NBA Trades: These 3 offseason moves could transform the Rockets

Jalen Green #4 of the Houston Rocket (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
Jalen Green #4 of the Houston Rocket (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images) /
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Move #1:

How it benefits the Raptors

After being eliminated in the play-in tournament, the Raptors will face some tough decisions this offseason. Impending free agents Fred Vanvleet, Gary Trent Jr., and Jakob Poeltl are all in line for big paydays, but that will likely result in Toronto losing them to another team or paying them sizeable contracts only to have another mediocre season.

Scoot Henderson would offer the Raptors a way out of their dilemma. He gives them a franchise player to build around, allowing Toronto to be much more comfortable letting their key players leave in free agency. They could then move forward as a somewhat competitive team that would finally be progressing year by year.

How it benefits the Rockets

Anunoby would help stabilize the Rockets’ defense after finishing 29th in defensive rating. He’s so good on that end of the floor that teams have valued him as a star in trade talks, despite his career high in points per game only being 17. Of course, 15+ points per game is still very good, and most of Anunoby’s scoring can be attributed to his knock-down three-point shot. This season, he is shooting at a 38% rate from behind the arc on 7 attempts per game.

Anunoby is both an elite defender and an outside shooter, which most would call the two most important areas of the game. He may not have the upside of Henderson, but his game will translate to more wins immediately. Additionally, the Rockets would receive a protected first-round pick in 2026, which, depending on how fast it takes for Toronto to return to winning, could be pretty valuable.

Draft selection

Lastly, Houston would need to find a plan for their other first-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers, which landed at 18th in the draft simulation.

With that pick, I would look to draft another point guard. Kevin Porter Jr has shown promise but he probably doesn’t represent the team’s future at the point guard position. TyTy Washington hasn’t had many opportunities yet, but considering he hasn’t proven himself to be a reliable backup, it couldn’t hurt to give him some competition.

Of course, Houston will look to bring in a point guard in free agency, but getting a reliable backup who can take over the position after that player is gone would be the Rockets’ best use of this pick.

A player I would try to select if he’s still on the board is Jalen Hood-Schifino. Hood-Schifino is listed at 6’6” and 215 lbs., a frame that makes him more than capable of excelling at the NBA level. NBA Draft Room describes him as a “rock solid guard who is best playing on the ball, facilitating the offense, and being a glue guy on both ends of the court.” This is the exact type of player Houston could use off the bench, and if they developed him well, he could be their future point guard.