Skip to content

Are the Rockets in the market for Josh Smith? Maybe not quite yet.

Feb 14, 2013, 5:10 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith reacts during the final moments of the fourth quarter of Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball series against the Boston Celtics in Boston Reuters

Trade speculation surrounding Josh Smith is in full swing. The Brooklyn Nets and San Antonio Spurs have been reported as potential landing spots, but there may not be a more attractive trading partner for the Hawks given their rebuilding process than the Houston Rockets. Despite lacking a “big name” who can be moved, Houston has a ton of productive players on cheap, rookie deals. There are guys we haven’t even really seen like Terrence Jones or Donatas Motiejunas who are intriguing prospects, and there are useful pieces like Patrick Patterson and Greg Smith.

But while a potential deal with Houston would make sense for Atlanta, it may not make sense for Houston. The Rockets have max cap room heading into this offseason, so sacrificing multiple assets to acquire a guy who will be a free agent in a few months may be a waste. Here’s Daryl Morey explaining Houston’s situation to Sam Amick of USA Today:

“The Rockets — who signed point guard Jeremy Lin in the summer and traded for Oklahoma City’s James Harden in late October — are on the lookout for another star and have enough salary cap space this summer to add a maximum-salary free agent. At the moment, that appears to be their path of choice.

“Most likely, it’s not going to be through trade,” Morey told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. “Most likely, it’s going to be through the use of our cap room where we have max room this summer.

“I think (the time between now and the deadline) is going to be quiet. Of course a year ago, if you would’ve said, ‘James Harden – what about him?’ I would’ve said, ‘No way. They won’t trade him.’ You never know. You stay opportunistic. But I would guess that this trade deadline is going to be quiet.”

Via Sam Amick | USA Today

This is what Morey should say. The Rockets would have to combine quite a few salaries to match for a guy like Smith right now, and despite their playoff push, there really shouldn’t be a rush to contend. The financial situation is great, they have an incredibly young core, and they have a true star in James Harden.

With that said, it’s Harden who now shares some of the recruiting responsibility with Morey.

Asked if he had a specific player he wanted to join forces with, Harden — who doesn’t have off-court relationships with any of the players mentioned — says he’s not sure just yet.

“I don’t, and if I did have a guy I’d be texting him every single day,” he told USA TODAY Sports in a recent interview. “Dwight, Chris Paul, Bynum, all of them. I haven’t come across them. I’m more low-key.”

Low-key probably works for Houston right now. They’ll be hosting the All-Star game this weekend, so everyone will get a taste of what life in Houston is like. They’re contending ahead of schedule, true, but many a franchise has been wrecked by pushing the chips to the center of the table too quickly. Josh Smith does fit with what Houston wants to do, but patience may be the most valuable asset the Rockets can utilize at the trade deadline this year.

Latest Posts
  1. PBT Power Rankings: After summer shakeups, Spurs still team to beat

    Jul 28, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Five Getty Images

    After all the players shifts this summer, the top three teams in the power rankings remain unchanged from the last one lst year.

  2. Lance Stephenson shows he’s on fire, ready for Charlotte (Instagram)

    Jul 28, 2014, 2:04 AM EDT

    Lance letting us know where his loyalties lie.

  3. Zach LaVine throws down some crazy dunks at Seattle Pro-Am (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Draft Getty Images

    The 2015 Slam Dunk Contest champion might have already been decided.

  4. Paul Millsap receives last minute invite to USA Basketball mini-camp

    Jul 27, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six Getty Images

    Millsap gets the call as a late addition after Blake Griffin and Kevin Love dropped out in the last few days.

  5. Report: Kevin Garnett eyes post-basketball position with Nets

    Jul 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Newly acquired Brooklyn Net's NBA player Kevin Garnett listens during a news conference introducing him in Brooklyn Reuters

    KG is likely coming back for his 20th NBA season, but may be setting himself up for something more with the Nets one his playing days are finished.

  6. LeBron announces he’ll wear No. 23 with Cavaliers

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    LeBron makes yet another momentous decision.

  7. Report: Lakers won’t use stretch provision on Steve Nash

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    L.A. will keep Nash on the roster for the upcoming season, and take the cap hit for the $9.7 million remaining on his contract all at once.

  8. Rumor: NBA to open 2014-15 season with Spurs at Cavaliers

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs

    Only other possibility would have been LeBron facing the Heat, but that feels more like Christmas.

  9. Report: Lakers say ‘no done deal’ with Byron Scott

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Byron Scott

    Team downplays ESPN report that a contract has been agreed upon.

  10. Donatas Motiejunas doesn’t think Rockets should have paid Chandler Parsons James Harden money

    Jul 27, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Would Harden have been offended if he and Parsons made similar money?

  11. Report: Lakers, Byron Scott agree to four-year, $17 million deal to coach team

    Jul 26, 2014, 11:37 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers  v Miami Heat Getty Images

    The negotiations was over years and the fourth year is a team option.

  12. Report: Several teams interested in free agent Michael Beasley

    Jul 26, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three

    Beasley is an unrestricted free agent, and some team will almost certainly take a chance on him next season.

  13. Kevin Love trade talk: He doesn’t want to opt in to deal, Cavs may live with that

    Jul 26, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Kevin Love Kevin Love

    If Kevin Love will not opt-in to the last year of his deal, would you still give up Wiggins for him?

  14. Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah swats away children’s shots (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Joakim Noah Joakim Noah

    Nobody scores on Joakim Noah, 7-year-old youth included.

  15. Paul George says his favorite rookie memory was when his coach got fired

    Jul 26, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Paul George Paul George

    Being inserted into the starting lineup might have something to do with it.

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. T. Warren (4389)
  2. L. James (4210)
  3. K. Love (4170)
  4. J. Nelson (3645)
  5. R. Allen (3433)
  1. C. Anthony (2963)
  2. K. Bryant (2657)
  3. D. Rose (2602)
  4. A. Wiggins (2574)
  5. A. Aminu (2079)