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 #3

After picking up the team options of Jalen Green, Usman Garuba, Josh Christopher, and Kenyon Martin Jr., Houston would still have nearly $50 remaining in cap space. Obviously, this leaves room for a huge signing. Specifically, one that has been rumored throughout the season and would make for a great reunion.

As you can probably guess by now, the player that the Rockets should sign is James Harden. Harden spent essentially eight seasons with Houston, and despite never winning a championship, had some incredible accomplishments during that time, including when he became the first player to record a 60-point triple-double, and when he became one of two players to ever be responsible for 90 or more of his team’s points, whether it came from points or assists.

Harden may not be the force that he was in his prime years, but he’s still one of the game’s best playmakers, leading the league in assists per game this season with 11 per game. His passing game would be extremely helpful to the development of young players like Jalen Green, OG Anunoby, and Deandre Ayton.

Of course, all of this depends on how the 76ers fair in the playoffs. If they make a Championship appearance or even a Conference Finals appearance, then it’s unlikely Harden leaves a contender. But if Philly suffers yet another early playoff exit, don’t be surprised to see The Beard in a Rockets jersey next season.

Filling out the roster.

After signing Harden to a contract likely in the high-30 to low-40 million range, the Rockets would have about 5-7 million remaining in cap space. With that money, I would suggest signing a player like Dwight Powell.

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Houston drafted a big man in the first round of the 2021 draft Usman Garuba, but he’s yet to find himself a consistent role in the rotation. Bringing in Powell wouldn’t necessarily leave Garuba to sit on the bench, but he would give the Rockets another option, and an extremely reliable one as well, as Powell has only missed six games throughout the last two seasons.