With longtime Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey headed to Philadelphia, it’s pure to contemplate commerce prospects involving his former group.
On Friday, ESPN analyst and former NBA participant Jalen Rose obtained in on the motion. His newest suggestion, nonetheless, may seem like too good to be true, from a Houston perspective. Right here’s what he stated:
If I’m Daryl Morey, I attempted to discover a solution to parlay Joel Embiid for Russell Westbrook and/or P.J. Tucker. In Houston, they’re going to must play extra historically, so due to this fact you have got James [Harden] with the ball on the perimeter, and you’ve got Embiid as his massive man. Within the Japanese Convention, you have got two guys in Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook that nobody is ever going to cease from attending to the basket.
Each these guys have discovered methods to not be capable to shoot leap photographs and nonetheless principally flirt with triple-doubles, and Russell’s been an MVP of the league. You say ‘Effectively, that’s not Morey-ball.’ Morey-ball is definitely additionally getting layups and dunks, and attending to the free-throw line. These two guys try this, too.
For starters, let’s take the “or” out of Rose’s assertion. Earlier than even contemplating the basketball deserves, Embiid will make almost $30 million subsequent season, whereas Tucker isn’t even at $eight million. With each the Sixers and Rockets above the league’s projected wage cap, every group has to ship out near as a lot cash in trades because it takes in.
For the Rockets to absorb Embiid, Westbrook’s wage (~$41 million) is far nearer to a monetary match.
However then there’s the basketball facet. At simply 26 years outdated, Embiid is already a three-time NBA All-Star. For his profession, he averages 23.9 factors (48.0% FG), 11.5 rebounds, and 1.eight blocks in 30.four minutes per recreation.
Westbrook, in fact, is a nine-time All-Star and former MVP who averaged 27.2 factors, 7.9 rebounds, and seven.Zero assists this previous season. In Morey’s analytics-driven system with the Rockets, Westbrook shot a career-high clip of 47.2% from the sphere. That’s the excellent news.
The unhealthy information, at the very least from the attitude of Rose’s hypothetical commerce, is that Westbrook will flip 32 years outdated on Nov. 12. That makes him greater than 5 years older than Embiid, and that’s earlier than contemplating how every participant’s recreation may age. In idea, a seven-foot heart with put up strikes might have a friendlier getting old curve than a guard who relies upon largely on athleticism — fairly than 3-point taking pictures — for his excellence.
Jalen Rose suggests Sixers transfer Joel Embiid to Rockets for Russell Westbrook https://t.co/KKH8wAWs1X
— Sixers Wire (@SixersWire) October 30, 2020
Though Morey appears to love Westbrook, it’s onerous to check giving up an All-Star heart who is barely 26 to get him. It’s additionally honest to surprise how Westbrook would match subsequent to Simmons, since each guards want area to assault the rim and neither is revered as a 3-point shooter.
In contrast, James Harden is almost a 12 months youthful than Westbrook. He’s additionally a superior participant and, at the very least on paper, a greater wager to age extra gracefully (due to his superior leap shot). It actually wouldn’t be a shock if Morey broached that topic, even when it required shifting Embiid. Nonetheless, the Rockets have understandably proven little interest in buying and selling their perennial MVP candidate, in order that doesn’t appear to be an possibility.
Trades involving position gamers on the Sixers and Rockets — even high-profile ones like Tucker, Eric Gordon, and Al Horford — could be a chance, assuming Morey nonetheless has affinity for his former gamers in Houston. Nonetheless, it’s robust to see any commerce slot in 2020 involving the 4 All-Stars of Westbrook, Harden, Embiid, and Simmons.