The Houston Rockets made their first move of the NBA offseason. Not a deal involving Russell Westbrook or James Harden, but instead, a trade that sends Robert Covington to the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets received Trevor Ariza and a 2020 1st round pick and a 2021 protected 1st round pick from the Trail Blazers in exchange for Covington.
The Trail Blazers have needed a wing player that can provide a ‘3-and-D’ impact alongside Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Robert Covington provides a great impact in both areas— providing a needed boost to contend in the Western Conference.
Trevor Ariza is under contract for $12.8 million during the 2020-21 NBA season with only $1.8 million guaranteed. It seems possible that Houston could decide to waive him and save $11 million in salary cap spending. If not, he’d fill the void left behind by Covington.
The Rockets will now hold the No. 16 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft— providing a real opportunity to add an intriguing prospect. Prior to this trade, they didn’t have a 1st round selection in this year’s draft as they had previously dealt it away in a trade.
The decision to trade Covington could single a rebuilding effort from the Rockets. With Russell Westbrook and James Harden both seeking to be traded to a new NBA team, it would make sense to execute moves with that intention.
Robert Covington began last NBA season as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves and was traded mid-season to the Houston Rockets. He posted strong averages of 12.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 block.
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