade— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 11, 2018
JR Smith has not played for the Cavaliers since Nov. 19 and is on leave from the team. He previously called the team out for tanking, which led the two sides to go different directions.
Neither Ariza nor Caldwell-Pope can be traded until Saturday.
This sounds like either an agent pumping up his client — how much interest is there in Caldwell-Pope? — or a team trying to start a bidding war or get other teams involved.
That said, with players who signed as a free agent this summer available for trade on Saturday (Dec. 15), the market is starting to really heat up and the rumors are flying.