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Per Amico Hoops and the Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Rockets are interested in trading for veteran wing Kent Bazemore. He is currently in his fifth year with the Atlanta Hawks, and his ninth year in the NBA.
The Rockets, having lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in the offseason, have been looking for replacement wings since the beginning of the year. Bazemore, among other candidates such as Justin Holiday of the Bulls, JR Smith of the Cavs, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Lakers, are all being considered by Houston’s front office as trade targets.
The Rockets, currently leading the league in three-pointers made and attempted, got off to a slow start to begin the season. At one point their record stood at 11-14, after holding last year’s top spot in the Western Conference. Many blamed this dip in production on an attempt to replace two solid players, Ariza and Mbah a Moute, with Carmelo Anthony and James Ennis. They now stand at 19-15, winning eight of their last nine games.
The Hawks have struggled mightily over the past two years, finding themselves at 9-24 through the first part of this season. While in a rebuilding phase, moving veterans like Bazemore for draft picks and young assets would be in the team’s best interest. Moving Bazemore will also open up minutes for their younger wing players, DeAndre Bembry and and Kevin Huerter.
The Pelicans also play into this report, being cited by Amico as another team in the hunt for talented wings to surround all-star big man Anthony Davis. Despite the rumors of Davis leaving New Orleans in the offseason or in a potential trade, the Pelicans still want to bolster their roster for a playoff run. They currently hold the Western Conference’s second-worst record, in front of only the Phoenix Suns.
Of the candidates listed by Amico, Bazemore leads in points per game with 14.0, Caldwell-Pope leads in offensive rating with 116, and both Bazemore and Holiday lead in defensive rating with 110. JR Smith has not played since November 19, when he announced he was separating himself from the Cavs until the franchise traded him.