Rockets trade rumors: Houston may choose summer moves over deadline deals

USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets pulled off one of the biggest trades of the NBA season -- just days before the start of the 2012-13 campaign. Will they be active at the deadline?

The Houston Rockets might prefer to wait until the summer to make another big move, per Satchel Price of SB Nation. The rumor mill has not been very active for Houston fans, although New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon's name has popped up.

One of the few teams with the salary cap space to offer a max contract this summer, the Rockets will be able to compete to sign the likes of Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Josh Smith and others. Some of those players will likely stay with their current teams, but even acquiring a second-tier guy like Smith or Paul Millsap would be a major addition.

One could imagine the team making a deal involving a smaller-but-useful piece like Patrick Patterson or Carlos Delfino, but none of those names has come up in rumors yet. Patterson has been heating up of late, though, so the Rockets would likely command a pretty sizable return for the Kentucky grad.

If the Rockets strike out this summer in the free agent market, it would serve them well to hold onto young assets like Patrick Patterson to use in an attempt to lure the Hornets into trading Gordon. The biggest issue with a deal for Gordon would be finding room for him in the starting lineup. The Houston backcourt is occupied by Jeremy Lin and James Harden. Including Lin in a deal is always an option.

The Rockets could also sweeten their assets stockpile by dealing Carlos Delfino by Feb. 21 for a draft pick or a young talent that might be more attractive later on in a bigger package. As always, be on the lookout for the Rockets.

For more on the Rockets visit: The Dream Shake.

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