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Chron: Rockets miss out on free-agent point guard

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by runninhorns, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. runninhorns

    runninhorns Rookie

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    this is why CD is waiting

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/bk/bkn/2688796

    Rockets miss out on free-agent point guard
    Trade an option, but Lue remains valued incumbent
    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
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    One of these days — or weeks or months — Carroll Dawson will take a weekend off and his days will be as empty as the Rockets' contribution to the NBA's July transactions lists.

    For now, the Rockets' general manager sits behind stacks of contract information, with statistics, analyses and tapes within easy reach, all providing details about players he could bring to a roster unchanged since Dawson landed Tracy McGrady days before the start of free agency.

    The Rockets made no secret then about their offseason wish list. With Steve Francis in Orlando, they had one point guard, Tyronn Lue, under contract. With Kelvin Cato gone, they had no backup center, excluding power forwards Juwan Howard, Maurice Taylor and Clarence Weatherspoon.

    They had free agents and their representatives interested in a team on the upswing keeping their phones ringing and fax machines humming.

    After almost three weeks of sticker shock and signings, the Rockets still have one point guard under contract and no backup center, save the power forwards. Rather than taking a run at the free-agent point guards, they took a slow jog in their general direction and turned another way. Most of the guards they seemed likely to have targeted have been claimed. No signing is imminent.

    Brent Barry, Derek Fisher, Troy Hudson and Rafer Alston have been signed, some to contracts that could be featured in an NBA GMs Gone Wild video.

    The Rockets apparently decided the free agents available were not enough of an upgrade from Lue to be worth the seven years, $37 million Fisher received or the five years, $28 million that went to Alston.

    The Rockets went that route with the six years, $18 million that went to Matt Maloney, then a starter, and the four years, $18 million (guaranteed) that went to Moochie Norris, then the sixth man. With Lue, 27, in place, they don't feel the urgency to make another move like those.

    "You're more flexible and have more control of your roster when you have two- and three-year contracts," Dawson said. "That's what you always shoot for, but you can't always have that advantage to where you're not locked in like a lot of people are. Tyronn Lue started last year. There's some good players out there. But to say they're an upgrade, I'm not going to say that."

    There are free-agent guards to consider. Charlie Ward, whom Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy often has cited as the epitome of the mind-set he admires, is unsigned and now that the initial flurry of signings has passed, could remain available long enough to come at a reasonable price. Bob Sura is more of a shooting guard, but has developed enough as a point guard to be considered. Damon Jones and Mike James could help, but might be deemed too expensive.

    For now, the Rockets might be likely to seek trades, particularly if they are unwilling to spend significantly for players who don't represent a significant step up from Lue. They can seek trades while armed with a glut at power forward or a $6.9 trade exception left from last season's Glen Rice deal to Utah.

    One target could be the Sonics' Antonio Daniels. Seattle seems to be grooming Luke Ridnour to be the starter and sought Fisher. Had the Sonics landed Fisher, Daniels would have been expendable. But the pursuit of Fisher could indicate Daniels is no longer in their plans.

    Daniels, 29, is coming off perhaps his best season when he excelled at running an efficient offense. But unless a team is willing to take on one of Seattle's high-priced frontcourt players, with Daniels signed to a relatively modest contract the Sonics might not feel a need to move him, particularly after Fisher went to Golden State.

    But the Warriors would seem to have more point guards than they can play with Fisher joining Nick Van Exel and last summer's addition, Speedy Claxton. Van Exel lives in Houston and would likely welcome a trade to the Rockets. But there are questions about Van Exel's knees, and he is due $11.8 million next season, more than the Rockets are likely to take on and probably more than they would be willing to match with players they would have to send to the Warriors.

    The Rockets also could consider a trade for last season's early free-agent target, Kevin Ollie. The Rockets and many teams backed off when the Cavaliers offered Ollie a five-year, $15 million contract. The Cavaliers, given how little playing time Ollie received last season, could be ready to move him. But if the Rockets balked at the length of Ollie's contract last season, they might have the same reaction this season.

    "You don't just try to go out and sign somebody," Dawson said. "You want to make sure the pieces fit. If it takes a little bit longer, we're going to try to do it the right way and try to get it done."

    jonathan.feigen@chron.com
     
  2. Man

    Man Contributing Member

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    They don't anymore long-term contracts?

    Lue...haha Lue a starter?

    They still say same things..Daniels, James, Ward, Sura, Jones. I like all of them besides Sura. I hope we don't get him.

    I guess we're keepin Mo, Spoon, and Juwan.
     
  3. Verbatim

    Verbatim Member

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    CD is a gettin' smarter. I like that. And while people here seems to think that Lue is garage, he' not. No, he's no Steve, but he's also not expensive.

    I still think a Seattle deal would be interesting in that we get Daniels and a pricey "big" for the TE and picks or something. That would be ideal.

    As for Nick, no way the Rockets go for $11.5m next year, period.

    Keep cool CD and wait for the right price/value to come along. It's the best for the team.
     
  4. Williamson

    Williamson JOSH CHRISTOPHER ONLY FAN
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    Ok Feigan, come clean. What's your BBS username?
     
  5. sup123

    sup123 Member

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    for real...everything in that aritcle is from this bbs.
     
  6. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    Well, atleast CD explained why we haven't made any moves.
     
  7. TECH

    TECH Contributing Member

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    Anybody who can handle the ball, keep turnovers down, defend, and shoot decent should be fine for PG. We don't need a high profile star at the point. Tracy will probably do a lot of ball handling himself once the ball is past half court.
     
  8. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

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    Why do I get the feeling that Money in the Mattress Les is gonna let another TE just expire out again :(
     
  9. Rivaldo2181

    Rivaldo2181 Contributing Member

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    Ummm....did I miss something b/c I'm pretty sure 99% of us already knew every single thing in the article?
     
  10. percicles

    percicles Contributing Member

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    REALGM says the NVE 2nd year is a team option. That wuld clear 12 million for free agents next year.
     
  11. Man

    Man Contributing Member

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    lol yeah pretty much a summary of clutchfans posts :)
     
  12. GATER

    GATER Contributing Member

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    I'm not sure that solves all of our problems.

    First, the trade would likely be Taylor and NVE. NVE expires and the Rox committed 2005-06 payroll is $30m. Sounds like a lot right? But to get there, you have to renounce all of your exceptions and Van Exel. So you got the following 8 players under contract:

    Tracy McGrady
    SPOON
    Juwan Howard
    Yao Ming
    Eric Piatkowski
    Jimmy Jackson
    Bostjan Nachbar
    Reece Gaines

    and you need 4 to 8 more and you have $14m cap and some $1m exceptions.

    Next, go here:

    http://www.realgm.com/src_freeagents.php?year=2004

    and find an unrestricted player that we absolutely have to have for $8m-$10m....Antoine Walker? Ilgauskas? Arrrrgh!

    I may be a minority of 1, but I'd rather split the MLE this year and use it full on someone on that list next year. Van Exel does his best work with the ball in his hands...we need someone that gets their shots in the flow of the game. IMHO, whatever we could surely get next summer isn't worth a season of Van Exel controlling the ball when it should be in the hands of Yao, McGrady and Jackson. And probably in that order.
     
  13. m_cable

    m_cable Contributing Member

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    Hmm. Looking at the list of next years free agents a couple of names pop out at me. Bobby Jackson and Shareef Abdur-Rahim. For Jackson, I totally see the scenario where we sign a Damon Jones or a Mike James to a half MLE contract. Let him start for us this year, and then next year offer Bobby Jackson our full MLE for 4 years. And then shift over Jones or James to be the backup when Lue's contract ends.

    Otherwise Rahim would also be a good target for a full MLE contract. He's never played for a playoff team, and he'll be coming off a max contract. I'm sure he can be had for a decent price on a contending team. Of course we'd have to move out Mo or Howard to balance our roster a bit, but I think those guys still have value.

    Rahim, Howard, and Mo are pretty much the same players, they all have a decent middle range game, but Rahim rebounds better than Howard, who rebounds better than Mo.
     
  14. SA Rocket

    SA Rocket Contributing Member

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    I'm glad Feigen is back from vacation. At least we're getting Rocket articles in the paper again.
     
  15. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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    Some suggestions to choose from:

    Rocket River
    LHutz
    SamFisher
    bamaslammer
    YoYao

    Plus that guy from Macedonia...the Bulls fan...can't remember his name.

    ;)
     
  16. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    Glad we FINALLY got an article on the FA situation from Feigen. Nothing new per se but does clear up what we were all guessing in that CD doesnt want to pay for huge dollar FAs with LONG contracts. Smart move in my opinion!

    So at least we know where we stand.

    With their comments about not having a problem if Lue has to start, this tells me we could be waiting A LONG time before we get our PG. CD is willing to wait. Remember, last year we got JJ in September. We could conceivably be waiting that long to get someone like Antonio Daniels via trade.

    Patience! ;)
     
  17. Plowman

    Plowman Contributing Member
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    What's the status of SAR's back?This guy has been a smooth operator inside,but the last time I saw him,he was a shell of the player he used to be.
     
  18. MoonBus

    MoonBus Contributing Member

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    I think both BJ & SAR will fetch more than the MLE. BJ will be 32 next year, a 4 year contract would make him 36 in his last season, I don't think we want a 36 year old running our championship caliber (hopefully) team by that time. He's been in playoff team for several years now, it would not surprise me that he would want to end his career with a bang, as in big $$$.

    SAR, only 28, still have good years ahead of him. For a career 20pt, 8reb guy, no way he will get MLE money. He will fetch a 7-8mil/yr for 5 from somebody. I don't think it will be us because he isn't what we really need. I truely believe we need a banger to complement Yao. Who fits that bill, I don't know, but SAR for 7-8 is not worthwhile.

    I think we make too much about players wanting to goto a playoff team and winning. IMO, 99% of players look at money before winning (nothing wrong with that). It's the players who already made their 80mil that really do start thinking about getting a ring. I hope SAR is one of them, but I doubt it.
     
  19. MoonBus

    MoonBus Contributing Member

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    Deuce, how realistic do you think it is for us to get Daniels? With Fisher gone to GS, I don't think the Sonics are ready to unload him. What do we have to offer them that they like? MoT? I think Seattle is looking for a rebounder in there PF, which MoT isn't.
     
  20. Phizz3l

    Phizz3l Contributing Member

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    Let me ask you guys a question, Because I am not totaly sure what the numbers are and how they work:

    Since Mo is due to 27mil in the next three years (9/per) and Nick is dues to make 11.8next year( is that the last year of his contract? Rockets could trade Mo for NVE and eat the 11.8 for a servicable point guard, after that you let NVE go, you no longer sitting on Mo's contract and have more room to sign players... I could be wrong, actually I pretty sure I am wrong... let me know where the flaw in that thinking is.
     

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