Houston Rockets: Trading for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope makes sense

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 8: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 8, 2018 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 8: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies on December 8, 2018 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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The Houston Rockets are in need of more depth, and that is exactly why making a trade for Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a great idea.

The Houston Rockets have been on a four-game win streak, but are still struggling to reach their heights of last season. They are leaning heavily on the talents of James Harden and his 31.5 points per game scoring average. Chris Paul, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon are also chipping in to the point total, but there is just something missing for this team.

It could be the lack of defense, as the Rockets rank 26th in overall defensive rating at 112.9. Or it could be the lack of bench scoring, which is also a troubling characteristic for this Houston team.

Someone like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could solve all of these issues. He has been known as an above-average 3-and-D player for the majority of his career spent with the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons. The shooting guard could give a spark to the Rockets off the bench and provide a little bit of the bench scoring they are missing at the moment.

Caldwell-Pope is only averaging 9.1 points per contest this year, but this can be explained by his lack of quality floor time. The Lakers are playing with a younger squad that is guard-heavy, and KCP is the one losing minutes because of it. The good news is he’s still shooting 34.9 percent from 3-point range, and is a reliable wing presence on defense.

The Georgia alum is on a one-year contract worth $12 million, which also is a good fit for Houston. They would have paid more for an older Trevor Ariza, who was recently traded to the Washington Wizards instead of the Rockets.

If it didn’t work out with Houston, the Rockets would be off the hook after the year ends. But if the trade did work out, and KCP was successful in Texas, he could really help bolster the squad going into the playoffs against the brutal competition in the Western Conference.

This trade could be mutually beneficial to the Lakers as well, as they have been shopping Caldwell-Pope recently (also in hopes off grabbing Ariza). This means they are willing to get rid of him, given the right price. It has been rumored that LeBron James wants Carmelo Anthony on the Lakers, which the King has confirmed publicly, but will not go to Magic Johnson or Rob Pelinka about the move.

With keeping LeBron happy in the back of Magic’s mind, the Lakers could swing a deal to land Anthony, which would add some scoring off their bench and add to their team of exuberant personalities. Below is a video of LeBron speaking before the Lakers’ game in Houston last week, where he answered a question about the KCP trade rumors.

They would obviously have to attach more salary filler to make the contracts match up, which could include Brandon Knight or involve bringing in a third team. A draft asset of some sort would probably also need to be attached.

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However, if the Houston Rockets could manage to land a solid wing player for their lineup while also getting rid of Carmelo Anthony, who has been away from the team for weeks, then it will be a double win for general manager Daryl Morey.