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Did the Rockets Get Any Better?

The hope with every trade made is to make the team better than it was, but did the Rockets do so with their last minute trades Thursday?

Trade deadline came and went Thursday with an incredible amount of activity throughout the NBA, with some teams making drastic roster changes.

Houston got in on the frenzy sending a starter and a reserve player away while getting a first year player in DeMarre Carroll who has averaged just over 10 minutes a game and less than a basket, a former first round pick that was sent down the developmental league just last year in Hasheem Thabeet, and a career back-up guard in Goran Dragic.

Trading Brooks for Dragic could very well be a wash. Both have played well in the short time they have been in the league, but have struggled as well. Both are serviceable as back-up players, but the real benefit for the Rockets could be in getting rid of Brooks. Injuries and a reduced role this season had turned him into a malcontent and a distraction to the team. Trading him now allowed the Rockets to get more value for him before his attitude could have become a serious factor.

Offensively Brooks was averaging more points and rebounds a game, but he has also spent the majority of the season injured.

Evaluate the Memphis trade and it seems like the Rockets got the short end of the stick. In Battier they had a player averaging more than 30 minutes a game with just over eight points and almost five rebounds a game. In DeMarre Carroll they got someone that hardly plays and produces little when he does and Hasheem Thabeet, the highest draft pick (No 2 overall) to ever be sent down to the Developmental League.

The first round pick that the Grizzlies threw in helps even up the trade; they got one from Phoenix as well, but it is lottery protected.

On the face it would appear that the Rockets may have given up on this season and got little in return. However, this season may not end with a playoff run, but with these two trades the Rockets could be set up well for the future.

Carroll was an integral part of the 2009 Missouri team that made it to the Elite Eight. In college he had a talent for shooting well from the perimeter and inside along with a knack for pulling down rebounds. If the coaching staff can help him find that player again the Rockets could be set at forward for the foreseeable future.

The real benefit could come in Hasheem Thabeet. It would not be surprising to see Yao Ming call it quits. Even if he does come back he will likely need to be spelled often, at least in the beginning, like the team did this season until he was injured. At 7’3’’ tall if the team can get him to play similar to what he did in college the team could very well have the next greatest center  in their midst.

Tack on the two first round draft picks and the Rockets are going to find themselves smack dab in the midst of a youth revolution. Now if only that youth can gel and play some good basketball together…


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