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[CHRONIC] If no season, Rockets may overhaul roster

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Rockets34Legend, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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    http://www.chron.com/sports/rockets...o-NBA-season-Rockets-may-consider-2273516.php

    Players can dunk their way through All-Star games. Lawyers can file lawsuits and bill clients. David Stern, commissioner of a league with no games, and Billy Hunter, leader of a union downgraded to a trade association, can spew sound bites and blame one another.

    The NBA is in its "nuclear winter" of discontent. Coaches and general managers and all those who answer to them can fill their time trashing their plans for the season that might never come to begin the painfully slow process of preparing for the next season.

    For the Rockets, the potential demolition of the 2011-12 season could change everything.

    For the bulk of six months, Daryl Morey, Kevin McHale and the rest of the Rockets' front office prepared for the 2011 free-agent period and subsequent season now in jeopardy.

    If the NBA is to remain in storage until the 2012-13 season while the sides in the labor impasse move to legal proceedings, the Rockets' strategies and roster could be dramatically different than if the NBA opened for business in time to play the 2011-12 season.

    The biggest change could be the most obvious. The Rockets had planned to start retooling with at least 10 players from last season's roster under contract. If the season is lost, they could choose to have as few as three players - Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry - locked up.

    The Rockets could opt to start nearly completely over, possibly with two more lottery picks and cap room for two max contract players in what would be the largest free-agent class ever.

    Before they get that far and make those decisions, a great deal would have to be determined if the league must reassemble itself following the loss of a season.

    The next draft could be the first big step. When the NHL lost the 2004-05 season, it put together a draft lottery involving every team, with the lottery chances weighted based on playoff appearances over three years and first overall draft picks in a four-year period.

    Defining the lottery

    The NBA has not reached any decisions, but it is less likely to give all 30 teams a chance at the top pick. If there is a lottery based on a three-year period, an important consideration for the Rockets would be whether draft position or record is considered. The Rockets made the playoffs just once in the past three seasons but averaged 46 wins over that stretch.

    They would keep their 2012 first-round pick if it lands in the lottery; it would go to the New Jersey Nets if it falls to the 15th pick or later.

    The Rockets also would have the New York Knicks' first-round pick unless it lands in the top five. The Knicks also failed to make the playoffs in two of the past three seasons.

    For now, the Rockets can't know if they will have one, two or no first-round picks. But the chance at two picks in the first half of the first round could be key with the 2012 draft class expected to be the best since 2003.

    The makeup of the Rockets' roster could be even more unpredictable. Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee would become free agents. Hasheem Thabeet, Jordan Hill, Jonny Flynn and Terrence Williams could be.

    The Rockets had the option to extend the contracts of Thabeet, Hill, Flynn and Williams for the 2012-13 season, but that deadline passed during the lockout. The NBA could grant additional time to exercise such options and make it part of a labor agreement, but it is uncertain if the Rockets would bring back so many players who have played so little for them.

    Chase Budinger's contract also would be up, but the Rockets almost certainly would have a chance to exercise an option to extend his contract.

    Reaching for the stars

    If the Rockets don't pick up options, they would have spent a first-round pick to get Williams for 11 games and would have traded Shane Battier at the end of his contract for two games with Thabeet (plus a future pick they included in a deal to draft Donatas Motiejunas).

    The advantage of cleaning house could be the chance at a free-agent haul. Nearly a third of the league could have as much spending room under a $58 million salary cap as the Rockets would with only Martin, Scola and Lowry under contract. But they likely still would have room for two max free agents in a free-agent year that would be highlighted by Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.

    With the Rockets desperate for stars to be the foundation of their rebuilding, their goal after a lost season would clearly be to add at least one of the top free agents to Scola, Lowry and Martin, along with recent draft picks Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris, Motiejunas and Chandler Parsons, next season's selections and whomever among their own potential free agents they bring back.

    For now, the Rockets and the rest of the NBA can only guess how or when the league will rebuild itself if it loses an entire season. Planning for that might prove a waste of time, but to general managers and coaches who prepared for free agency and a season that may never come, the same might be said of the past six months.
     
  2. Rileydog

    Rileydog Contributing Member

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    So I've mentally checked out during the lockout.

    This article is based on the premise that during the lockout, the contracts continue to run and are not suspended. That means the players (and teams) basically lose out on one year of the deal in each contract.

    I wanted to make sure that was correct. Somehow I thought that the contracts would be "suspended" and, even if the season was lost, the year would not count against the contract.

    Can someone brilliant -- BIMATHUG? -- confirm that is correct?

    Thanks. And happy thanksgiving to all Clutchfans in advance.
     
  3. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Right. The players would lose their paychecks. They would lose the entire year. Paychecks don't get delayed ("suspended" and you say)...they are lost.
     
  4. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    I'm hoping for a shortened season if not for anything but the chance to tank while playing players who we have an option to extend.

    There are question marks about T-Will, Thabeet, Hill and Johnny Flynn (Basically the entire 09 first round).

    We need to play these guys extended minutes to find out who there are and trade or dump them. We get a high 2012 draft pick that we can rebuild with or trade away for a star.

    A shortened NBA playoff run is worthless in my opinion, just like the Spurs first championship
     
  5. Raven

    Raven Member

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    Let's hope that Morey has given up the fantasy of signing a top ten player. Why on Earth would either Howard or Paul want to play in Houston when they could be in LA or Chicago or maybe even NY?
     
  6. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Why on Earth would Morey *not* try to sign a top ten player?
     
  7. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Defeatist attitude. **** that. We're a large Market and players would come here if they knew they had help.
     
  8. Big MAK

    Big MAK Member

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    Agree 100%.

    If there is this 3-year 'lottery', we'll get a much worse position than if we play this season WITHOUT tanking. I'm hoping to tank as well for a top 5 pick.
    If we play a 1/2 season, there's no reason to not tank. And by tank, I mean play the young players more and see who's worth keeping.
     
  9. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    Obvious article is obvious. Even with a season, this would still have happened. Morey set this up from the start so the Rockets clean house next year. A lost season would simply mean that rather than paying the likes of Hill, Thabeet, Flynn, etc. millions on the off chance they stop sucking, the Rockets will just write them off instead.

    2012 will be the 1st year of a true rebuilding no matter what happens. The only question is how long that rebuilding process is. Could be as short as one offseason with Dwight Howard. Could be a few years like the OKC scenario.
     
  10. BimaThug

    BimaThug Resident Capologist
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    Yes, all contract lengths continue to run during the lockout. It would be highly unethical for the league to bind players to their current team beyond the stated expiration dates of their contracts by locking them out. Those contracts are for stated terms. The lockout doesn't change those dates, just whether the teams need to honor their obligations under those contracts.
     
  11. Raven

    Raven Member

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    Because it delays rebuilding through the lottery, all those "assets" will win just enough games to keep the Rockets drafting 10-14, but not enough games to make the playoffs.
     
  12. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Well, the lockout doesn't really change the Rockets goal, only their methods. Daryl Morey always wants to move human assets and acquire better human assets and won't stop until the team has some super-asset level humans. Even if they do he'll still continue moving pieces of assets around.

    What changes is that if there is a 2011 season and 2011 free agency period, Morey will likely go after a good center-- remember he thinks sign-and-trade is pretty much as viable as cap clearing as a method of getting a, say, Dwight Howard. If no 2011 free agency, the Rockets will go the cap room route by default.
     
  13. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    Why would you need to rebuild via the lottery if you landed Dwight Howard or CP3 in Free Agency?
     
  14. emjohn

    emjohn Contributing Member

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    There are several folks out there claiming that team sources have privately admitted that they operated with the understanding that there was a very high likelihood of no 2011-2012 season.

    Morey's moves last year definitely look as if he expected that.

    Should there be no season, the league will undergo such a dramatic overhaul it'll be unprecedented. A double-sized rookie class. A tidal wave of free agent movement. A washing out of aged vets that couldn't stay in well enough shape to make rosters after an 18 mo layoff.

    It'll be very interesting to witness.
     
  15. coachbadlee

    coachbadlee Member

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    This^^! 10 times! The great Rockets draft that everyone is looking to happen has already happened. In 2009. The majority of the people on this team have at least played together for half a season. So they have great chemistry as a team. This team is going in the right direction and i think with the added pieces and a decent amount of season, they would have a very good chance.

    This is not something that i just came up with. These are facts in my sig. I have yet to see facts that our 2009 lottery line-up is full of busts.
     
  16. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

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    What happens if the new CBA simply rolls all the contracts forward a year, IE 2011-12 gets moved to the next year?

    I would expect that to happen.

    DD
     
  17. makman

    makman Member

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    There are few players even worth keeping around on this team. If there is a season this year, there should be little to no optimism as far as the Rockets chances.
     
  18. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
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    My thoughts exactly. Article could have been titled:

    "Season? maybe maybe no, but Rockets will overhaul roster"
     
  19. robbie380

    robbie380 ლ(▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ლ)
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    So this means we get another round of the Rockets fans being teased with the prospect of getting star players and ending up with a bounty of first round flops?


    Excellent.
     
  20. coachbadlee

    coachbadlee Member

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    What? Wrong.
     

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