With the trade deadline less than three weeks away, the hot stove is beginning to catch fire. Teams around the league are actively pursing trades in hopes of improving their rosters – or, in some cases – doing the exact opposite for tanking purposes.
The Houston Rockets, at 29-17 are certainly a playoff team, but seem to be looking to upgrade their roster. The team is seeking to deal veteran wingman Francisco Garcia, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
“Francisco Garcia, who owns a player’s option for next season, has been dangled in trade talks lately, a source said.”
Despite re-signing the 32-year-old less than six months ago, it appears that the Rockets are open to trading Garcia. The former No. 23 overall pick is averaging 5.8 points on 38.5 percent shooting, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists while playing just over 20 minutes per game.
The solid play of Omri Casspi may have allowed Garcia to become more of an expendable piece. Casspi, in his first season with the Rockets is a similar type of player to Garcia. He is scoring 8.2 points, on 44.2 percent shooting, as well as grabbing down 3.8 rebounds in over 20 minutes per contest.
Garcia doesn’t dazzle, but he is a reliable defender who can knock down three-pointers. In 40 games this season, he is averaging more than one trey per game while shooting 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.
While Spears does not mention any possible suitors in his report, the Detroit Pistons could emerge as a possible destination. They allow 103.2 points per game – fifth-worst in the league – while also knocking down just 5.9 three-pointers per game, 28th in the league. Garcia would help them in both categories.
The Chicago Bulls could also become Garcia’s new home. The Rockets have expressed interest in Bulls’ forward Mike Dunleavy, and including Garcia in a deal isn’t out of the question. While Dunleavy’s contract isn’t large ($6 million over the next two seasons), Garcia’s is smaller. He earns $1.2 million this season and possesses a player option for next year, with a salary of $1.3 million. For the rebuilding Bulls, Garcia can serve as a veteran leader and someone who will not them hurt the team financially.
He isn’t a franchise-savior, but Garcia can certainly play a significant role on a team given the right situation. The next few weeks are almost guaranteed to be interesting, so get ready for the potential moves ahead.