The cost of a star and how long rebuilding takes

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by phantoman, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. phantoman

    phantoman Contributing Member

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    I should be working but I got a thought about the cost of trading for Star and how long it takes to build a contender. Once my mind is on a topic it is hard for me not finish, so I am writing this instead of working. While doing some research on this thought I realized how much time the Rockets Front office have saved us, while sticking to the plan - Rebuilding while putting a good product on the floor.

    The cost of a Star

    The James Harden trade has cost, those for OKC and Houston.
    The cost for OKC
    3rd overall pick of 2009 - (Morey Loves 2009 players)
    3 years of not being a .500 team
    and development.

    Houston's Cost
    Kmart -draft 1/26
    Lowry -draft 1/24 = possible top 2-10 next yr draft
    Lamb - draft 1/14
    Rockets 1rd pick
    Rockets 2nd pick

    Summary - If you are to take the cost of Kmart's contract/Lowry/Lamb and the going rate for a 1st rd pick and 2nd rd pick, it comes out to $24M or so. Hardens rookie contract is 15.1M for 4 yrs and $5M this year. If your are the Rockets you are thinking the cost of a Star is $24M and OKC has gained 19M on their investment for this year, theoretically. That rate of Return is called selling High.

    But what this trade does for us in paramount.

    I compared the path that Seattle Supersonice/OKC history takes to what the Rockets have done so far. In 1998-2008, except for the 2005 season, Seatle was on the treadmill of mediocrity, and in 2006 season the were 35-47, and get the 1/10 pick of the 2006 draft. They draft Saer Sene (whom no ones remember). In 2007 they go 31-51 and get lucky and get the number 2 pick, they pick Durant. In 2008 They go full tank mod and go 20-62, and draft Westbrook. in 2009 they go 23-59 and get Harden. IN the 2009-2010 Season they go 50-32 out of bottom of the NBA and into playoffs and beginning to the bright future.

    The length of time for rebuilding was:

    1998-2008 - 10 year of struggling (starting with mediocrity treadmill)
    2005-2010 - 5 years of Losing
    2007-2010 - 3 years of player development
    2010-2012 - 3 years for title contention

    In total it took at least 9 years to get a star or 3, 11 years to make the playoffs again and 13 years for title contention. Out of the 13 years, OKC only had 4 lottery picks.

    If you compare it to What the Rockets has and have done it is drastically improved in terms of time line.

    2009 was the "It year" but injuries caused the title to be soo close but so far. Tmac was traded for Kmart and pieces. 2010-2012 have been 3 years of being at .500 but missing the play off and being a mediocre team. But we have now landed a star. 3 years into the rebuilding process. Yes the price for a star is high but we have saved 6 years off the process in comparison.

    The front office has done an amazing job after looking back at some history. Houston has only been armed with 4 years of the 14th pick. No lottery picks and have put a hardworking and scrappy team every year, which is hard. If it really does take 13 + year to contend, we have narrowed down the window by 40%. To me, we should be moving at warp seed to be in the playoffs and the future looks real bight to me.
     
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  2. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    ^ Compare Seattle/OKC with the Utah Jazz, who, since the Rockets drafted Yao in 2001, were able to tear down and rebuild not once but twice

    Stockton Malone era (ended 2003)
    Boozer-Kirilenko-Williams- (ended 2010)
    Jefferson- Milsapp-Favors-Kanter core (current) - though in fairness, their guards are terrible and Kanter isn't looking so hot still.
     
  3. phantoman

    phantoman Contributing Member

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    going point, i wonder how long after Malone and stockton were they on the treadmill?
     
  4. stmeph

    stmeph Member

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    Get your facts out of arguments about our front office's competence. Don't you know it's impolite to use logic?
     
  5. teebone21

    teebone21 Member

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    New Jersey nets turned into Brooklyn nets , laughing stocks to contenders after one offseason
     
  6. phantoman

    phantoman Contributing Member

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    That isnt true, the have been struggling since kid/carter/jefferson left... that is about 6 yrs ago, they swung for the fences, but i dont think they are contenders.
     
  7. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    3 years of lotto teams after Stockton retires, then they made it to the WCF's in 2007 after the Rockets lost a series they should have won and they got to play a mediocre Warriors team that had fluked their way past the Mavericks.
     
  8. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    Wait, so getting Steve Francis, Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady are all parts of "rebuilding" into a James Harden-led team 14 years later?
     
  9. LikeMike

    LikeMike Contributing Member

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    There really is no blueprint or timetable. Some teams never seem to be able to turn it around (Milwaukee, Golden State, Charlotte...), other teams get lucky and hit the jackpot when they`re down (SA - although they were never really down). Other teams like the Lakers always seem to attract those superstars.

    For most teams the only way to get a star is to get lucky - that means either getting a high draft pick and drafting the right guy or getting a player before he turns into a star via trade or FA. So either go into tanking mode, or go into gambling mode. Morey is in gambling mode and seems to be doing pretty good right now - but there is still a loft left to do.
     
  10. flamingdts

    flamingdts Member

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    Utah is still in a similar position as we were last season.

    They have veteran players they still need to cash in (Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap), but they also recently gave up flexibility to sign/acquire players like Mo Williams and Randy Foye.

    They are probably going to cash in this season to give the starting jobs to Favors and Kanter, but we'll see how much they can get out of it.
     
  11. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    interesting thread.

    Kmart was an expiring contract
    the Lowry pick was top 3 protected, so (4-14 in 2013 draft)
    Lamb was the 12th pick (likely mid-lotto in a different draft)
    the Dallas 1st rounder is 20 or higher (potentially no protection after 5 years)
    the Bobcats' 2nd rounder has the same/more value than a late 1st round pick

    on an expiring deal Kmart = late lotto (at best)
    Lowry pick = pick between #4-10
    Lamb = mid-lotto pick
    Dallas pick = late 1st rounder
    Bobcats' pick = late 1st rounder

    so Harden = two late 1sts, two middle/late lotto, and one early/middle lotto
    ...five 1st round picks

    considering none are in the top 3, and only one is likely top 10, that's actually not that much to give up considering Harden is a 23 year old allstar.
     
  12. CXbby

    CXbby Contributing Member

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    Comparing our rebuild to OKC is probably a bit unfair since the Thunder represent the best case scenario for tankers. Without lucking into the #2 pick, they are still indefinitely away from contending.

    How long have teams like Washington, Sacromento, Charlotte etc. been rebuilding for without any glimmer of hope?

    Even for competitive teams such as Denver, Utah, Atlanta, Indiana etc, what good has their rebuilding been if they are simply back to mediocrity?

    It might have made the fanbase feel better initially if we got a couple top 5 picks the past few years. As we all know, you need a top 10 player to contend in this league, and those players are all found at the top of the draft. But the thing fans fail to recognize is how the vast majority of top 5 picks DO NOT become top 10 players. And once they start to see this, after years of losing(or bouncing back to mediocrity), they are not going to be feeling great anymore.

    Drafting a John Wall does not make us contenders. Drafting a Derrick Favors does not make us contenders. Drafting Derrick Williams, Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo, Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson etc. etc. will all most likely never turn into top 10 players and never make us contenders.

    So against these overwhelmingly terrible odds, instead of sucking year after year to take another crack at it, why not put matters into our own hands, actually TARGET top 10 players, and try to trade for them, all without suffering year after year of sucking?

    The easy answer is because those players usually don't get moved. Or you could say it is overwhelmingly terrible odds that they get moved. So if it is going to be terrible odds either way, why not be competitive in the meantime, and not cheat the fans(and Les's pocket books of course)?

    Well that was exactly the plan for the Rockets.
     
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  13. Grigori

    Grigori Member

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    I don't consider their current roster a good rebuild. They have nobody that looks like one who can turn into a star right now. Favors, Hayward, Kanter, and Evans are all looking like no more than solid roleplayer candidates. There are at least five Rockets right now I rather have going forward in a rebuild over any of the Jazz guys. I certainly wouldn't call that a successful rebuild on the Jazz's part.
     
  14. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    We are still on treadmill and unless we get dhoward, cp3, or wiggins I don't see us climbing out. Harden is a good 2nd star, but a guy like cp3 basically single handily took the hornets to the 2nd round. We need a guy like him.
     
  15. torocan

    torocan Member

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    Might be WAY too early to be saying that.

    I don't see getting out of the first round THIS year, but even without a Star, it's not out of the realm of the possibility to get out of the first round Next year given a normal development curve.

    Given the youth of the team and roster turnover, the Rockets are actually outperforming expectations substantially.

    Multiple analysts that put the Rockets as a 30-35 win team have revised their estimate significantly upward anywhere from 40 to as high as 46 wins THIS year.

    That's pretty darn far from the Treadmill.
     
  16. phantoman

    phantoman Contributing Member

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    the hard part for all the teams have been acquiring a star or a foundational piece to build around. Even in Utah, u dont really have that..in Denver you kind of do now with AI, but he is a real 2nd player star type. I believe Harden is a true legit star.
     
  17. WNBA

    WNBA Member

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    "The front office has done an amazing job after looking back at some history."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    sarcastic?
     
  18. phantoman

    phantoman Contributing Member

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    No not at all, i am sure everyone felt that during the last 2 year the front office wasn't doing enough. But when you step back and look at the last 2 years with a different perspective, I realized the Front office is doing an amazing job. It was just hard to see when the rockets didnt seem to have a game plan.
     
  19. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    I'd take Favors off their hands - he's posting good efficiency numbers, he's 21, and is already a very good shotblocker and rebounder. If he develops a better post game and starts hitting more shots he's a future all star PF

    The point is though, they were able to get rid of their core and get young top-5 lotto pick big men in relatively short time frame.
     
  20. aeolus13

    aeolus13 Contributing Member

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    Time it takes to trade trade up to contention with mediocre assets = X
    Time it takes to trade trade up to contention with excellent assets = less than X

    Everybody's talking about the Harden trade as though it vindicates the strategy of not tanking. It does not. Harden cost us most of our attractive assets to acquire. What we have left will buy us a 'star' on Pau Gasol or Danny Granger's level. I'm pretty sure that's not a contender.

    We didn't trade for Howard because the offer we would have had to make to Orlando wouldn't have left enough value on our roster to acquire another star to pair with him. If we'd taken our medicine after Yao went down for the final time, we probably would have had the assets by now to do both deals. Instead, we're back in the very same boat of .500 ball and insufficient assets to afford the jump to contention.
     

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