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You get what you pay for (or, the sky is NOT falling)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by CDrex, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. CDrex

    CDrex Contributing Member

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    Okay...I know that not everyone on this board is knee jerking at our slump lately. In fact, I think the majority have it in perspective. But, for anyone who has nightmares about giant tanks, is devastated we're not a 55-win team, or is ready to trade the whole team for Anthony Randolph and a used tampon, consider the following basic economic principle:

    You get what you pay for.

    This should be common sense, whether it's relating to basketball or any other aspect of life. The best plumber, IT guy, or pro wrestler makes more money doing their job than one that sucks. Although NBA general managers do their best to field a quality team without breaking the bank, there are thirty guys competing to put together the best team, and that means that winning very, very rarely comes without a big payroll.

    I know that no one on this board is any stranger to the "hey, look how much money we have sitting in street clothes right now" concept, but as a refresher, the combined salaries of Yao and McGrady are $38.86 million this year. Ignoring for a moment the can he/can't he debate on whether McGrady should be getting minutes, let's just say that's $38.86 million in sunk costs, as far as picking up victories THIS year is concerned. That doesn't leave much under the ~$57.5 million salary cap to put together a respectable team; even under the $70 million luxury tap cap that gives you a bit of a scramble just trying to field a professional starting lineup unless you are a genius.

    Enter:
    [​IMG]

    Now, basically every team in the league that is considered a legitimate contender (and by that I mean, the Lakers, Celtics, Magic, Cavs...and throw in Nuggets, Mavs and Spurs just to prove my point) is a winning team because they have shelled out the bucks to pay their veteran stars. All of those teams I mentioned, in fact, have a starting lineup that gets payed at least $55 million this year (running up to $63 million for the Spurs). Now, while the Rockets may be paying $38 million for two players who are supposed to be starters, that isn't happening this year and you can hardly blame management for that. That gives the team under $32 million under the luxury tax to assemble a complete 12-man roster...half of what all those contenders are paying just for their starting lineups.

    Looking deeper, the starting fives of each NBA team, using my best judgment on teams like Sacramento and Milwaukee that have played with a lot of lineups, looks something like this financially speaking:

    Code:
    SAS	62978350
    LAL	62915363
    BOS	61834538
    ORL	61436622
    DEN	59521974
    DAL	57376282
    CLE	56257798
    WAS	53744701
    MIA	53242084
    NOH	52558238
    PHO	47826657
    PHI	46448566
    ATL	43802011
    TOR	41830653
    UTA	41261561
    GSW	38465160
    LAC	36869880
    MIL	34808520
    IND	33262639
    CHA	31663496
    MEM	31144197
    CHI	28534960
    POR	26191683
    DET	25518463
    MIN	25086440
    NYK	23842880
    OKC	20085511
    HOU	19337553
    SAC	19202970
    NJN	15850720
    
    Now, as I mentioned, all the elite teams are up there at the very top of the salary rankings. All the good teams are too, in fact, except for a few select exceptions like Portland and Oklahoma City, who are loaded with rookie contracts and both have legit megastars who are getting paid sub-$5 million.

    That leaves the Rockets third from the cheapest starting five in the league; they are surpassed only by New Jersey, who is a disaster of nuclear proportions, and Sacramento, currently riding a seven-game losing streak and falling closer and closer to the bottom of the West. Now, that kind of company would make our horrible losing season a bit more bearable -- if we were having one. Instead, we are four games over .500 and in the thick of a West playoff race that is just as brutal as any of the last five years. Our entire nine-man rotation, by the way? $27.4 million, cheaper than three-quarters of the league's starting fives.

    In conclusion, I'm thankful for a GM that can find bargains better than anyone in a business that's ALL about finding bargains, and I'm thankful for a team that gives it everything to be one of the most overachieving teams in the league. For this squad to come down to earth shouldn't be a surprise, and CERTAINLY shouldn't be considered a failure.
     
    20 people like this.
  2. FFz

    FFz Member

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    Awesome thread. Can't wait until Morey gets a chance to play without any handicaps.
     
  3. brosef

    brosef Member

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    great analysis.
     
  4. sephiroth.hk

    sephiroth.hk Member

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    He has chance to trade TMac and Yao for some guys who can play but he chose to wait & wait & wait and hope can get a super star at final minate. :mad:
     
  5. J.Will.Xu

    J.Will.Xu Member

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    Our chance of getting a big name in return seems getting smaller and smaller if our on-court performance still suck as hell, especially some like Ariza or Battier, who would like to jeopardize their future for trading away their young talents. :eek:
     
  6. Williamson

    Williamson HARTENSTEIN ONLY FAN
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    I couldn't agree more. I think a dose of reality like this was sorely needed for a great many posters on this board. I repped you.
     
  7. code_red

    code_red Member

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    As good as a coach as Adelman is, and as good as our team chemistry was (minus Ariza), this is what I expected of the Rockets without their two Max players.

    We were really spoiled last year when we took the Lakers to 7 games, with 4.5 games without Yao.

    Unfortunately, we slammed into the brick wall of reality this year. Still, we're not too bad and at least we're fighting for the last playoff spot. I thought we would have been the worst team in the west this season but we're a little better than that.
     
  8. Corpusfan

    Corpusfan Member

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    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
     
  9. Moonscope

    Moonscope Member

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    nice post, some good writing there.
     
  10. mdrowe00

    mdrowe00 Member
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    Seconded, CDrex.

    Tell me.....

    ...you're not from around here, are you? This post makes too much sense on too many levels to have come form a native.....
     
  11. dingaaa

    dingaaa Member

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    where is DD's comment?
     
  12. CDrex

    CDrex Contributing Member

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    Yep, it's all his fault that he had a deal lined up and McGrady put the kibosh on it by going into surgery.

    You can't just snap your fingers and trade away $38 million in crippled salary without getting crap back. Yes, we'd have more talent now if we'd made a move, but it wouldn't have been a fair return. Our window isn't shut yet for a trade involving either, so unless you think you can judge Morey based on not being psychic about Yao and McGrady's future, it's not exactly his fault that he inherited two monster contracts attached to players that would end up injured.
     
  13. tmacROX1

    tmacROX1 Member

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    hes gotta make that trade fast, cause we r 9th in the west
     
  14. Rox225

    Rox225 Contributing Member

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    This is why you're not the General Manager. The Rockets should not be in panic mode to make a trade just to make the bottom half of the playoff bracket. Teams who are desperate to make a trade are likely the ones to get the raw end of any deal.

    If you can't land a surefire #2 guy for McGrady's contract then you let the contract expire and you take your chances with A.) the current team making the playoffs, and B.) signing a worthy FA in the offseason.
     
  15. MrAwe

    MrAwe Member

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    Good read.
     
  16. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Good work.

    +1 rep.
     
  17. J.Will.Xu

    J.Will.Xu Member

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    That's what surprises me, NJN is the worst team in the league in terms of their record, and we're just financially almost 4 mil above them, hmmm, take a look at our record thus far, I felt a bit pleased at this point, yep, you get what you pay for.

    Nice work OP, great read.
     
  18. justinh

    justinh Member

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    great post and dose of reality.
     
  19. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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  20. Nolen

    Nolen Contributing Member
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    Great post, and thanks for giving numbers to back it up.
     
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