The Houston Rockets have an intriguing foundation to work with as a franchise. It starts with the explosive potential Jalen Green displayed in the stretch run of the season. It also doesn’t hurt that they have top odds for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
There are many options the Rockets have at their disposal when it comes to building their supporting cast around Green and their other intriguing prospects. Taking a chance on a ‘buy-low’ trade opportunity is among those options. Could Ben Simmons be a viable candidate for such a move?
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor recently proposed a hypothetical trade involving the Nets sending Simmons to the Rockets. The pieces involved include Eric Gordon, Jae’Sean Tate, Christian Wood, and draft picks.
“Perhaps a young team like Houston would revisit a Simmons trade since his trajectory is on the same timeline as Jalen Green. A package with some combination of Eric Gordon, Jae’Sean Tate, and Christian Wood with draft picks could provide Brooklyn with the necessary depth and versatility to make other moves,” O’Connor wrote.
When Simmons is on the floor, there’s a lot to like about the versatility he brings to the game. Teams are deploying smaller and smaller lineups, having a 6-foot-11 point forward that can slide over the five and switch everything presents a lot of options for a defense.
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The playmaking Simmons offers particularly on the open floor could bring the most out of Green’s athleticism. If the Rockets’ unit is bought on with swarming in the half-court on defense, they would be a real challenge for opposing teams to keep up with throughout games.
Much would depend on the Rockets’ perception of Simmons. Do they feel he’s going to continue to be a problem for the Nets even after a full offseason? Or do they feel they would be capitalizing on a low point before things turn around?
There is a case to be made that Houston should not do business with the Nets in a way that helps them get out from under the dysfunctional set of circumstances they’ve created. Given how many draft picks they’ve landed from Brooklyn in the James Harden trade, the Rockets could be big winners from potential failure from the Nets.
There are plenty of potential concerns for the Rockets when pondering the idea of a Simmons trade. He’s struggled with herniated disc injuries at different points of his career and didn’t end up playing a single game in the 2021-22 season.