Sweet trade ideas for Tobias Harris, Houston’s next move and Dray headed to the Rays?

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The most underrated dessert snack is actually a bowl of cereal.

Grows up quickly

What is Houston’s plan now?

Ever since Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Daryl Morey left Houston, the Rockets have been in a major rebuild. Rockets GM Rafael Stone has aided and abetted while piling up losses to keep lottery odds high.

Along with acquiring plenty of talent in the process, the Rockets also control the Nets’ draft situation due to the Harden trade in 2021, providing plenty of opportunities to fill out this roster.

Earlier this year, rumors that Harden would return to the Rockets grew louder and louder. They were confusing but had momentum. As many have noted, those rumors have died down as free agency approaches. Harden is expected to sign with the 76ers as they try to restructure their roster to avoid a repeat of last postseason collapse.

So what about the Rockets? Stay the course with their young guys or try to bring in non-Harden talent so the young guys can finally play meaningful basketball?

Recently, Marc Stein wrote about two potential Rockets targets:

Fred VanVleet and Dillon Brooks.

VanVleet was linked to Phoenix before the Bradley Beal trade. Toronto still wants to keep him, but the Rockets could really rock the boat with a significant max offer or near max offer. Brooks, as Stein wrote, is looking above that $12 million range. Houston has about $60 million in cap space.

Will it really solve anything? Is Houston convinced its young core with VanVleet and Brooks gives it a realistic shot at even the Play-In? Houston either needs to focus on development or actually start winning at some point. Convincing Harden that everyone loves a reunion would have made selling this idea easier.

My good idea to sell? Tagging in Shams for an update!

The latest from Shams

Phoenix rebuild bench

Phoenix Suns exercised forward Ish Wainwright’s $1.9 million team option to return for 2023-24 season, sources say Athletics.

This leaves the Suns currently at six players under contract entering free agency.

Expect them to be aggressive in trying to bring veterans into the free agent market. With the addition of Bradley Beal to Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, the expectation is that there will be a lot of interest from veterans looking to make an impact on a contender, even while the Suns will only have the veteran minimum to offer.

Take it away, Zach!

Kings ransom

Can Sacramento Steal Dray Away?

On draft night, the Kings traded the 24th pick and Richaun Holmes to Dallas in a partial salary dump.

Part of said dump’s sneakiness: it essentially freed up the Kings’ max cap space this summer. Suddenly, they’re trying to steal away a big free agent. Their sights seem to be on Warriors legend and champion Draymond Green.

Green has certainly had his occasional issues in the Warriors organization. But overall, everyone there is beaming at the future Hall of Famer. His defense is instrumental, as is his playmaking (a conduit to great offense) and hoops IQ (off the charts). He would make every team in the NBA much more competitive.

The Kings lack a player like Green. As good as Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox were in snapping Sacramento’s 16-year playoff drought, the team lacked defensive toughness (tied for 23rd in defensive rating). Green would clean up everything and be a good enough playmaker to keep things going on offense despite his and Sabonis’ floor-stretching deficiencies.

Would Green even consider the Kings?

  • Money Matters: Rumors of Green re-signing with the Warriors have suggested a salary in the $25 million range for three years. Could the Kings go all out for the 33-year-old by offering a four-year max deal (or at least something well over $30 million annually) if the Warriors try to save money?
  • Knowledge: Mike Brown, a beloved former Warriors assistant, is the Kings’ head coach and reigning Coach of the Year. Green loves and respects him. Everyone around the league is aware of the amazing job Brown did in turning the Kings around.
  • Ego? Green doesn’t seem to feel the need to disprove doubters of his greatness. He’s not too worried about people saying the system and his teammates are the reason he’s successful. But maybe at some point he could say, “screw this” and go somewhere to prove that he can make them contenders.

It would also be a fun signing, considering Green stomped on Sabonis’ chest this past postseason. But Green probably isn’t going anywhere. The Kings have an opportunity to put pressure on these negotiations. And Green certainly isn’t quiet about wanting his payday. Fortunately for him, the Warriors haven’t been quiet in vocalizing what he means to them either.

WATCH: A manipulative gang discusses Dame wanting Draymond Green in Portland

Exchange with cookies

What desserts are equal to Tobias Harris?

Recently, there has been speculation about precisely how free agent Tobias Harris may be in a trade. Daryl Morey reportedly asked for a ransom in a discussion with Cleveland, and Philadelphia continues to try to signal that Harris will not be traded. Or maybe it just took a lot to get him?

Harris is tired of the speculation. He shared his thoughts this week:

“Casual Sixers fans, they’ll trade me for a Crumbl cookie.”

Then he explained if the Sixers were to finally trade him, “you’re not going to get a 6-foot-9 forward back who can, you know, almost shoot 40 percent from three, guard the other team’s best player, shoot, post -up, drive , play more than 70 games a year.”

Hey, sounds like one hell of a player. Where can they get one of those?

Harris also hilariously fired back at a fan on Twitter.

I’m not familiar with Crumbl cookies, so I looked them up. It looks like they’re $4.25 for a single cookie, but you can get a discount if you buy a lot — or a whole party box. So that got me wondering, what is the best value for baked good or packaged dessert treats for Harris? Let’s list them:

  • Box of Twinkies (10 count) for $3.69: They have great value and can survive a nuclear apocalypse | Dessert Verdict: Definitely a bargain.
  • Hostess Snowballs (2 count) for $1.68: I don’t like coconut and would rather have the unique gourmet cake. | Dessert Verdict: No trade.
  • Sprinkle Cupcake (1 count) for $5 to $6: It is more expensive than the cookie, but has a great taste. | Dessert Verdict: Yes, trade.
  • Little Debbie Honey Buns (10 Count) for $2.79: This is incredible value and a legend in the game. | Dessert Verdict: Big time trade.
  • Snack Pack Pudding Cups (4 count) for $1.25: Don’t sleep on these. They are ring-chasing, but effective. | Dessert Verdict: Act.

Sorry, Tobias. People love pudding cups, too!

Bounce pass

Jason Quick asks for patience with Damian Lillard and struggling Blazers.

The Splash Brothers are excited about Chris Paul’s reputation for improving his new teams.

You submitted a trade proposal for the Knicks. Fred Katz broke them down.

Law Murray argues that the Clippers will start Terance Mann next season.

Howard Beck prepares everyone for “The NBA’s Silly Season,” aka free agency.

(Top photo of Draymond Green, Mike Brown: Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

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