The Rockets made good on their intention of pulling off a trade by December 19th, acquiring small forward Corey Brewer from the Minnesota Timberwolves and guard Alexey Shved from the Philadelphia Sixers today. The deal was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
As part of the deal, the Rockets will send guard Troy Daniels along with a 2015 second round pick from Sacramento (via the Jason Terry trade), Houston’s 2016 second round pick (protected for picks 31-45) and cash. The Rockets also send their 2015 second round pick and the rights to Sergei Lishouk to Philly for absorbing Ronny Turiaf’s $1.5 million expiring deal. Houston uses part of the trade exception they created in the Jeremy Lin trade last summer to absorb Brewer’s contract.
To make room for Shved, the Rockets have released Francisco Garcia.
“A great situation, it’s going to be great,” Brewer told the Minnesota Star Tribune. “Playing with guys like Dwight Howard and James Harden, they’re in a playoff race. They have a good team. I think I can come in and help that. That they wanted to trade for me and think I can help, that means a lot.”
“I’ve got lots of room for more rings,” said Brewer, who won an NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. “Last time I went to Texas, it worked out. Make it 2-for-2 in Texas, the Texas Two-Step.”
At 6-foot-9, Brewer is a good defensive player that can cover both guards and small forwards. Despite playing only 28 minutes a game, Brewer is currently the league leader in steals at 2.3 a night. He can agitate and plays with a lot of energy, often gambling to steal passes in the lane.
So in Brewer, Houston adds a rotation piece at the wing spot. The Rockets (and their #2-ranked defense) needed to add some depth there as they have relied heavily on Trevor Ariza, who is playing a career-high 38.4 minutes a night — the second-most minutes of any player in the NBA this season, trailing only Jimmy Butler’s 39.8.
How Brewer will fit offensively, where his skills are a little more limited, is the better question. The ideal defensive role player for Houston would also have the ability to knock down the open three-point shot, but Brewer has no three-point range — he’s shooting 19% from distance this season and has hit just 29.1% from beyond the arc over his eight-year career. But he’s active on the offensive end. He is more of a slasher and often takes off in transition for easy layups. He is capable of a random big game, as we all remember his 51-point night against the Rockets last season.
The Rockets wanted to make a deal by December 19 so they could also be in a position to make a bigger deal down the line. By acquiring Brewer and Shved now, they will be eligible to be combined with other players in a trade in exactly 60 days — in other words, just before the NBA trade deadline in February.
Shved is not much of an offensive player, hitting just 36% from the field and 29% from three-point range for his career, but his $3.3 million expiring salary could later give the Rockets the flexibility to possibly keep a Jason Terry or Kostas Papanikolaou if a deal for a bigger contract does present itself at the deadline.