Not every deal at the NBA trade deadline is going to be a blockbuster. The Houston Rockets already made an enormous trade in engineering that netted them Robert Covington, but on Thursday, they made a second trade that, on paper, looks quite a bit smaller. They are redirecting Jordan Bell, whom they acquired in the Covington deal, to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Bruno Caboclo according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Caboclo, a former first-round pick that Fran Fraschilla once famously said was "two years away from being two years away," had carved out a rotation role for himself in Memphis last season, but the rejuvenated Grizzlies relegated him to only 192 minutes so far this season. Houston, always on the lookout for high-upside swings on cheap players, could hope to unlock the talent that has kept him in the league for five years.
Giving up Bell is puzzling considering their current predicament. The Rockets had to trade Clint Capela in order to get Covington. That left them with just Isaiah Hartenstein and a soon-to-be-retiring Tyson Chandler at center. Bell, who had fallen out of the rotation in Minnesota, theoretically could have helped as a switching center defensively. He was far from perfect in that role in Golden State, suffering quite a few mental lapses, but he is a rare athlete for his size.
The mere fact Houston is making this trade suggests that another one is coming. Multiple reports have indicated that Houston is searching for a center to replace Capela, and they wouldn't have given another one up if they didn't feel very confident in their ability to find someone else. Whether it is someone through trade or potentially a Tristan Thompson buyout, Houston can't be done yet.