The Houston Rockets ended the 2018-19 NBA season in rather disappointing fashion. After tying the Golden State Warriors with two wins each in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, the team fell apart in Game 5 after Warriors forward Kevin Durant went down with an injury and couldn’t capitalize in Game 6 at home, losing yet another series to the Warriors.
Instead of trying to run things back, the Rockets have made it clear that they’re putting mostly everyone on their roster onto the trading block aside from reigning MVP and MVP candidate James Harden. Among players listed on the trading block is Chris Paul, whose huge contract could make him hard to move.
“The Heat is expected to check in with Houston on available players (Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon) but not sure there’s an ideal match there.”
But like the Rockets, the Heat are pretty restricted by their salary cap.
If Hassan Whiteside ($27 million) and Goran Dragic ($19.2 million) opt into their deals for 2019-20, the Heat will have no cap space.
Paul is guaranteed nearly $80 million during the next two years with a player option worth $44.2 million in 2021-22. That’s $125 million over the next three years of his contract.
There could be a chance that the trade would involve Tucker and Gordon. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the Rockets are actively looking to trade Tucker and Gordon, as well as Clint Capela:
The Rockets are indeed shopping everyone on the roster not named Harden. The complexities involved in moving Chris Paul, who at age 34 has three years and nearly $125 million left on his contract, have Houston officials actively exploring the trade market for Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker.
As one source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said, they are operating under the belief that at least one of those three mainstays will not be a Rocket next season.
The Western Conference will remain tough next year with the Lakers, Clippers, Spurs and Timberwolves all looking to make big moves this summer to improve on their respective teams.
Even if the Rockets don’t make a big move this summer, they’ll still have a deep roster that knows how to play together.
What trade between the Rockets and the Heat make the most sense to you?