The Rockets eventually plan to enjoy the view from Draft Pick Mountain. Down on the ground where they reside, however, Thursday’s trade deadline brought them little to make the climb from the depths of the Western Conference any easier.
There is a plan to rebuild, with Thursday’s lone move part of the long-term project. But a season gone wrong since before it even began has another disappointment to add to the list.
The rebuilding in store amid the fall to 12-31 was pushed back until the offseason — and the years the Rockets can cash in on the draft picks they’ve collected — after Thursday’s deadline brought only players unlikely to figure in the long-term plans in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo, the prized player addition in the James Harden trade.
The Rockets on Thursday opted to end their two-month Oladipo experiment, sending him to the Heat for defensive-minded guard Avery Bradley, range-shooting center Kelly Olynyk and the right to swap either their own or the Brooklyn Nets’ pick in 2022 for the Heat’s first-round pick.