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Can T-Mac rock the Rockets?-Chad Ford-Rockets Blueprint

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Gummi Clutch, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Gummi Clutch

    Gummi Clutch Contributing Member

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    Sorry if already posted. I didnt see it among the T-Mac clutter.
    From 6/28 NBA insider.

    Can T-Mac rock the Rockets?
    By Chad Ford

    If you're the Rockets, how do you counter the dynamic duo of the best center and best two guard in the league -- Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant?

    You get the league's second-best at each position and hope like hell the Lakers implode. Sometime before Wednesday, it looks like the Rockets could be set on both fronts.

    Sources continue to insist the Rockets and Magic are inching closer to a deal that would send Tracy McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue and Reece Gaines to the Rockets in return for Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato.

    The two sides have until Wednesday to make things work before a two-week player movement moratorium kicks in, leaving both teams up in the air about how to approach free agency.

    Francis is expected to arrive in Orlando today or tomorrow for a face-to-face meeting with GM John Weisbrod. If all goes well? McGrady and Howard will be wearing Rockets uniforms by the end of the week.

    With L.A. appearing to be on the verge of implosion, could the inside-outside combo of Yao Ming and T-Mac be the new dominating power in the West? As Insider continues its summer blueprint series, here's a look at what to expect if the T-Mac-for-Francis trade goes down.

    Rockets Summer Blueprint

    DRAFT: The Rockets had only a second-round pick in last week's draft and used it to select Manhattan G Luis Flores. They then turned around and sent Flores to the Mavericks in return for Greek point guard Vassiliss Spanoulis, considered one of the top young point guards in Europe. The plan is to leave him overseas for another year or two.

    FREE AGENCY: If the McGrady trade goes through, the Rockets will be left with a gaping hole at point guard. Lue, if he is included in the trade, likely will opt out of his contract in search of bigger money either with the Rockets or elsewhere. Gaines couldn't get off the bench on the worst team in the league last season. Don't expect Jeff Van Gundy to do him any favors either.

    The Rockets will comb the free-agent market looking for a veteran point guard to run the team. Van Gundy has never used or needed star point guards, so anyone who can play mistake-free basketball will do, especially with the firepower McGrady brings to the backcourt.

    Van Gundy's old buddy Charlie Ward is on the market and available. Sonics free agent Brent Barry also would be a nice addition. He played the point in Seattle for part of the last two seasons and did a solid job. The Jazz's Carlos Arroyo, a restricted free agent, also might fit the bill. Veterans like Jacque Vaughn and Rafer Alston might work, as well.

    The Rockets won't break the bank just to land a point guard, especially when one or two might be available via trade. But considering the team needs depth, at least one of these players likely will find a job in Houston next season. The Rockets also need to replace Kelvin Cato as Yao's backup in the middle and are said to be enamored with Adonal Foyle. However, the Rockets can expect steep competition for Foyle this summer.

    TRADES: Houston's best chance at landing a starting point guard probably will be via trade. Several players, including the Sixers' Eric Snow, the Grizzlies' Earl Watson, the Celtics' Chucky Atkins and the Warriors' Speedy Claxton make a lot of sense.

    What are the Rockets offering? They have several things going for them. One, the team owns at $6.9 million trade exception. That means it can take a salary as high as $6.9 million without sending back a player in return. This might be especially attractive to a team like the Sixers, who have been trying to find a taker for Snow's contract for months. Snow's mistake-free, slow-it-down style would be a perfect fit for Van Gundy.

    The team also is dangling Bostjan Nachbar and Eric Piatkowski as trade bait. Neither player makes much money, and both have just two years remaining on their contracts and could be enticing to a team like the Grizzlies or Warriors.

    Howard also could be used in a trade, as long as he isn't packaged along with other players. The Bulls might be willing to work out a deal with Rockets for Howard. Ditto for the T-Wolves. Both teams tried hard to land him in free agency last summer.

    COACHING: Van Gundy gets the best of all worlds if the T-Mac trade goes down -- a new point, two and four. Van Gundy complained throughout the season about how Steve Francis ran the offense, and most believed it was a foregone conclusion Francis would be traded this summer. After such a terrible season, though, everyone also believed Francis' trade value was at an all-time low.

    Van Gundy also wanted to upgrade the two and four positions. Mobley was undersized to play the two guard and, combined with Francis, took too many shots for the coach's taste. Cato started at power forward all season.

    Moving Francis allows VG to hand pick his new point guard. T-Mac is a major upgrade over Mobley. And Howard, despite all of his faults, is a good fit at the four. If Van Gundy can't win with this team, he's going to be in trouble quickly.

    FRONT OFFICE: Hand it to Carrol Dawson. A month ago it looked like the Rockets might have to give Francis away. Now? It looks like they've landed a top-five player for him. The T-Mac deal, if it goes through, is a home run for the Rockets. It's the type of deal that turns the fortunes of a franchise around overnight.

    As long as both McGrady (who has a history of back problems) and Yao (who will be overworked this summer because of Chinese national team duty) stay healthy, the Rockets are poised to move up in the West, regardless of the additional pieces they add.

    However, with the right move or two in free agency and trade, the Rockets could be on the verge of huge jump into the upper echelon of the West. With the Lakers crumbling, the Kings facing free-agency defections and the Spurs still trying to find a missing piece or two -- there's an opening. One or two nice free agents or trades and the Rockets could be the team to beat in the West next year.
     
  2. Raven

    Raven Member

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    :( :mad: :( :mad: :( :mad:
     
  3. Remix

    Remix Member

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    Pretty good article considering it was written by Chad Ford, overall good job.
     
  4. MacBeth

    MacBeth Member

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    Nice article.

    The pg options are interesting. Also reiterates where we'll be with SF if this trade somehow falls through. My guess is that, his already low value will be made further so by other teams' knowledge that we have to unload him. It looks like T-Mac or bust.
     
  5. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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    I'm pretty sure JVG will Gaines a shot. Being high in the draft from last year, the guy should have some talent to provide this squad. Forget Lue. He sucks.

    Brent Barry. Perfect at PG.

    Wow, getting Adonal Foyle to replace Cato? He would be nice to back up Yao. Rebounding, blocking shots, and being a presence in the lane.

    I would definitely go after Eric Snow. Snow running PG w/ McGrady at SG. Very nice combo. I wonder who they can pick up in FA for Howard. Chandler would be a nice pickup. Stromile Swift is another.
     
  6. hikanoo49

    hikanoo49 Member

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    why didnt he mention fisher? D. Fisher stated that Rox is his top choice for FA and frankly, he may be the best fit especially considering that he is relatively cheap.

    afterall, fish knows how to play with a high scoring SG and a top big man..
     
  7. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
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    Man, this guy doesn't wait long to start fumbling for the new boss's zipper, does he?

    No thanks, Chad. We've got a headache.
     
  8. forchette49

    forchette49 Contributing Member

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    Maybe the best article ever written by Chad Ford, but perhaps I am biased because it is a bit Rocket-centric... Chad did forget a rumored name or two however. Don't forget about Troy Hudson either folks, he and Tmac did play together in Orlando and is deadly from 3. Either way, IMO Lue will opt out, either JH or Mo will be traded, and Gaines will be a JVG project to develop as a backup 1 and/or 2. But, since you can't double both Yao and Tmac, does it really matter? It's over! I'd be shocked if we didn't at least make it to the Western Conf. Finals next year, especially now that the Lakers are out of the home-court playoff seedings...
     
  9. NURoseBowl

    NURoseBowl Member

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    If Lue does in fact opt out and doesn't sign with the Rockets...we need to shy away from Snow or Barry and go w/ a PG who can keep up with quicker PGs. Snow and Barry would be fantastic on offense but would get burned by TP, etc...
     
  10. Gutter Snipe

    Gutter Snipe Contributing Member

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    The guy is still an idiot.
    1. We didn't have any problems with Mobley being undersized at the 2.

    2. Mobley did not take too many shots for JVG's taste this year.

    3. "After such a terrible season..." in which Francis led his team to the playoffs and gave the Lakers a scare by stepping up in the playoffs in a big way.

    To hear Chad tell it, it's a miracle that we made the playoffs. I pity the fools who pay good money to read his babble based on a dislike of the Rockets and player analysis based on stats and reputation.

    You gotta love it when bandwagon jumpers come on - their expectations are so far out of line with reality. This trade will make us better in the long run - but unless we get the perfect role players and suffer no injuries, it's really unlikely that we will improve on last season's results.

    It's all up to Yao, JVG, and CD, really. Hopefully at least 2 out of the 3 of them will exceed my expectations.
     
  11. rocksolid

    rocksolid Contributing Member

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    I like the PG options he put on the table:

    1) Carlos Arroyo - best value at PG of all the free agents on the market.

    2) Brent Barry - I like the idea of Barry, but he's in his mid-30s.

    3) Charlie Ward - not sure he's a starter in this league anymore, but would indeed be serviceable - depending on how much we might spend on a back up big man...

    4) Speedy Claxton - never really thought of him as a great fit, but he could grow on me.
     
  12. scotia

    scotia Contributing Member

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    As long as both McGrady (who has a history of back problems) and Yao (who will be overworked this summer because of Chinese national team duty) stay healthy, the Rockets are poised to move up in the West, regardless of the additional pieces they add.

    Sounds good:D
     
  13. omair

    omair Contributing Member

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    i wonder how ford forms all of his opinions...
    and doesnt all of his stuff have to get approved and proof read?
    This is the best artice ive seen him write but still is pretty bad regarding how "terrible" the season was etc.
     
  14. SA Rocket

    SA Rocket Contributing Member

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    ROTFLMAO! Outstanding Will, simply outstanding.


    BTW, Claxton would be one of my top choices for PG. He did a great job here in SA at subbing for TP and was the fourth quarter PG for them in last year's championship run. He kept the Spurs in their offense, scored some, and was quick enough on defense to guard the increasingly quick PG's around the league now. The Spurs really missed that guy this past season, especially in the playoffs.
     
  15. r-fan-since-81

    r-fan-since-81 Contributing Member

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    Is he an unrestricted FA.
     
  16. room4rentsf

    room4rentsf Contributing Member

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    ummm... I like the article but he seems to have forgotten our biggest problem areas of last season.

    The forwards.

    SF -

    JJackson had a great season last year but we are naive if we think he can hold up like that this year. Anyways he was undersized to be a SF and people kept shooting over him. He would be better suited coming off the bench to spell tmac and whoever starts at the 3.

    Im hoping Boki can have a breakout season and the Yao/Tmac/Boki Triumverate can dominate the west next year. Until then we may need to keep looking at finding a starter for that position.

    PF -

    Cato tried his best and I think he did a decent job but he wasnt mobile enough to be our 4. Anyways since he's included in the trade I guess this a moot point. Plus we lose the best backup center in the league..

    Mot is kind of a disappointment.. I think with more effort he could become a pretty servicable PF in this league. His low rebounding numbers seem to be due to lack of effort than lack of height. He has the build and the physical gifts to be a serviceable PF but he wont box out or chase down rebounds.

    Egriffin may be worth a look in this dept. but the rumors have not been substiatiated at all anywhere.

    PG -

    I dont need to go over since its discussed in depth in the article. I would hope we can develop some young guy to eventually take over the reigns.

    Backup C -

    This also has to be discussed.. I guess when Cato was out a few games Mot/Spoon picked up the slack and played some C but I dont think they were intimidating shot blockers and people had a field day taking it to the rim.

    J
     
  17. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

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  18. smoothie

    smoothie Jabari Jungle

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    i don't think we will look for 2 vet PG's.


    one, i am sure we will try to sign. but the back-up will have to be a younger PG who will be groomed to become the starter a few years down.


    i would want to either sign barry OR trade boki and pike, or the TE for snow. one of those should be our starter next year (assuming we get tmac).

    if we trade for snow, then i would want to sign a good young PG to back him up. arroyo would be great, i would also take alston.

    if we sign barry, then i would trade for claxton. i am actually hopeing for this to come true. i am close with speedy's sister and that would make me a season ticket holder! oh yeah and an insider ;)
     
  19. SA Rocket

    SA Rocket Contributing Member

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    No, Claxton is not a FA. The Rockets would have to trade for him. He became a FA last year and left the Spurs because he was led to believe he would be the starter at Golden State. After they signed him, they screwed him over and traded for Van Exel.
     
  20. Gutter Snipe

    Gutter Snipe Contributing Member

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