The Houston Rockets want to win a championship right now, so before the trade deadline, at the top of February, they traded away a few key members of the squad that the city of Houston came to know and love. The traded players included Clint Capela, Nenê, and Houston’s own Gerald Green. (Additional details below) The players that the Rockets acquired were Robert Covington and Jordan Bell (who was later traded).
The team’s first test was the forest of the west, the Los Angeles Lakers who boasts an incredibly tall lineup. The Lakers of course have LeBron James, Anthony Davis, JaVale Mcgee, and Dwight Howard. Prior to the matchup, Sports media talking-heads and fans alike scoffed at the idea of the Rockets succeeding with the new lineup which didn’t feature any particularly tall players. The Rockets went on to win that game 121 – 111, so perhaps there is a method to the madness.
James Harden explained after the win, “We’re not smaller — obviously height-wise [we are]. But heart. Each individual got big hearts. We can compete with anybody.” It has to be said that the games that followed that Lakers victory did not go as well for the Rockets. It’s clear that the team is hungry for a Championship. Will it happen? As the second half of the NBA regular season approaches, the truth is, only time will tell.
Rockets Complete Four-Team Trade
Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced that the team acquired forwards Robert Covington and Jordan Bell from Minnesota as part of a four-team trade also involving Atlanta and Denver. Houston will also receive Golden State’s 2024 second round pick from the Hawks.
As part of the trade, the Rockets will send centers Clint Capela and Nenê to the Hawks and guard/forward Gerald Green along with Houston’s 2020 first round pick to the Nuggets. All totaled, 12 players were involved in the trade.
Covington (6-8, 211) was eligible for the 2013 NBA Draft and spent his rookie season with the Rockets in 2013-14. After leaving Houston, Covington played for Philadelphia until being acquired by Minnesota in November of last season. He was named NBA All-Defensive First Team with the Sixers in 2017-18.
For his career, Covington has appeared in 374 games with 327 starts while averaging 12.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 2.3 3-pointers made in 29.8 minutes per game. He is also shooting 81.2% from the foul line for his career.
Dating back to 2014-15, Covington joins James Harden and Paul George as the only players to have averaged at least 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.50 steals, and 2.0 3-pointers made. Over that same span, Covington, Harden and Andre Drummond are the only players with at least 4,500 points, 2,000 rebounds, 500 assists, 600 steals, and 300 blocks.
Bell (6-9, 216) was originally the 38th overall pick by Chicago in the 2017 NBA Draft before his rights were acquired by Golden State. He spent his first two seasons with the Warriors prior to signing as a free agent with Minnesota last summer.
Per 36 minutes played for his career, Bell is averaging 11.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.3 blocks. In 16 career starts, Bell has averaged 7.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, and 1.6 bpg in 22.1 mpg while shooting 62.7% from the floor and 80.0% from the line.
Bell was a member of Golden State’s championship team in 2017-18 and averaged 13.8 minutes played against Cleveland in the NBA Finals while shooting 71.4% from the floor. Per 36 minutes played in 32 career playoff games, Bell has averaged 10.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.3 spg, and 2.1 bpg.
Capela was the 25th overall pick by Houston in the 2014 NBA Draft. He appeared in 334 games with 274 starts as a Rocket while averaging 12.2 ppg, 9.7 rpg and 1.5 bpg. Capela finished second in voting for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 2017-18.
Green rejoined the Rockets December of 2017 after a brief stint with the team in 2007-08. A Houston native, Green had the most 3-pointers made of any reserve from the point he signed with the Rockets on Dec. 18, 2017 through the end of last season.
Nenê was originally the seventh overall pick by New York in the 2002 NBA Draft and joined the Rockets in 2016-17. He scored 28 points on 12-of-12 shooting in Game 4 of Houston’s First Round series vs. Oklahoma City in 2017, tying the NBA playoff record for the most field goals made without a miss.
Rockets Acquire Bruno Caboclo
Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced that the team has acquired forward Bruno Caboclo (cuh-BO-clo) from Memphis in exchange for forward Jordan Bell and future draft considerations.
Caboclo (6-9, 218) was originally the 20th overall pick by Toronto in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was with the Rockets during training camp and preseason in 2018 before joining their G League affiliate, Rio Grande Valley.
The Brazilian native signed with the Grizzlies last January and has since appeared 56 games with 19 starts. Over the final nine games of 2018-19, he averaged 14.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.4 bpg and 2.6 3-pointers made on 47.9% shooting.
Dating back to last season, Caboclo has played in 30 G League games, while averaging 16.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.2 spg, 3.0 bpg and 2.3 3-pointers made on 42.1% shooting.
The Rockets acquired Bell from Minnesota as part of a four-team trade which was completed last night.