A massive four-team trade reportedly went down late Tuesday night -- or in the early hours of Wednesday morning, depending on where you live -- that included 12 players and multiple first round picks shuffling between the Hawks, Nuggets, Timberwolves and Rockets

You can read about the details, and grades, for all involved here, but we're going to keep this conversation to the Rockets, who sent out Clint Capela and brought in Robert Covington and Jordan Bell. Right away, the obvious thing that jumps out is neither Covington nor Bell is a center. So who's going to replace Capela? 

For starters, Houston likely isn't done. The Rockets will "continue to be aggressive in search for a center, either via trade or in buyout market," ESPN's Tim McMahon tweeted. Shortly thereafter, McMahon clarified that Houston is not looking for a starting center, but rather just a big body they can use along with Tyson Chandler for spot center minutes, because they are committed to playing small ball by "rolling with P.J. Tucker at the five."

Covington obviously fits this blueprint. He's their new Trevor Ariza -- a tough perimeter defender that will get the Rockets closer to the all-switching ways that nearly got them past the Warriors in the 2018 conference finals. Covington will also serve as a release valve for James Harden, who, in theory, shouldn't face as many double teams with another shooter on the floor who can punish that level of defensive aggression. 

That's what the small lineup is made to do: Create pace and space, with shooters and switchable defenders all around. Tucker is pound-for-pound one of the toughest defenders in the league, Houston's version of Marcus Smart, and indeed both Boston and Houston have experimented with Smart and Tucker guarding centers. Tucker, at 6-5, is a little taller than the 6-3 Smart, but he's still going to be hugely overmatched in a potential playoff series with the Lakers, who run out Anthony Davis, or the Nuggets with Nikola Jokic or the Jazz with Rudy Gobert

So far this season, the Rockets have three lineups that have played at least 50 minutes together with a defensive rating under 100, and Capela is in all of them. The most frequently used lineup with Tucker at center -- alongside Harden, Russell Westbrook, Danuel House and Eric Gordon -- has a defensive rating of 112 and a minus-6.3 net rating, per NBA.com. 

But Capela has been exposed in his own ways defensively, particularly in last year's second-round loss to the Warriors in which he was repeatedly spotlighted on pick-and-roll switches and taken advantage of in space. Bell played some meaningful center minutes in the playoffs during his time with the Warriors, and Houston could have the offense to make similar lineups work. 

If the Rockets don't make any more moves, they will spend the rest of the season trying to convince themselves they can scrap enough defensively to win games with pace and scoring in the playoffs. If Westbrook hits a hot shooting streak at the right time, it's perhaps feasible. In many ways, Westbrook is the barometer for this team regardless of this trade or any other moves the Rockets make. 

If Houston is looking to the buyout market, a few names that could become available are Tristan Thompson, Cody Zeller, maybe a Taj Gibson or Alex Len, who now becomes expendable on the Hawks after the Capela addition. Marvin Williams could get bought out and would fit into multiple lineups. There is also this:

The bottom line is don't sleep on Daryl Morey around deadline time. He's not only one of the smartest GMs in the business, but he's also pretty desperate. It's title-or-bust time in Houston. Jobs could be on the line. The Westbrook-for-Chris Paul trade was a swing for the fences with a high probability of striking out. If you're gambling already, what's a few more chips on the table in the way of a future first-round pick or two? 

So we wait and see. This is potentially far from a finished roster in Houston. But with the information we have right now, the Rockets are officially taking a shot at winning big by playing very small.