• The Rockets want young NBA players in exchange for veterans in any trade scenario, a report says
  • Heat could have the assets to pull off a trade
  • Rockets have enough future picks and may prefer to start improvements in the latter part of the current NBA season

The Houston Rockets are shopping their veterans ahead of the NBA trade deadline, but they want active young players in exchange and are not interested in future picks, a report says.

The Rockets are near the cellar of the Eastern Conference, seven games behind the Dallas Mavericks for the eighth seed. Some have written them off, and there are suggestions that Houston may end up tanking. Such is not the case, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle.

Jonathan Feigen reported that the Houston Rockets have no interest in trading away players like P. J. Tucker and Victor Oladipo in exchange for future assets. This made sense since the Rockets could have better odds at the NBA Draft lottery.

But seeing as the Rockets have more than enough picks from past trades, including the one involving James Harden, Houston prefers to get proven young NBA stars who will comprise the club’s core moving forward.

Between Tucker and Oladipo, it appears the former is the one seen by most as the player to be dealt soon. Even at 35, the veteran forward has garnered interest – particularly from NBA teams looking to improve their postseason run. As mentioned in a previous report, that list includes the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.

Given that the Rockets want young guys, the Heat have a plethora of young guns that could pique their interest. Among the players that team president Pat Riley could dangle are Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Precious Achiuwa. Head coach Erik Spoelstra can pick from any of them to free up their backcourt congestion.

The same holds for Oladipo. The Heat can trade away a couple of their young players to get the veteran guard. However, some see it as foolish since the 28-year-old’s injury history is well-documented.

It remains to be seen what the Rockets will get, assuming that Tucker and Oladipo are dealt away. The season is not entirely lost, although the new blood they take in could be amply broken in as they continue to rebuild a new era of Houston Rockets basketball.

Victor Oladipo #7 of the Houston Rockets
Victor Oladipo #7 of the Houston Rockets Getty Images | Carmen Mandato