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 #2

OG Anunoby is not the only player Houston needs to shore up its horrible defense. As fun, as Alperen Sengun is to watch, the main responsibility of a big man in today’s NBA is to help his team get stops, and unfortunately, that’s the one area of weakness in Sengun’s game. Here is a trade that would have Houston bringing in an elite paint protector.

How it benefits the Suns

The Suns are considered by most as favorites to make it out of the Western Conference. If they do make it to the finals, then disregard anything I say about this potential trade. Otherwise, a deal sending Ayton to Houston, or somewhere else, is a legitimate possibility.

There were rumors about a sign-and-trade involving Ayton last summer, though he ultimately ended up re-signing with Phoenix. But the front office’s unwillingness to offer Ayton the contract he desired until they were forced to match the Indiana Pacers’ offer indicates they may not be confident in their former first-overall draft pick. This deal would get them another starting-caliber center in Sengun, a point guard to potentially replace Chris Paul in Porter Jr., and a gritty wing in Jae’Sean Tate.

How it benefits the Rockets

Deandre Ayton hasn’t been the same player since the Suns’ made the finals in 2021. Part of that can be attributed to the Suns’ organization’s lack of confidence in him, as they refused to offer Ayton a max contract even after his incredible performance in the 2021 playoffs. That being said, it’s still Ayton’s responsibility to bring his full effort to the court every night, and he hasn’t done that.

But perhaps Houston could revitalize his ascension to stardom. Simply getting Ayton out of Phoenix would benefit him, but if Houston maximized his abilities on both the offensive and defensive end, we could see Ayton return to the league’s top five big men conversation. As we’ve seen in the past with Clint Capela, an elite big man has often been the key to the Rockets’ success, and at his best, Ayton is an even better player than Capela was in his prime.