1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Was Tilman cheap for not going all in? A response.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by justtxyank, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    37,177
    Likes Received:
    23,889
    “Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”-Obi-Wan Kenobi

    I’ll admit that after the trade deadline I had a negative reaction. I saw a team that ducked the tax during a Harden prime (historically great) year and worse, in my opinion, dumped a contract that would become an asset the upcoming offseason. My dreams of aggregating that contract with other salaries to acquire a star player, or even a really good player, were dashed. This is basically how I felt:
    [​IMG]

    I tried to resist buying into the narrative that Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, driven by an irrational fear of the luxury tax and the eventual repeater tax had “cheapened out” and hurt this team. But a part of me was giving in. @The Cat tried talking sense in to me, but I just flat out disagreed with him. He was probably shaking his head at me.

    [​IMG]

    So, I decided to take a few days and ask if my point of view needed adjusting. I’ve come up with a retort to my own previously held opinion. What if the trade deadline this year WAS the Rockets going “all-in” on this season?

    I'm going to rethink my position here and examine the possibility that I overreacted.
    [​IMG]

    Let’s start with what we know.

    The Rockets traded Brandon Knight (2 years/salary) and Marquess Chriss as part of a 3-team trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers and brought back Iman Shumpert and some small salaries they eventually moved in other deals (as well as dumping James Ennis) to get below the tax line. Outrage ensues.

    I’m going to construct two alternative narratives in response to that outrage.

    1) Iman Shumpert was an “all-in” move for this season


    2) The Rockets priority wasn’t to stay under the tax this season!


    Narrative 1: This one depends entirely on how you feel about Iman Shumpert. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of his game, but obviously GM Daryl Morey and Head Coach Mike D’Antoni are. So, if we take them at their word that this is a guy they WANT, let’s realize that they gave up future assets to get him. I looked at this initially as if they dumped future assets to save tax and a byproduct of that was getting Shumpert. However, the opposite could also be true. They dumped future assets to get Shumpert and a byproduct of THAT was the opportunity to save tax.

    What if they really did just target Shumpert? What if they saw acquiring him as the best move they could possibly make at this deadline because of how highly they thought of him.? After that deal came together they were then tantalizing close to the tax threshold and therefore decided they might as well move minor assets to make that happen. If you accept that Shumpert was a good get, then the cost of getting him was basically a 1st round pick. The rest of the ancillary moves are irrelevant at that point and become the right decision. If you are already at the tax line after making a win-now move, why wouldn’t you make the moves necessary to move minor pieces to save the tax all together?

    Narrative 2: This is one that I really think people are overlooking and requires a little nuance. Let’s cobble together some random pieces of information for a minute to make this point:

    1) Tilman Fertitta said that another team wasn’t ethical and backed out of a deal they agreed to with the Rockets
    2) Multiple reports have said the Rockets believed they had a deal in place with Memphis to send Brandon Knight and a pick for Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green.
    3) Getting under the tax for this season is still a tight squeeze (though I firmly believe it will happen)

    Here’s what’s important. Let’s assume for a minute that we could have packaged the same contracts here, Knight AND Chriss, and traded them for Temple and Green (Keeping it simple and keeping the books clean). That deal would have brought back a combined salary of $15,666,667. Put a pin in that number. The current salary value of Iman Shumpert is $11,011,236. By turning Knight and Chriss into that smaller, $11 million salary, the Rockets got shockingly close to the luxury tax line and moved James Ennis out for nothing to get under, as long as they can successfully navigate a few more roster machinations over the next few weeks.

    Here’s the kicker though. If they HAD pulled off the Temple/Green deal, which by all accounts they had agreed to, they would have been taking on more than $4 million more in salary than they did in the Shumpert deal. The team salary would have stood at $127,510,821, or $3,777,821 over the tax line. (Assuming they still dump Ennis for no salary) At that point even moving Nene’s salary of $3,651,480 in an additional salary dumping move would not have brought them below the tax. Even if they could get under due to Capela missing bonuses, they would be on an extremely thin edge against the tax while still needing to fill two roster spots (remember in this scenario we’ve swapped Shumpert for two players but have also had to clear out Nene.) This would also call into question whether they would A) want to simply salary dump Nene and B) had any assets left over to do that.

    In short, if the Rockets first choice of Green/Temple had gone through INSTEAD of the Shumpert deal, it’s at least 50/50 whether there was a clear path to getting under the luxury tax this year. Would that have changed the entire narrative around how we reacted to the trade deadline? If you see Shumpert as a mediocre rotation piece you are likely to believe that they saw this as an opportunity to duck the tax first and upgrade on Ennis second. If you see Shumpert the way the coach and general manager seem to, it’s at least plausible to me to see this as a move to get a player you really wanted that also presented the then no-brainer opportunity to save the tax. Perhaps the Rockets really did go “all-in,” first by trying to trade for Temple/Green and being a tax team and then when that fell through by targeting a player in Shumpert that Morey has wanted for years with a little tax benefit thrown in.

    The truth, as Obi-Wan wisely counseled, depends largely on your point of view.
    [​IMG]

    I'm curious what @BimaThug thinks about the scenario where they acquire Green/Temple instead of Shumpert and it's implication on the tax this year.

    I'm not taking a definitive position that this was NOT about the tax, only offering an alternate viewpoint with what I think is plausible logic.
     
    #1 justtxyank, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  2. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum It. Deserves. Its. Own. Thread.
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    22,491
    Likes Received:
    29,523
    nicely done
     
  3. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    16,342
    Likes Received:
    4,030
    How Sway? we had no assets and we needed to get rid of all the garbage offseason players that Morey acquired. Can't make chiken soup with chiken ****.
     
    #3 cheke64, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
    Elephant810 likes this.
  4. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    26,964
    Likes Received:
    5,083
    Everything is fluid.

    Murrie's philosophy has always been to stay flexible...for a reason.

    Even if that reason was to break the bank with Gasol and Nene.

    We're still flexing...

    ...:(
     
    banzai and JoeBarelyCares like this.
  5. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    22,085
    Likes Received:
    9,447
    shump shooting something like 3-13 so far = so far it's just a salary dump
     
    BasketMAD likes this.
  6. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    47,867
    Likes Received:
    11,320
    The reason is Fertitta, we all know by now. And back then Leslie.

    [​IMG]
     
    hakeem94 likes this.
  7. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2000
    Messages:
    15,812
    Likes Received:
    4,064
    What Morey did, at Tilman Fertitta's behest, likely makes sense given the inability to haul in a decent player. Maybe they're crossing their fingers that KD will truly leave Golden State and the West will become more competitive.

    I understand that the price for acquiring Chris Paul was high. Maybe in the off-season we can re-sign Shumpert to a contract smaller than the one he's on now and use the MLE creatively and so on and so forth. I am hoping we don't end up wandering around the desert for forty years; but does anyone want to upset God by grabbing Aaron by the shoulder and saying, "Look, I don't mean to be That Guy, but could you ask Moses if he brought a ******g map? We are going nowhere."
     
    hakeem94, ico4498 and JoeBarelyCares like this.
  8. hakeem94

    hakeem94 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    Messages:
    10,603
    Likes Received:
    13,810
    a man who is paying 40 millions per for the corpse of cp3 can not be cheap
     
    farhen, kjayp, lw17 and 5 others like this.
  9. HP3

    HP3 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2018
    Messages:
    3,515
    Likes Received:
    3,825
    I mean...I like Shumpert and I'll happly eat crow on this one, but there is no way most people could believe narrative 1. Iman Shumpert is not an "all in" move in my opinion. But hey, lets give it more time to see if Morey sees something we dont.
     
    BasketMAD, Richie_Rich and justtxyank like this.
  10. MaxRider

    MaxRider Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,616
    Likes Received:
    273
    I always think Les isn't willing to go in either. That's why he sell the team.
     
    tinman likes this.
  11. topfive

    topfive CF OG
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    12,381
    Likes Received:
    17,160
    TL;DR:

    [​IMG]

    "That's no luxury tax savings — it's a run at the title!"
     
  12. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Messages:
    22,458
    Likes Received:
    22,220
    @justtxyank excellent post. And to add, according to @Codman it wasn't just Green/Temple but Ellington too! That is 6M more salary.

    Appreciate your post as it offers some different viewpoints to the situation. Certainly worth pondering.
     
  13. CriscoKidd

    CriscoKidd Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 1999
    Messages:
    9,170
    Likes Received:
    154
    It depends if he was wearing a condom or not.




    Good post. Personally, I wasn't really a fan of either of the potential moves. I would have rather kept the 1st rounder and Knights contract for next season to make (hopefully) a bigger splash.

    Maybe potentially moved Chris and that 1st for someone else decent, but other than that I would've rather went with what we had. I don't think either of the proposed options moved the needle much.

    We'll see though. Would love for Iman to make me eat my words. Maybe Iman is the key to a championship. Just like Corey Brewer was.
     
    Easy and JoeBarelyCares like this.
  14. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    12,695
    Likes Received:
    5,844
    No, he's not cheap for not going all in.

    He's cheap for saying he would do whatever it takes (after the Butler saga, so please don't bring that up) to win a championship and then it becomes absolutely clear that all players we were interested in before the deadline were expiring contracts or rookie contracts.

    Also for those who carry the BS Narrative torch, the reason we look like we don't have a chance this season is because we cheaped out in the summer too.

    If you believe being cheap is good for business, that's your valid opinion. But you have to ask yourself if you believe there is such a thing as an owner who is cheap before you can discuss Tilman being cheap. If you consider penny pinching a wise overarching business practice, you're not al actually in this discussion.
     
  15. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    37,177
    Likes Received:
    23,889
    Yeah, so that's a different question.

    Personally I'm NOT a fan of Shumpert and don't consider him a big difference maker. I would have held onto Knight and just tried to aggregate him next year. (As I've made clear in other posts) But if Morey thinks Shumpert does increase their odds this year, isn't that even MORE of an "all-in" move for this year? Like he punted on a good chance to improve next year to make a small improvement this year.
     
    hakeem94 and IvanLCPM like this.
  16. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    47,867
    Likes Received:
    11,320
    Let's see wat happens.
     
  17. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    37,177
    Likes Received:
    23,889
    I'll echo @The Cat here and say if you are going to say we cheaped out on adding players you need to give specifics.

    I've been critical of the moves since the deadline. I'm not white knighting or Stanning for Tilman Fertitta (though I will Stan for you any time Morey if you read this)
    [​IMG]
     
    hakeem94 likes this.
  18. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    12,695
    Likes Received:
    5,844
    Overwhelmingly likely that maxing CP3 was part of the purchase from Les.
     
    hakeem94 likes this.
  19. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    12,695
    Likes Received:
    5,844
    Others can give specifics, just interested in sharing that part. When all the actual transactions are cost cutting moves and the other side of the argument is rooted in speculation, imo the onus is on the other side to make a case.
     
  20. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    22,085
    Likes Received:
    9,447
    he just shot 1-5 against the one team he's been lighting up (OKC) and then bricked wide open shot after wide open shot after carlisle smartly doubled off of him (something GS will already immediately do as well). maybe he goes on a hot streak, maybe harden/paul serve him up can't miss looks he buries for us in a playoff series -- but these are not things morey was probably betting on. shedding salary was far more likely his chief aim here.
     
    BasketMAD, hakeem94 and justtxyank like this.
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now