So this trade I believe makes sense for the Clippers,Timberwolves, and Rockets. It would send James Harden,Mfiondu Kabangele,and Terance Mann over to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Clippers in return will receive Ricky Rubio,PJ Tucker,Jarrett Culver, and Naz Reid. The Rockets would receive Anthony Edwards,Patrick Beverley,Lou Williams,Ivica Zubac,Daniel Oturu,and Jarred Vanderbilt. The main pieces for all 3 times are James Harden,Ricky Rubio,PJ Tucker,and Anthony Edwards. That is no disrespect to Patrick Beverley,Lou Williams,and Ivica Zubac who are very good role players but let’s break the trade down for each team.
So for the Houston Rockets after James Harden’s interview after a suffering a loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers it’s time to trade the man away. I had absolutely no optimism about seeing the Rockets work out their murky situation with James Harden, why force the guy to stay where he no longer wants to be specially on a roster which does not compliment his skill-set and after hiring a coach he did not approve of in Stephen Silas. So Anthony Edwards was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and I’ve got to tell you I’ve never seen a player get drafted #1 and get 0 to no hype regardless of how weak this draft was supposed to be. Looking at the Timberwolves’s situation you just gave Karl Anthony-Towns a max deal and you are practically paying D’Angelo Russell close to max money as well so why not go all in for this season and the following? Anthony Edwards is not being featured in Minnesota and if the Rockets are in search of a young piece with star potential Anthony Edwards fits the bill.
He can play a prominent role for the Houston Rockets either as a starting shooting-guard or even small-forward being that he has the athleticism and physique to hold his own physically against bigger wings not to to mention the wingspan to help him be an effective defender for the Rockets. He’ll be able to get mentoring from Eric Gordon and could be a part of something special in Houston as John Wall looks to anchor the Houston Rockets over the next few years as their new leader. Anthony Edwards is oozing with potential and you add that on to Christian Wood who has been a success so far in Houston after surprisingly accepting a 3-year deal with the Rockets this past off-season and Houston could be even better than they ever were with James Harden at the helm.
The reason I say this is because John Wall is capable of putting a team on his back and assuming he remains healthy he has enough talent to work with in Houston and I believe Anthony Edwards’s ascension could spell a minor set-back for the Houston Rockets this season and lead to major come-back next season as one of the top teams in the Western Conference. Credit to the Houston Rockets’s front-office for not embracing a rebuild and tanking for the next 4-5 years, funny how the Christian Wood and John Wall signings were supposedly to accommodate James Harden since he played hoops with them before this season began and he still wanted out even after Christian Wood was looking to be his sidekick in Houston and John Wall who also expressed wanting to play alongside James Harden but hey maybe James is just getting a gut feeling there is no chemistry like he probably expected.
Moving on the Clippers we have been hearing they have lacked play-making ever since they paired Kawhi Leonard together with Paul George last season. Obviously play-making will be a problem when you get rid of the guard responsible for the Clippers’s success the 2018-2019 season when they pushed Durant and Curry to the brink of elimination in what would’ve been a historic first round upset. I speak of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander the Kentucky product who never got the credit he deserved as a rookie for the Clippers as he gave the Clippers a combo guard who could run the offense,defend multiple positions on the court and served as a reliable shooter all season long for the Clippers.
Till this day I feel the Clippers made a mistake moving Shai as he would’ve more than likely complimented Kawhi Leonard’s skill-set seamlessly since he is an all-around guard a lot like Kyle Lowry was for the Toronto Raptors who Kawhi Leonard won a championship with and someone who alleviated play-making duties from him allowing him to focus solely on scoring and defense which is what he does best. That is where Ricky Rubio steps in who at this point in his career will never be the best point guard in the game which were the expectations for him coming into the NBA but fills in a gaping hole on the Clippers’s roster. Rubio would allow Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to excel at what they do best, sure George and Kawhi can be reliable play-makers but they are at their best playing off the ball and Rubio would help them conserve energy as they won’t have the responsibility of having to create offense for others as well as themselves.
That’s not to mention the defense Ricky Rubio would bring to the table for the Clippers along with PJ Tucker who won’t vocalize it but he is unhappy in Houston as the Rockets never rewarded him with a contract extension. PJ Tucker brings veteran leadership and grit to the Clippers’s lineup, starting PJ Tucker at power-forward alongside Serge Ibaka gives the Clippers’s a really good defensive pairing and two forwards who can guard switches and help bring defenses out as Tucker and Ibaka are two players you don’t want to leave open consistently as they will make you pay from the outside. Jarrett Culver has been disappointing in his NBA career so far as a lottery pick but he is a shooting-guard who can do a multitude of things on the court from play-making,to playing defense, and serve as reliable scorer for the Clippers. With a lineup of Rubio-George-Kawhi-Tucker-Ibaka I believe the Clippers will be better equipped to compete against the Lakers in a 7-game series this season and beyond.
And last but not least the Minnesota Timberwolves who will acquire James Harden’s services over the next 2 seasons as he has an option for the last season of his contract and could bolt but why not gamble on him opting in for the last season? The Timberwolves have plans of chasing Devin Booker once he grows tired of the Phoenix Suns so why not go after James Harden who is just as good and he is attainable right now? Most would say a team spear-headed by James Harden,D’Angelo Russell,and Karl Anthony-Towns could be the worst defensive team in the league but with the direction the league is trending why not put together a trio which could potentially outscore any team in the league just about any given night? James Harden would make the Timberwolves legitimate contenders out West and maybe that won’t spell a title for Minnesota over the next 2-3 years but who knows? You put together 3 players capable of giving you 25 to 50 points a night and you have to like your chances.
To conclude I am aware I left players such as Lou Williams and Ivica Zubac out who would land with the Rockets in this 3-team trade, Zubac gives the Rockets insurance in case Cousins doesn’t pan out in Houston and he is locked in for the next 3 years on a pretty decent contract. Lou Williams gives the Rockets some depth on the bench as well but he would just be inserted into the deal due to his expiring deal. The Harden saga has to end in Houston it’s long past due and I think Minnesota would be a strange but good destination for him, he could just focus on playing basketball and it helps to play with two players the caliber of a D’Angelo Russell and Karl Anthony-Towns who will more than welcome his arrival as they know what Harden would bring to the table, let’s see if Harden lands in Minnesota maybe a Rockets’s front office member runs across this over the next few hours, till next time.