Rockets Linked To 4-Time NBA All-Star in Trade Talks: Report

Mike D'Antoni

Getty Could the Rockets be in the running for DeMar DeRozan?

Are the Houston Rockets really considering a trade for DeMar DeRozan?

According to a report from Frank Urbina of Hoops Hype, the Rockets are one of four teams showing interest in DeRozan, who the San Antonio Spurs are currently shopping around in trade talks.

“And, for what it’s worth, Orlando has reportedly expressed some interest in DeRozan. One of the executives who spoke to HoopsHype said that they’ve also heard the DeRozan-to-Orlando rumblings, while another mentioned both the Magic and the Sacramento Kings as sensible suitors for the All-Star 2-guard: “A landing spot for DeRozan is probably a team that badly wants to make the playoffs and, right now, they’re in the 7-to-10 range in their conference. The Magic, the Kings and other teams like that would make sense. What the Spurs could get back really depends on if they’re willing to take back money in the deal.”

Other teams mentioned by league execs as theoretical landing spots for DeRozan include the Houston Rockets, the Detroit Pistons and even… his former team.”

The Rockets are currently tied in fourth place in the Western Conference and until a recent three-game losing streak, they looked like one of the best teams in the conference. In fact, despite their recent losing stretch, they’re still one of the top five teams in the conference.

The Rockets Need To Say ‘No’ To DeRozan

The 2019-20 Rockets squad clearly has weaknesses when it comes to defense and here’s the thing — DeRozan isn’t going to help in that regard. As efficient as he may be on the stat sheet, his over-reliance on the mid-range jump shot while possessing zero ability on contributing from beyond the arc — he has zero 3-point field goals this season — along with being one of the worst defensive guards out there makes him a liability.

Although he is an expiring contract who comes on the cheap — he’s due to earn slightly less than $23 million this season — why would the Rockets add a third offensive option for the sake of it? They added an ancient third offensive option who relies entirely on the mid-range game in Carmelo Anthony last season and we saw how that worked out for them.

DeRozan, who is accustomed to operating with the ball as a team’s primary ball handler, would be forced to be a spot-up jump shooter while playing alongside James Harden and Russell Westbrook. I cannot express how much of a disaster that trio would be playing alongside one another.

DeRozan Makes His Teams Worse in the Pace-and-Space Era

For perspective on how DeRozan really doesn’t make his teams better in this pace-and-space era, keep in mind this: The San Antonio Spurs are outscored by 7.5 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor compared to when they outscore opponents by 9.0 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the bench.

They have a dreadful defensive rating of 116.2 when he’s on the floor and his 0.003 defensive win shares ranks 410th in the NBA. For perspective, the Rockets rank in the bottom half of the league in defensive rating and they’re at 109.2 — much better than the Spurs’ defensive rating with DeRozan on the floor.

Although it’s just “interest” at this point, the Rockets need to take a hard stance on this and pass on the four-time All-Star guard.

He brings absolutely nothing to the table for Houston.