The Rockets two of the last three NBA MVPs aren’t championship types of players. 31-year-old guard Russell Westbrook adds to an already old team. The Houston Rockets are the oldest team in the NBA, with an average of 30.1 years old. In 8 years with the Rockets, James Harden hasn’t reached any farther than the Conference Finals. Harden flipped the franchise around from a 34 win season to a 45 win season in his first year. In the past years, the Rockets have shown that they can win in the season, but not so much in the playoffs.
Stats and Struggles
On the court, the Rockets have won a superb 69.3 percent of their games under Tilman Fertitta’s ownership, the second-best rate in the league. They were arguably the NBA’s best team in 2018 before Chris Paul injured his hamstring in the Western Conference Finals and the team missed 27 straight threes in Game 7. The next year they lost to the Warriors once again, but was that the problem, or was injuries the problem. Houston sent guard Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025 to the Thunder after only two seasons with them. They traded a 30+-year-old for the same back.
The Recent Changes
Houston is still building around Harden, they're not done. They added a great defender in Robert Covington, for trading away Clint Capela. I think Houston traded away Capela because he is not a 3PT shooter and the Rockets are a 3PT shooting team. You could say the trade was smart because they got defense and 3PT shooting in one player - Robert Covington. But age-wise, they should have kept Clint Capela. Covington is almost 30 years old while Capela has a bright future and is only 26 years of age.
This year will be special for many reasons. One, they only have to play 8 games until the playoffs due to the NBA Bubble. Two, the Warriors are not in the restart. This year will have their chances higher and lower at the same time due to how many talented teams there are this season. Teams will learn how to defend the small-ball lineup.
Will the Rockets win a championship in the next 5 years or will a rebuild be coming soon?