After seeing two key rotation players move on during free agency, the Houston Rockets have swung a trade that should help fortify themselves for another Western Conference run.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets have traded veteran forward Ryan Anderson to the Phoenix Suns for Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss. Here's more from Feigen on the trade:
With the addition of Carmelo Anthony taking forward Ryan Anderson a step further removed from the Rockets' rotation, the Rockets agreed to deal the veteran forward to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday for young forward Marquese Chriss and point guard Brandon Knight, a person with knowledge of the deal said.
Anderson had been among the keys to the Rockets' retooled offense under Mike D'Antoni in 2016-17 with his shooting range valuable in the system. But he struggled in his second season with the Rockets and was replaced in the starting lineup by P.J. Tucker. By the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors, Anderson rarely played with the Rockets' switching style exposing him defensively.
The Rockets plan to play Anthony often at power forward making it more difficult for Anderson to get playing time.
Chriss, the eighth overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, is coming off a disappointing sophomore season in which he lost a starting spot on the league-worst Suns. The two-year forward saw his offensive production and efficiency drop after a rookie year in which he averaged 9.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Knight, meanwhile, is coming off ACL surgery that kept him sidelined for all of 2017-18.
Anderson's career 38.2-percent clip from 3-point range, however, could provide an extra shooting threat next to budding young guard Devin Booker and No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton.
“We are excited to welcome Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton to Phoenix,” said Suns general manager Ryan McDonough in the team press release. “Ryan has established himself as one of the league’s best shooters and we think he’ll be a great fit in our offensive system. De’Anthony is a talented young guard who stood out for us throughout the pre-Draft process and at the NBA Summer League.”