Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets trading picks

After the announcement of the Mikal Bridges trade from the Nets to the the Knicks, there was an interesting announcement of the Nets and Rockets trading draft picks.  The trade is pretty confusing because it involves other teams picks & swaps and also involves the Nets re-acquiring their own draft picks.  But AFAICT the details are:

Nets get their 2025 pick swap to Houston negated

Nets get their 2026 pick back from Houston

Rockets get 2025 Suns pick swap

Rockets get 2027 Suns pick

Rockets get 2029 pick and swap (Dallas & Phoenix picks)

Getting down into the weeds one can think of it more basically as

Nets get 1 pick & swap

Rockets get 2 picks & 2 swaps

The trade grades for the Rockets range from D (CBS) to an A (NYTIMES).

I thought it interesting that the trade grades are so wide ranging.  But I believe it comes down to some interesting unknowns and assumptions.

Did the Rockets make this trade AFTER knowing about the Mikal Bridges trade?  Or did they not know about it / was the trade effectively a 3 team trade (i.e. we aren't going to trade Mikal Bridges unless Rockets agree to this trade)?

If the Rockets made this trade after knowing about the Mikal Bridges trade, it would certainly grade badly as they would know the Nets are trying to tank.  They would get very good (possibly top 5) draft picks in 2025 and 2026.  Those picks would be amazingly valuable given the trajectory of their young team and their championship window.

So my assumption is the Nets would not have traded Mikal Bridges if this deal was not in place (or made an alternate move).  Afterall, tanking really only has value if you control your own picks.  Thus this was effectively a three team trade.

I imagine the Rockets had to choose between

- likely medium level draft picks in 2025 & 2026 from Nets (lets say picks in range 10-15)
- two future picks & two future swaps, to be used or traded

One can see why the Rockets agreed to the trade.  The Suns are an older team and those draft picks and swaps down the road could become quite valuable either as picks or trade assets.

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