HOUSTON – Reports have surfaced that the entire Houston Rockets roster is available via trade.
But what does that mean? General manager Daryl Morey is known as a deal-maker and nothing seems too far from reality when it comes to moving players and picks in an effort to make the team better.
Houston doesn't have a 2019 first-round pick, and the team can't trade its 2020 pick (which isn't very valuable) until after the 2019 draft.
Who is under contract?
Houston has seven players under contract for the 2019-20 season: James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Nene Hilario and Isaiah Hartenstein.
Iman Shumpert, Gerald Green, Austin Rivers, Kenneth Faried and Danuel House are not under contract with the team.
Out of the tradable players, Harden would obviously be the hardest player for general manager Daryl Morey to send packing. He would command the biggest return and would change the construction of the Rockets in the biggest way.
Harden is a perennial MVP candidate, one of the most unguardable players in the league and is 29. He won the MVP in the 2017-18 season and is consistently at the top of the league in multiple categories. In order for the Rockets to trade Harden, it seems safe to say they would have to be completely blown away by the return.
Paul is 34. He's due to make $38.5 million next season. He's under contract through the 2021-22 season. Paul would be difficult to move because of his age and his contract. He signed a four-year maximum deal with Houston on July 7, 2018.
Paul is owed about $38.5 million in the 2019-20 season, $41.4 million in the 2020-21 season and $44.2 million in the 2021-22 season.
Capela signed a five-year, $90 million deal with the Rockets on July 27, 2018. He's 25 and has shown significant growth during his four seasons with significant playing time. In his rookie season, 2014-15, Capela played in 12 games and averaged 7.5 minutes per game.
Capela is an exciting young player with even more room to grow. He's 6 feet, 10 inches tall and has filled out his body, weighing about 240 pounds. He can't do much away from the rim on the offensive end, but is a solid defender and has a knack for pulling in rebounds.
Capela's struggles against the Warriors were documented heavily this season when he was pretty much shut down by the reigning champions. His shooting percentage and low point totals could lead to the Rockets being OK with trading the big man.
Gordon is in the final season of his contract. He's 30 and is coming off a season in which he scored 16.2 points per game while shooting 36% from the 3-point line.
Tucker is set to make $8.3 million next season and is also signed through the following season for about $8 million. Tucker's defensive intensity and propensity to knock down the corner 3 have proved to be invaluable to this Rockets team.
Tucker is a veteran whose presence is valued in the locker room as well as on the court.
If the Rockets were to overhaul the team, Harden and Paul would bring the biggest returns. In a trade for Paul, Houston would most likely have to add extra assets due to the amount of money the guard is owed over the next three seasons.
As far as projecting who would come to Houston in a deal, those names are too plentiful to list in one article.