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Why Trent Williams to the Texans rumors make no sense

Why Trent Williams to the Texans rumors make no sense
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Laremy Tunsil

It seemed like an innocent enough story that broke late last week. "Redskins trade rumors: Trent Williams move interests Cardinals, Texans."

Williams is a left tackle, and a damned good one when healthy. He has not been that for several years, but players of his ilk are hard to come by. Still, the Texans being interested does not make a lot of sense. They already have a Pro Bowl left tackle who they gave up two No. 1s and a No. 2 for in Laremy Tunsil, and a promising young right tackle that they drafted in the first round last season in Titus Howard.

Why the rumors?

For the first time in years, the Texans will have some stability on the offensive line, with both tackles, second-year guard Max Scharping and veteran center Nick Martin locked into starting roles. Zach Fulton, the other guard, is also under contract for another season. The story above seems to imply the Texans would want to keep Williams and Tunsil. In that scenario, Howard would presumably move inside to guard.

Why that seems silly

However, Howard was playing his best at tackle, so moving him does not seem to be a positive. In addition, Williams will have to be paid top tackle money, and Tunsil is already in line for that. Plus the Texans have little to offer in the way of trade. So Williams being on their radar in that scenario does not really add up. Investing $20 mil per year apiece in two tackles when you already are set there and have other needs? Not to mention giving up assets to get the second one?

Unless...

The other scenario is the Texans have decided they aren't going to pay Tunsil, which would be a huge mistake considering the investment they made to get him. He is also under contract for this season and can be franchised next year, so even if they can't reach a longterm deal, they would have him for two more seasons. But if they are choosing to move on from him and that would somehow be part of the deal for Williams...well, that is senseless too.

Williams is 31 years old, has not played as many as 12 games since 2016 and did not play at all last year. He will want a contract in the $20 million per year range, which is what it will cost to keep Tunsil, who is only 25 and has missed just six games in four years, just made his first Pro Bowl and has a year in the system under his belt. Not to mention the draft capital you invested to get him. Punting on him now for Williams would be just plain dumb.

Surely it is just a rumor...

And while the organization's direction under Dictator Bill O'Brien remains unclear, this is not something that seems feasible. So it has to be just a rumor, right? The Texans should be focused on getting Tunsil locked up long term, and filling some holes on defense in free agency. Another big OL contract - or replacing a younger player with a similar deal to what he is looking for - is beyond baffling. It would be by far the worst move of the O'Brien GM era and could set the franchise back years.

And let's be fair; as GM so far, O'Brien has not been bad. The Tunsil move looks good assuming they get him signed. The trade for Carlos Hyde was a win. Adding Gareon Conley for a third was a solid move. Trading away Jadeveon Clowney for pennies on the dollar was his one move you could look at say it was a bad decision.

This one would be significantly worse.

So far, in four big moves, O'Brien is 3-1. So the hope is this is all just speculation and the Texans have no real interest in Williams.

The top priorities should be a No. 1 cornerback, finding another running back to replace Hyde and trying to add to the pass rush. The Texans invested heavily in the offensive line last season, and that group looks promising. Why mess with it now?

Texans fans can only hope it is just a false rumor, one that has no basis in fact, because either Williams scenario would be a mistake, one the Texans can't afford and don't need to make.

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Suns defeat Rockets, 110-105. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

Phoenix All-Star Devin Booker and Houston rookie Cam Whitmore got into a minor scuffle midway through the fourth quarter Thursday night and both players were called for a technical foul.

With a couple big blocks on the ensuing possession, Suns center Jusuf Nurkic was there to back his star teammate.

Booker scored 35 points, Kevin Durant added 24 and the Suns held off the Rockets 110-105, with the teams set to meet again in Phoenix on Saturday night.

Nurkic had 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks before fouling out. His biggest moment came in the fourth, when he stuffed Whitmore twice on the possession following the scuffle, drawing huge roars from the Phoenix crowd.

“Very important — that's the team sticking together,” Booker said. “That goes a long way. That's what you need when things get tough, it gets to the thick of things and the energy is high. You want to know you have people on your team that are built like that.”

Booker scored 20 points in the first quarter to help give the Suns an 18-point lead they would never relinquish. He has scored at least 20 points in an NBA-high six quarters this season.

Three-time All-Star Bradley Beal missed his fifth straight game because of a hamstring injury.

The Suns took an 86-75 lead into the final quarter. Houston cut the advantage to six midway through the fourth, but Booker responded immediately with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to nine.

That led to the brief skirmish between Booker and Whitmore. Tempers stayed hot over the next few minutes — Houston's Alperen Sengun fouled out and then got two quick technicals, earning an ejection.

Booker hit both of the technical free throws, Nurkic followed with his two free throws from Sengun's foul, and that pushed the Suns' lead to 99-84. The Rockets would cut the lead to four with 16.9 seconds left, but Royce O'Neale hit two free throws to end the threat.

Jalen Green led Houston with 34 points. Fred VanVleet added 21. The Rockets connected on just 11 of 45 3-pointers and shot 33.3% from the field overall, which was their worst percentage of the season.

“It wasn't one of our better nights as far as guys getting open looks and making the extra pass,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “We had a few guys who had it going, but a few guys who were struggling.”

Phoenix has won seven of its past 10 — and nine in a row at home — as it tries to stay in the top six of the Western Conference playoff race and avoid the play-in tournament. The sliding Rockets have lost eight of 10.

“We're getting confident in this building,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said.

Booker's big first quarter pushed the Suns to a 33-17 lead. The four-time All-Star made 8 of 10 shots from the field, including a 33-foot 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Phoenix settled for a 64-53 halftime lead. Booker had 26 points before the break while Green led Houston with 21.

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