NBA 2020-21: Rockets trading Robert Covington to Portland Trail Blazers for Trevor Ariza and draft picks

Blazers are sending the Rockets the 16th pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft and will also add another future first-round pick, sources said


                            NBA 2020-21: Rockets trading Robert Covington to Portland Trail Blazers for Trevor Ariza and draft picks
Robert Covington (Getty Images)
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Reports say the Houston Rockets are finalizing a trade that would see Robert Covington shift base to the Portland Trailblazers for Trevor Ariza, a 2020 first-round pick according to ESPN's sources. The Blazers are sending the Rockets the 16th pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft and will also add another future first-round pick, the sources added. The deal however will be finalized post the draft. At 6ft-7in, Covington was one of the key performers for Houston and has carved a name for himself as one of the league's top defenders.

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He was acquired by the Rockets in February in a trade with the Timberwolves and with Houston, he recorded an average of 11.6 points, 2.2 blocks per game shooting 50% from three in the postseason. The move could mean a major rebuild for the side as it's star players Russell Westbrook and James Harden want out of Houston. The latter seems to be firm on his decision that could see him link up with Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets.

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Ariza, 34, joined the Blazers outfit in February and will be playing his 17th NBA season in 2020-21. He was previously part of the Rockets from 2014-18 and was instrumental in helping them reach the Western Conference finals in 2018. The Blazers spearheaded by Damian Lillard has made it to the post-season for seven straight years and they were put away by the Los Angeles Lakers last season.

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Ariza has averaged 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his 16- season career. During his stint with Portland, he started games for the side and according to Sports Illustrated, averaged 11 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1 steal a game. He shot 49% from the floor, including 40% on three-pointers.

In related news, James Harden is intent on finding a new home to nurture his ring aspirations and the Nets seem to be the perfect fit. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski's tweet, there seems to be no concrete decision yet. "So far, Harden's determination to get to Brooklyn has resulted in no progress toward that end. Houston and Brooklyn have been in contact, but so far have engaged in no meaningful dialogue, sources said," the tweet read.

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"The Rockets want a massive return of assets for Harden and are willing to be patient to find that in the marketplace. So far, there's no indication that the Rockets believe the Nets could deliver a package that fits that profile."

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