• Rockets searching for best available center
  • Tristan Thompson is a target for the Rockets
  • Small-ball basketball may not work for Houston

The Houston Rockets were part of a four-team that saw them send Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks. Although they got Robert Covington to address their 3-and-D woes, it also made them one of the shortest teams this NBA season.

Aside from Covington, the Rockets also ended up with Jordan Bell as well as the 2024 pick of the Atlanta Hawks. Gone are Nene and Gerald Green who is currently injured. The lone centers remaining on the Rockets roster are veterans Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein. Though it appears Houston is ready to play some small-ball basketball, critics feel that this may not be enough.

Probably aware that they need more help in the middle, the Rockets are now reportedly busy shopping again. According to Kelly Iko, sources revealed that the Rockets are talking with two Eastern Conference teams on a potential deal. They are also willing to take on additional salary in exchange for assets.

With the NBA trade deadline soon coming to a close, it remains to be seen if the Rockets can get a deal done. There are several big men to target such as Alex Len, Tristan Thompson or even Kelly Olynyk. That said, there could be another deal happening soon.

Thompson looms as a sensible choice if the Rockets find a way to get something done with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Canadian and Kevin Love are believed to be on their way out, something that was discussed in a previous post. The only hitch here is that Thompson may be a short-term fix. He is set to make $18.5 million this season before becoming a free agent in the summer. The 28-year-old big man is expected to seek a lucrative deal in the offseason.

Houston could opt for players who won't cost them much like Alex Len. Ironically, Len was part of the multiplayer deal although there is a growing belief that the 26-year-old may be bought out. If that is the case, Houston could sign him to a much lower deal.

Expect Houston to exhaust all options before the NBA trade deadline comes to a close. They do have options but will need to face the financial repercussions of such. If nothing gets done by the trade deadline, expect them to skim the free-agent market for available centers.

Tristan Thompson
Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up before Game Six of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena on May 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. Getty Images/Jason Miller