The Houston Rockets have expressed interest in Wilson Chandler, according to a league source. https://t.co/1cWjMNn8CN— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) July 1, 2018
In the article, Iko says that the Rockets are interested in Chandler filling the void left by the departure of Trevor Ariza, who signed a one year, $15 million deal with the Phoenix Suns last night.
“Daryl Morey and the front office staff will be looking at replacements, and according to one person with knowledge of Houston’s plans, veteran Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler is one name that will be on their list of targets. The person spoke under the condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the Rockets’ plans.
According to the person, Chandler, who previously played for Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni in New York, was a target for Houston during last year’s trade deadline, although a deal with Denver never materialized.”
After averaging 10.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game on a 44.5/35.8/77.2 triple slash line, the Nuggets are looking to move Chandler to help shed salary, according to various reports. Will Barton was inked to a new contract last night and expects to compete for the starting small forward position, according to Chris Haynes.
The Rockets could certainly use a player of Chandler’s versatility after Ariza’s departure. They’d probably want a player better than Chandler in an ideal world, but given their salary cap situation, it’s hard to blame them for being interested in a short term replacement.
Of course, that brings up a much bigger issue: money. It’s hard to see how the Rockets and Nuggets come to terms on a deal. The Nuggets are looking for salary cap relief, and the Rockets will most certainly be deep into the luxury tax if they-resign Clint Capela. The only contract number that matches Chandler reasonably well from Houston’s side is Eric Gordon, but he’s too important for Houston’s success. Denver could technically send Wilson Chandler and Darrell Arthur to Houston while taking back Ryan Anderson’s contract, but that doesn’t help Denver in the slightest.
If the Nuggets and Rockets were to agree on a deal, my guess is it would involve a third team that takes on Ryan Anderson’s salary that Denver doesn’t want to take back. Both Denver and Houston would send picks and prospects to a third team to make it happen. One scenario would be a three-team trade with the Atlanta Hawks. They could use the spacing of Anderson to accelerate the development of Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Taurean Prince, and John Collins. Denver could send a second round pick and possibly a prospect to Atlanta, while Houston would send a first round pick.
Whatever the case may be, it isn’t shocking that the Rockets are interested in Chandler. He should come reasonably cheap. The problem is the salary cap factor, and I don’t expect this deal to get done for that reason.