The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a long-term rebuild with Jalen Green and a premier selection in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft as the main cornerstones. A focus remains to add long-term fits alongside their core players as they develop.
There are some intriguing complementary pieces the Rockets already have added using recent selections in the NBA Draft like Alperen Sengun and Josh Christopher among others. With many future first-round picks from the James Harden trade, there’ll be many more opportunities to add more talent to the supporting cast in the coming years.
The Rockets have experienced success taking chances on free agents like Jae’Sean Tate, Garrison Matthews, and Kenyon Martin Jr., too. With how many draft picks they have, taking chances on higher upside players could be a more logical option during their rebuild.
Another option the Rockets have to take advantage of for adding talent is to trade veterans with value like Eric Gordon and Christian Wood. Both players were acquired with the intention of competing and no longer match the timeline of the franchise cornerstones.
A proposed trade package from NBA Analysis Network features Cam Reddish and Kemba Walker landing with the Rockets in exchange for Wood. Neither team would be parting with any draft picks in the hypothetical deal.
Reddish, who was selected No. 10 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, was traded midseason by the Atlanta Hawks to the Knicks. Reddish had sought a change of scenery to have a larger role, but he ended up going from 23.4 minutes per game with the Hawks to 14.3 in 15 games with New York.
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Before Reddish could fully solidify himself in Tom Thibodeau’s rotation, he suffered a separated shoulder in the Knicks’ Mar. 7 loss to the Sacramento Kings. The injury occurred as a result of a hard fall and the original expectation was for a six-week recovery timetable. Given it was late in the season, there wasn’t enough time for him to return.
Much of Reddish’s value is tied to his perceived potential as a player. He’s had some flashes like his 21-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Regardless, a 6-foot-8 wing that can knock down catch-and-shoot 3s with upside as an off-the-dribble scorer is worth a gamble.
Depending on who the Rockets select with their first-round pick, there could be room for Reddish on the wing alongside Green and Kevin Porter Jr. Houston would get even more athletic while having the circumstances to give Reddish a lot of run throughout games.
For the Knicks, the justification for the trade comes down to their preference for the center position. They will soon have to deal with the pending restricted free agency of Mitchell Robinson. If they would rather have a floor-spacing threat at the five next to Julius Randle, it could be intriguing to acquire a shooting threat like Wood.
If the Knicks wanted to acquire Wood, they probably could find a viable framework for a trade without having to include Reddish. They do own the Dallas Mavericks’ lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick to use at their disposal among other options.
There is a real case to be made for the Knicks to consider trade scenarios involving Reddish if an intriguing opportunity became available. He will be a restricted free agent next offseason and didn’t necessarily hit the ground running to begin his Knicks tenure.