Are The Rockets Looking To Trade Up?

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes that the buzz has the Rockets considering a move up the draft board.

The one thing I'm hearing more than any is that they are working the phones hard to move up. And since we can assume there is little chance to get to the very top of the draft, if they are inclined to gamble on upside, accepting risk, that might mean they will target DeMarcus Cousins.

Rahat Huq of Red94.net writes that he's getting the same vibe, with a twist.

This has been my feeling for some time as well.  Unless they really like one specific player, I just can't see the Houston Rockets remaining at #14 - a virtual ‘no-man's land'  in an allegedly deep draft.  They can nab a similar player later on in the night to whom they can pay a lower-scale salary while also picking up an asset to tuck away, or, lessen overall team payload by combining assets in a move-up.

My prediction: They will try to move up and after the failed attempt, settle on moving down. I would be pretty shocked to see the Rockets picking at 14.

Tom Martin of SB Nation's TheDreamShake.com says he generally agrees with Huq and then analyzes the top eight teams in the draft, looking for potential trade partners.  He comes up empty in finding a perfect trade fit but throws out these names as potential targets.

As Feigen noted, Cousins would be an ideal player to trade up to select. In addition, I could see Morey making a move to take Derrick Favors, Al-Farouq Aminu (don't know why I keep thinking of him, but just go with it), Greg Monroe or even Xavier Henry, as long the Rockets fancy Henry enough to move up (though that seems unlikely, and there's a good chance he could slip).

How should the Rockets play this one? Head over to The Dream Shake to debate the possibilties.

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