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Chron: Rockets standing pat? Just tinkering? Not if they can help it.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Bay Rock, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Bay Rock

    Bay Rock Member

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    Very interesting article. It is news to me that McGrady's contract will be paid by insurance until he starts playing again.
    _______________________________________________________________

    http://blogs.chron.com/nba/2009/06/rockets_standing_pat_just_tink.html

    Nice little celebration in LA. Mark Madsen was not there to dance. Shaq was not there to rap. Chevys were not turned into kindling.

    The good news around here, however, is that the Rockets did not celebrate.

    It has been natural to wonder if the Lakers' championship would leave the Rockets dangerously proud of their post-season. They are the only team to take the Lakers to seven games, the only team to lead them in a series and the only team this season or last to beat the Lakers when facing elimination. (They also went 6-2 this season against the three other Conference Finals teams.)

    The Lakers clearly became the NBA's best team. The Rockets pushed them there.

    "Houston was a different story altogether," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "They were fast, they were very driven, team-ball play, they did a good job in spacing out the court, getting accomplished what they wanted to do. They had two defenders to throw at Kobe (Bryant) in (Ron) Artest and (Shane) Battier, and so they were a really worthy opponent, pushed us to seven games.

    "I thought that really made us the team that we got to be in the playoffs. We understood what we had to get accomplished, and we did the job from that time forward, played good basketball."

    The Rockets could tell themselves they are worthy contenders.

    They are, however, not fooled.

    The Rockets were whipped in two of those Lakers games, including Game 7. Their strengths do match up well with the Lakers, just not enough to actually beat them.

    If there had been concerns that the Rockets would settle for the hopes that Yao Ming would stay healthy and their young talent would grow into something greater and that all that would be enough, those concerned now seem unfounded.

    The Rockets have been remarkably aggressive in talks around the league since their elimination from the playoffs. Leslie Alexander's admission that he might be "predatory" in hopes of taking advantage of others' financial problems seems to have been a call to arms for GM Daryl Morey.

    So far, nothing has happened; nothing is close. Still, this is actually a pretty cool time to be a Rockets fan, if you are a fan of off-season fantasies. Sure, the Rockets don't have a draft pick. That means you can imagine them moving in at anywhere from two on. You can argue the merits of anything from chasing Ricky Rubio (!!!) to getting another second-round guy to stash in Europe.

    OK, so they've tried to move up in each of the previous three drafts and didn't do it. Trying and doing are different things, but this is a buyer's market like never before.

    That brings the real measure of how aggressive they would be willing to be, and the other fun of this offseason, if you get into this sort of thing.

    You can imagine all sorts of possibilities, based on the value of Tracy McGrady's contract and situation.

    With as much as half the league looking to make cost-cutting moves, no team other than the few with cap space attracts more calls than the Rockets.

    There was a snippet that the Rockets are shopping Tracy McGrady this week. The wording of that, however, is laughable. That's like saying the producers of Law and Order are hoping to convince someone to put reruns of the show on cable television somewhere.

    The Rockets are not shopping McGrady; they are picking up the phone when it rings, and it rarely stops ringing. (Teams always say that, but in this unusual case, because of McGrady's contract and the financial climate, it happens to be true.)

    Morey would not say much on the topic.

    "We're not seeking to trade Tracy," he said. "I've got to look at everything. That's my job."

    McGrady's contract is huge ($22.5 million next season) and then it expires. Until he plays, insurance can take care of the cost through sometime next February. And teams all know this.

    A team looking to cut salary, can send the Rockets a big contract, take back McGrady's for one season and pay him only a portion of that money. Plus, he seems driven to come back, and to prove something in a contract year.

    Those things are attractive to the Rockets, too. The Rockets have improved enough to win without him, but when you consider their needs in a quest to move up a notch, they would need the abilities and strengths offensively that a healthy McGrady brings. And if they were to trade him, they likely would have anyone they take back at that price for years. That would be a marriage you'd go into very cautiously.

    But let your mind wander. 'Tis the season.

    There are many teams looking to make cost-cutting moves, including the Nets, Timberwolves, Hawks, Jazz, Wizards, Grizzlies, Hornets, Bucks, Bobcats and Suns. There are probably others.

    The Rockets would only move McGrady for someone with the whiff of star on him. They are not moving McGrady for Larry Hughes and Eddy Curry, or something like that, unless Morey's mathematicians determined that the Rockets do not have enough mediocre players and need to remake themselves to be more like Isiah Thomas' Knicks.

    They can't get an elite player in his prime. It would more likely be a former All Star still hanging on to some of that greatness, or an up-and-coming player with a chance. He would likely have some issues to consider, the way McGrady did with his injury history when the Rockets made that move.

    The Rockets would not make that kind of move for someone with durability issues. They would not go for a one-dimensional (no defense) player. Most of all, they would not move McGrady just to get a couple guys to fill out the roster, who at most would be insurance backups.

    They would, however, be willing to take on a bad contract. They cannot get value equal to the contract, but sometimes, that's the price of doing business.

    This is where it gets interesting. The problem is that when you take out the elite players no one would ever trade, the guys that can't or won't defend and the players with injury histories, there are not much left.

    Still, if you like to play GM, this is a good time to do it. A few months ago, most of it was silly. (There was never, ever, ever a McGrady to New Jersey deal on the table.) Despite the emotions he inspires, the Rockets don't need to move McGrady. He can be an asset as a player or a contract, and the trade deadline is seven months away.

    The Rockets, however, seem willing to consider anything involving players shorter than 7-6, including one unusual bargaining chip.

    They are, despite the seven-game series, a long way from Lakers. But they do seem to know it, and it is a good time to consider what to do about it.


    • • •

    If you are into this sort of thing and find yourself imagining what the Rockets can do, the Rockets have coveted players in potential trade talks, in order (roughly), based on ability/potential, contract and age: Aaron Brooks, Luis Scola, Shane Battier, Carl Landry and Kyle Lowry.


    • • •

    On the draft, with few exceptions, the consideration should be the best player available.

    The draft should be a way to invest, especially for good teams that don't have a glaring hole to fill, and even more so for a team that traded last season's No. 1 and this season's pick.

    It doesn't matter who can fill a need if a better player is there. Unless the guy won't ever be better than the guys they've got, especially young players already on the roster, take the better player.

    This year, with the draft way out of whack in favor of point guards, that would mean teams with good points will be taking another. The Rockets have two young point guards, and it would take a special prospect for the Rockets to add another. Wherever they choose, however, they are with few exceptions best served in the long run to forget fit and pick the best player.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. The_Yoyo

    The_Yoyo Contributing Member

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    nice find thanks good writeup imo by feigan
     
  3. DieHard Rocket

    DieHard Rocket Contributing Member

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    Interesting. I wonder if that insurance protects against the luxury tax too? That makes him even more valuable. But I'm guessing it doesn't.
     
  4. Pringles

    Pringles Member

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    It looks like we aren't shopping McGrady, which is good. We are just listening to offers.

    I'm in the "trade McGrady around the deadline" wagon. Even though we won't get any draft picks, I'd think we'd get more value.

    Though....

    Tracy for Al Jefferson + #6 sounds good....
     
  5. ctry2582

    ctry2582 Member

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    Minny already shot down Amare for Al + #6. No way they accept McGrady for Al + #6
     
  6. blender

    blender Member

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    Ha, sounds like Feigan's been reading this board lately.

    News to me too. That would mean for a team looking to save money, it makes more sense to try to trade for McGrady this summer instead of waiting until the trade deadline. Some of us on the board were figuring it was the other way around.
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Member

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    That information is too detailed to not be straight from Morey's mouth, and it really does narrow down the list of possibilities. I find this quote to be most telling.

    Vince Carter?
     
  8. Bay Rock

    Bay Rock Member

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    My guess is that it doesn't as well. Its saves hard dollars, but it doesn't change his actual cap figure or its impact towards the LT.

    Exactly! Some have suggested that McGrady's trade value would be low until he actually starts playing again. If the above is true, a team can move salary and not have to pay for the incoming salary (McGrady) until he is ready to produce. Sounds like a sweet deal for a team looking to dump salary and save hard dollars.
     
  9. Bay Rock

    Bay Rock Member

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    In the chat below this blog, Feigen likes the idea of a Amare and Barbosa being the type of package that MAY be had.
     
  10. Yao4REAL

    Yao4REAL Member

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    The ONLY way for Tmac to fit into this team is coming off the bench because WE NEED Artest and Battier on the court at the same time and so there is NO ROOM for Tmac. So because we're sure he's unwilling to do that due to his ego....we have GOT to move him and get some value.

    We're totally different team with Tmac in the lineup...offensively AND defensively. We're not active moving and the offense is not smooth, efficient and tend to stagnant with standing around. Our defense is also horrible when he's on the lineup. Our production drop...not just team production but each individual player production DROPPED as well because of Tmac. He is like a clot of blood that clot up the vein and like Rafer, it's better to move him so that everyone can breath better and feel good about their offense and defense.

    We need to get someone like Nash or someone as a 2nd go-2-guy when team start doubling Yao. Because Aaron Brooks low ball IQ, we should replace him if possible....with Rubio or Nash.
     
  11. choujie

    choujie Member

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    Sounds good.
     
  12. texascityman31

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    ok here it is.


    Rockets trade:

    Tracy Mcgrady
    Carl Landry
    Aaron Brooks
    Joey Dorsey



    Bulls trade:

    Kirk Hinrich
    Brad Miller
    John Salmons




    New rotation: (minutes per game)

    PF - Scola (30mpg)

    SF - Battier (33mpg)

    C - Yao (33mpg)

    SG - Artest (35mpg)

    PG - Hinrich (28mpg)


    Bench:

    PG - Lowry (16mpg)

    SG/SF - Salmons (32mpg)

    PF - Hayes (12mpg)

    PF/C - Miller (21mpg)



    I like it a lot.
     
  13. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    I'll admit that in Games 2 and 3, I found my mind entertaining the fantasy of going the last few minutes with Ron and Shane on the wings and TMac at point against Fisher.
     
  14. worzel gummidge

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    Fisher as a Jazz defending McGrady in the playoffs didn't go well for T-Mac.
     
  15. xomox

    xomox Contributing Member

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    you got that right. that should have been embarrasing for mac.
     
  16. choujie

    choujie Member

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    It was AK47 who gave Tmac fits.
     
  17. tmacwillbeback

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    How can people be standing around possibly be t mac's fault if people move you get the ball it's true for every level of basketball you move without the ball you get the ball. Just to ket you know t mac's hockey assist in 2007-2008 when he was healthy was 11.2 a game
     
  18. Oski2005

    Oski2005 Contributing Member

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    When will the man love for Kirk Hinrich on this forum finally end?
     
  19. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    considering the time it took for the collective obsessions with the likes of marco jaric and jiri welsh to fizzle, i would guess 2012 at the earliest.
     
  20. thelasik

    thelasik Contributing Member

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    sounds about right
     

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