NBA rumors: Rockets dream target, Claxton available, Clippers trade chips

  • Clippers testing market for P.J. Tucker and Bones Hyland
  • Nets expected to consider trades for Nic Claxton
  • Rockets badly want Mikal Bridges

Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets
Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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NBA rumors: Mikal Bridges is the Rockets' dream target

The Houston Rockets are expected to be active at the trade deadline. According to Sam Amick on 'The Athletic NBA Show,' their dream target is Nets wing Mikal Bridges.

"The idea of Mikal coming to the Rockets in a Jalen Green-centered deal would make Ime [Udoka] and Co. very happy."

Houston made overtures to Brooklyn on the Bridges front, but the Nets have refused to engage so far. The Rockets even offered Brooklyn its own picks back from the James Harden trade — effectively allowing the Nets to tank again — but it's clear Sean Marks and the Nets brass are quite enamored with Bridges.

It has been a productive campaign for Bridges, averaging 21.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists on .455/.369/.825 splits in 35.1 minutes. That said, he is not optimized as Brooklyn's No. 1 scorer. He would look far better in Houston, surrounded by a superior playmaking apparatus in Alperen Sengun and Fred VanVleet. It's notable that Ime Udoka is so eager to add veteran talent and move the Rockets' competitive timeline forward. It's also notable that Houston views Jalen Green as an expendable asset.

A former No. 2 pick, Green has been on a torrential heater of late. He's averaging 29.8 points and 7.2 rebounds on .515/.356/.935 splits over his last five games. Not to be too blunt, but Brooklyn turning down Green, filler, and multiple valuable first-round picks for Bridges feels strikingly like a mistake. There's not much future for Brooklyn's current roster. A Rockets trade would allow the Nets to regain control of their own picks — a huge boon for a team in need of a reset.

There's still a week left until the deadline. That's more than enough time for the Nets to change their tune. The Rockets would obviously take a step forward with Bridges on the wing. The combined defensive efforts of Bridges, Dillon Brooks, and Tari Eason on the perimeter would truly be special to watch.

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