While the headlines surrounding the Houston Rockets are mostly about the likelihood of them signing Carmelo Anthony after his buyout from the Atlanta Hawks becomes official, they could do more. It is rumored to be interested in trading for Hawks wing Kent Bazemore, according to Kelly Iko.
“Houston is still active on trade fronts, perusing the market for a wing defender, and remains interested in Kent Bazemore of the Atlanta Hawks—according to a person with knowledge of the situation.”
The Rockets would likely have to use Ryan Anderson in a trade package along with other compensation to get a deal done. Bazemore is owed roughly $18.1 million for the upcoming season and has a player option worth around $19.3 million for 2019-20. As for Ryan Anderson, his deal his deal is the same length without a player option and he is owed $20.4 million this season and $21.3 million in 2019-20.
There is a significant need for the Rockets to land a starting caliber small forward following the departure of Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns. If they were to theoretically sign Anthony and trade for Bazemore, their starting lineup would likely look like the following; Chris Paul, James Harden, Kent Bazemore, Carmelo Anthony, and Clint Capela.
It is worth noting that the Rockets did recently sign a ‘3-and-D’ wing player in James Ennis, so they are not completely empty in that department if a deal for Bazemore did not end up happening. I highly suggest checking out the in-depth analysis that Kelly Iko wrote about James Ennis for USA TODAY Sports’ RocketsWire.
For those that were unable to watch many Hawks games last season, Bazemore is coming off a season with averages of 27.5 minutes, 12.9 points (42% FG, 39.4% 3P, 79.6% FT), 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 2.4 turnovers. He spent an estimated 77% of his minutes at shooting guard but has played 48% of his career minutes at small forward.
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