Rockets make entire roster available for trade talks
Li Xiang
The Houston Rockets seem determined to do something big after their disappointing 2018-19 season. The team's general manager Daryl Morey has made their entire roster — including stars Chris Paul and James Harden —  and draft picks available for trade talks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Though Morey said the entire roster was up for grabs, it's hard to imagine the Rockets sending Harden away, or that any team could come up with enough assets to justify a deal for the star player. Besides, most of the team's bench are single-function players, meaning that they may not be valuable enough on the market.
Chris Paul #3, Clint Capela #15, P.J. Tucker #17 and Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets /VCG Photo

Chris Paul #3, Clint Capela #15, P.J. Tucker #17 and Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets /VCG Photo

Therefore, Houston's likely trading chips will be coming from the starting lineup: Chris Paul, Clint Capela, P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon.
Let's start with Paul. He is already 34 years old, has three years left in his over 120 million U.S. dollar contract, and failed to meet expectations last year. So it's safe to say that few teams will be interested in trading for him.
Capela is the youngest of the four and as a blue-collar center, he won't ask for too many possessions. Yet Capela's problem is that his contract will keep growing in the next three years, with 80 million U.S. dollars in guaranteed money. If he cannot improve his game, the team may feel uncomfortable paying him so much for a guy who doesn't know how to play without a good guard.
Gordon and Tucker are both quality assets either for trade or as role players. Nonetheless, their values are maximized with the Rockets. If Gordon and Tucker are sent away, it will be hard for the Rockets to find good replacements.
Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors /VCG Photo

Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors /VCG Photo

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Houston “would move heaven and earth” if it could acquire someone like Kawhi Leonard. It may sound exciting but the chance of such a deal happening is as limited as the possibility of Houston trading Harden. First, the team do not have enough space to sign Leonard as a free agent; second, they have no assets attractive enough to make a trade to get him; third, Houston was never among the candidate teams listed by Leonard.
Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta told the Houston Chronicle in a text message that he's willing to support Morey to improve the team: "Our organization's position is why be a fourth seed and one of the top teams but know you probably can't win a championship with this exact team. So, it's what I said the night after the loss. Wherever we can improve coaching or players, let's do it," said Fertitta.
Though the restaurant giant sounded very generous, like he always did since taking over the Rockets, let's not forget Trevor Ariza, who left the team last summer because Morey had to save money for his boss.
(Top image: Daryl Morey (L), general manager and Tilman Fertitta (R), owner of the Houston Rockets /VCG Photo)