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4 trade targets the Houston Rockets should avoid at all costs this summer

There has been a lot of talk about who the Houston Rockets should trade for.

It’s that time of year. Rockets fans don’t have much else to think about. So they’re busy imagining their team with their favorite star player on the roster ahead of 2024-25.

Here, we’re going to rain on a few parades. Spoiler: we’re about to play spoiler. It’s easy to produce fanfiction about all the superstar players the Rockets could acquire.

Here are 4 potential trade targets they should avoid this summer.

If it were last summer, we might be more open to a Garland deal.

After all, he averaged 21.6 points and 7.8 assists on an excellent 58.7 true shooting percentage (TS%) this season. Unfortunately, time not only heals wounds, it can also reopen them. In 2023-24, Garland averaged 18.0 points and 6.5 assists with a 56.0% TS.

Player Efficiency Rating (PER) tells an even darker story. Garland had a PER of 18.8 in 2022-23 and just 14.5 last season. A PER of 15.0 represents an average player in the league.

We can hear the hipsters now – “imagine using PER in the year of our Lord 2024”. The broader point is valid. Garland suffered a sharp decline in 2023-2024.

Now it appears the Cavaliers will look to move him. Garland is a talented young player. He is also licensed alongside Fred VanVleet. With no guarantee that he will reach his previous levels, the Rockets should avoid investing assets in Garland this summer.