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[ClutchFans] As they enter free agency, Rockets keeping all options open

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Clutch, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Ericonomist

    Ericonomist Member

    Dec 30, 2011
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    Sign Lowry with cap room, trade for Kevin love, match parsons....
  2. Hard Rock

    Hard Rock Member

    Feb 16, 2001
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    here's the plan:
    1.) trade Lin to Philly for a 2nd rd. pick.
    2.) sign the 3rd star with the cap room created
    3.) trade a higher 2nd rd pick along with TE from Asik trade to Philly for Thaddues Young

    Rockets need the cap room but Philly also wants to get rid of Young's contract (last one year longer than Lin's) we also need vet. help after we go all in signing/trading for the 3rd star.
  3. ItsMyFault

    ItsMyFault Contributing Member

    Jan 28, 2009
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    Even if the Rockets somehow did get Love, it would be a hard pitch to sell the T-Wolves without involving Parsons.

    Realistically, you'd have to trade Lin for cap space. Sign Lowry. You'd likely have remaining cap to get another solid player at SF, and then you can S&T Parsons along with a couple of fill-ins for Love. That would probably be the most realistic way IMO to get both Lowry and Love.

    You can potentially do the same with signing Melo with the cap space, and then trying to do the same deal for Love and have a Harden, Melo, Love, Howard combo. I'm not a cap expert though, so I don't know what that would mean going forward beyond this upcoming season as far as Love's contract goes in relation to the Rockets salary cap. This one seems like more of a pipe dream though as opposed to the Lowry + Love one.

    EDIT: Actually, I'm not sure if that Love + Melo scenario would work cap-wise for the Rockets.
    #23 ItsMyFault, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  4. Manos

    Manos Member

    Jun 20, 2006
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    Tuuuurrible:rolleyes:. So basically you've moved Lin for Love or CA in step 1 and 2? I hate to burst your bubble, but Love isn't a free agent to be signed with cap space, he'll have to be traded for. And CA is not coming here for Lin type cap space (8.6 mil). And certainly there would not be enough space to sign either Love or CA and get Young. I also notice that Parsons is not in your lineup, was he supposed to be moved for one of these guys?
  5. No Chance

    No Chance Contributing Member

    Jun 22, 2000
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    Good write up Clutch but did you hear anything about hiring an DEFENSIVE or associate coach.
  6. tinywang

    tinywang Contributing Member

    Mar 21, 2008
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  7. Dgn1

    Dgn1 Member

    Apr 12, 2012
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    :grin:I love it man
  8. Milos

    Milos Member

    May 31, 2001
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    Looks like Morey's plans, and those of the major FAs, have emerged, so here's how I think the dominoes will fall:

    Plan A - Melo is going to join LeBron in MIA, eliminating Morey's top 2 targets
    Morey obviously prefers the top 2 FA PFs, since they require subtracting nothing from the current team to acquire
    He already has his elaborate pitch lined up for Melo tomorrow with Dwight and Harden on board (conspicuously no Chandler though)
    Not that I wouldn't sign Melo if he said yes, but I have serious reservations about his fit with this team, on and off the court
    He is the ultimate Alpha Dog scorer, which could make Harden and Howard unhappy
    He is a poor, slow perimeter defender, and a very small post defender for a PF, so he does nothing to solve our defensive problems at PF and on the wing
    And he's never impacted winning anywhere since college ... not a good trait for a Max player
    I still think HOU is a distant 3rd option for Melo after MIA and CHI, which is why we didn't get a meeting until after his top 2 choices, on day #3 of FA

    LeBron rumors lately say he wants Max, and wants to stay in MIA for sure, but no discount this time
    With $55M in cap room, minus about $22M for LeBron, that leaves $33M left over for guys that make more than MLE (Melo/Wade/Bosh/Lowry)
    Getting all 4 w LBJ @ Max would mean avg of only $8-10M per season for each, so no way that happens
    I'm thinking they get Wade to take big pay cut, pay LBJ whatever he wants, sign Melo to replace Bosh, and then try to get Lowry/Bosh (or someone else) to be 4th star for about $10M per season, either at PG or C

    The top 2 on the market would join (I assume) Wade in MIA, but no mention what that means for Bosh or Lowry
    If LBJ gets $22M Max, and Melo takes a cut to say $18M, that only leaves $15M, or about 1 Max player
    I don't see how Wade resigns for anything less than $10M per season, after leaving over $40M on the table by opting out, but he could make it work by taking something crazy-low like $6M per season to be the 4th star in MIA
    That would leave about $10M available for a 3rd star after LBJ and Melo
    I'm def not a cap expert, so some of my math may be a little off, but it's in the ballpark

    For Lowry, I've heard the Heat offer will be for 3 yrs and $27-30M, or about $9.5M per season, which sounds about right for a guy with only 1 great season so far
    I've also heard he is Morey's top 2nd-tier FA target, after LBJ/Melo/Bosh, and we know he was in Philly last night to meet with Lowry first
    Tells you something that Toronto seems to be OK letting their best player walk same year they were #3 seed in East
    Also not sure how well he will like being 3rd/4th option anywhere
    Plus MIA just drafted LBJ's buddy Shabbazz to play PG next year, and we know from Dragic problems that Lowry does not take well to sharing time
    Don't see a great fit here for Kyle, but adding him and Napier to replace Chalmers and Cole would instantly make MIA heavy favorites in East for the next 3-4 years, whether its Melo or Bosh at PF
    Maybe he wants to win more than be THE MAN somewhere like TOR ... that would be good new for the Rockets, who could offer much more money to Lowry than MIA

    For Bosh, if he doesn't stay in MIA, I have only heard TOR and other non-contenders with the room to offer him Max mentioned as potential destinations ... nothing about Houston
    To me, he is the guy most likely to leave MIA
    We know he is weak-minded and does whatever LBJ and Wade tell him ... I can see them convincing him to leave so Melo can take his place
    The angle to Bosh would be he needs to get 1 more big contract now like LeBron is doing, but doing so in MIA is impossible, because LeBron will leave if the team is not improved right now
    I also think he is the only FA forward, besides LBJ and Melo, who can get a Max offer from someone, probably multiple teams
    DAL is his hometown, and nobody else wants to take Cuban's money, but they just got Tyson back to play C, and neither Bosh nor Dirk can play SF full-time, so a really bad fit on the court
    The only other semi-contender who can pay him anywhere near the Max is CHI ... and I have a feeling Bosh is their backup plan for Melo, just like us

    Plan B - Morey gets aggressive for Love, finally offers Parsons in S&T to top GS offer to Twolves
    With LBJ and Melo off the board, his top target becomes Kevin Love in a trade
    Love has already turned down deals to CLE and 1 other non-contender, which is good for Rockets for 2 reasons:
    1 - Shows that winning is big to Love, which is our main selling point
    2 - Shrinks the pool of competitors, thus making the Rockets offer better, by eliminating lottery teams like Lakers that have location/market/cap advantages

    Rumors are that MIN prefers to do a deal with Warriors for Love
    Main reason is they want a true star to build around in return, and GS is offering that in SG Klay Thompson, a proven 20ppg scorer who is still cheap, and a top 5 SG in the NBA
    They are also offering PF David Lee, an established 20/10 guy who made the All-Star team just last year, plus Draymond Green and their own future 1st rd picks
    The sticking point in the deal appears to be GS not also including SF Harrison Barnes, which seems crazy to me
    I like Barnes, but when you're talking about adding a top 15 player like Love, you can't get let it fall apart to protect your 5th-best starter
    By adding Love to Curry, Iggy and Bogut, they need a 3&D wing defender and shooter to start at SF a lot more than a scorer like Barnes anyway

    Since MIN is waiting to make a deal once LBJ and Melo have signed, Morey has not yet offered Parson to MIN
    It has been leaked that MIN's backup plan for GS is the Rockets, and specifically doing a S&T to get Parsons as their new star to build around, so the offer will come from Morey once the top 2 sign
    Morey has already offered them TJ, Donut, the NO 1st pick from Asik, another HOU 1st, and Jeremy Lin to make salaries match
    Pretty obvious that deal is not competitive with a Thompson/Lee deal, but adding Parsons could close that gap quickly

    Codman mentions that the problem there is internal problems with current players (most likely Dwight) that could arise by trading away the 'glue guy' Parsons
    We know they are boys, and we know Dwight likes to be heavily involved with personnel decision on his teams, so this makes sense and I believed this might be a problem all along with moving Chandler
    Very similar to why I believe McHale got another year ... Dwight likes him and an unhappy Dwight is a pouting, whiny, unproductive baby, so it's usually best to keep your superstars happy
    Hell, LeBron is basically the GM of the Heat now, telling Pat Riley who to draft, who he needs to sign, and how much to give them ... not unprecedented for a player of D12's stature to call the shots

    I think GS will eventually come to their senses and add Barnes to the Thompson/Lee package, at which point the only way HOU can compete is to offer Parsons AND Harden, which will never happen
    For this reason, and Howard's fondness for Chandler, I think Love eventually goes to GS, and Morey is forced to move on to plan C

    Plan C - Heat leftovers and veteran mid-level FAs
    After the top 3 PFs land elsewhere, I think Morey will go hard after Lowry and/or Bosh, whomever does not land in MIA with LBJ/Melo/Wade
    He will then use any leftover cap room, MLE, etc to go add some value veterans around the new big 4 (D12/Harden/Parsons/Lowry or Bosh)

    It has been confirmed Morey has already shown interest in Pau Gasol, Luol Deng, Trevor Ariza, Thabo Sefalosha and Jordan Hill - all those guys sound like MLE targets to me
    Since none are dependent on cap room, Morey will probably pursue all of them anyway, but there could be some extra room under the cap if they can get Lowry or Bosh to take less than Max, as opposed to being maxed out after signing LBJ/Melo/Love

    Ca - PF Chris Bosh
    Cyberx posted that Morey's FA targets, in order, are:

    Interesting that Morey's first meeting was with Lowry, but Bosh is ranked higher priority ... almost certainly due to the waiting game with Bosh based on LBJ/Melo dominoes
    Unless the Rockets know that Bosh is not leaving MIA, or that he just has absolutely no desire to ever play in Houston
    No one seems to have any clue how Bosh fits into MIA, or what his top priorities are, or what other places he would visit, so his final landing spot is the most difficult to predict for me

    What we know about Bosh:
    - If winning is #1 priority for him, and money really doesn't matter, he will probably stay in MIA
    - If money is #1, but winning is still important, HOU and CHI are probably only teams with room to offer near-Max deal, good fit for his game on the court, and immediate chance to win
    - He is from Texas, and Morey went after him hard 4 years ago, so there is familiarity on both sides
    - Of all Morey's major targets mentioned, Bosh is the only one we know has no problem accepting role as 3rd star, and presents the least potential for off-court issues with egos/roles/minutes/shots
    - He has evolved into the perfect stretch 4 fit next to Howard for this team, possibly even more of a perfect fit than Kevin Love (more athletic, better defender, equal perimeter shooter)
    - He is probably the only other FA on the market, other than LBJ and Melo, who would absolutely command a Max offer from someone

    Over the past 4 years, he has evolved tremendously, and in ways that, on this team, might make him the absolute perfect fit among all NBA PFs
    No longer any type of real presence in post on either end of the court, his key attributes now as a player are like a checklist for what the Rockets need at the position:
    - Elite perimeter defender - long, quick, agile, athletic, and excels at closing out on perimeter shooters like LMA, Love, Dirk, etc.
    - Elite distance shooter - now extended all the way out to the 3, Bosh's primary offensive skill has always been his feathery soft shooting touch, reliable and deadly
    - Selfless role player - has proven without a doubt that he prefers to be the 3rd star, content to celebrate in the background rather than face the pressure as THE MAN

    My main problem with Bosh, and the only reason I would hesitate to lock in on him as this teams' third star, is his lack of fortitude, both mentally and physically
    For a team that sometimes struggles to find good leadership from its head coach and 2 main stars, the 3rd star would, ideally, provide some of the nastiness and competitive fire to get in people's faces, on and off the court, when the team is directionless and really needs some tough love
    Bosh is the opposite of that ... a pure wallflower that goes whichever way the wind blows

    I've given up any hope that McHale can do it, but I never really had any to begin with
    After this playoffs, I now have serious doubts about Harden's leadership ability when he doesn't even have the pride or fire to D-up his man in the playoffs when he is getting embarrassed repeatedly
    And Howard has always been a big, goofy kid, more interested in cracking jokes than cracking down on teammates

    Bosh's on-court regression as a post scorer, rebounder and rim protector, combined with his laid-back personality on a team that needs to add intensity, makes me hesitate to give him a Max contract
    While he is clearly a legit 3rd star, and exactly the type of player this team needs at PF, I'm not sure just adding Bosh to this team pushes it over the top to favorite status
    Locking up Bosh and Parsons will cement this team's core for the bulk of the Howard/Harden era over the next few years, but on the court, I'm not sure it even gets the Rockets into the Conference Finals, because it leaves almost no room for other, meaningful additions

    I think, in the end, Bosh leaves MIA
    I think they would rather just replace Bosh at PF with Melo, then use that 4th-star money to upgrade at PG (Lowry) and/or C (Gortat)
    I think Bosh signs for the Max somewhere he can make a ton of money without pressure to be THE MAN in a major market or on a contender
    Just seems to be his personality to blend in, but on a highly-visible team with a shot at winning
    Houston would be a great fit for him and us
    I have no idea what Bosh wants, or what he'll do, but I'm gonna guess he signs a Max deal somewhere other than Houston ... I'll pick CHI after they miss out on Melo

    Once his other star options have dried up, I think Morey will at least match Bosh's best offer, even if it reaches Max level
    I think Daryl knows Bosh is not really in the Melo/Love class of PF anymore, and thus not really a Max-worthy player
    But I also think he knows the heat is on, with an open window to compete for rings the next few years, and he needs to get something done now, rather than hold all his money and wait another year
    As Yao and Tmac taught all of us, tomorrow is never guaranteed

    Cb - PG Kyle Lowry
    Morey traded him away to get the TOR pick that eventually helped land Harden, so no regret losing him the first time like Dragic, but I loved him when he was here, and I think he is almost the perfect fit at PG for this team now
    He was also moved because he became a huge problem for McHale after Dragic started stealing his time, so it's curious he would even entertain offers from the same team/GM/coach
    But he is not the same player he was then, this is not the same team it was then, and he claims to have matured into a better person since then, so maybe there is hope

    Last season Lowry ascended to the top of the 2nd-tier of NBA PGs
    While not quite on the Paul/Curry/Westbrook/Rose/Parker/Irving/Wall level at Tier 1, he is now at the head of the second class in a group with guys like Mike Conley, Jrue Holiday, Eric Bledsoe, and others
    In other words ... a HUGE upgrade over Beverly/Lin at PG, and a 3rd star who fits in perfectly between the superstar duo and the 4th star Parsons
    He brings all of the toughness, competitive grit, defensive pressure and hustle that has made Beverly a leader of this team, plus he is an All-Star caliber offensive player who has proven he can take over games and even carry a team in a playoff series

    Another reason I really like this idea is that I still feel a true PG to run the team is the Rockets' #1 need
    PF has long been the rumored position to fit the 3rd star Morey knows he needs to win big, but I disagree and would prefer an upgrade at PG

    One last thing to consider about Lowry ... unlike all the PFs mentioned above, he has never been mentioned as a possible Max player
    Once Morey finally moves Lin's contract to get the Max-level room he needs, the Rockets could have almost $20M under the cap
    Even if he needs to beat MIA's offer by giving Lowry $12M per season to come here, it won't be anywhere near the $20M he cleared to pursue the big FAs
    That could leave another $8M under the cap to lure another big man (Pau Gasol?) here that he could not sign offering just the MLE
    Add in a defensive wing like Luol Deng with the full MLE, and suddenly you have a loaded, deep roster, rather than a top-heavy team with no depth by signing a 3rd Max player:
    C - Howard / Donut
    PF - Gasol / TJ
    SF - Parsons / Deng / Daniels
    SG - Harden / Johnson
    PG - Lowry / Beverly / Canaan

    Considering everything involved, and assuming LBJ and Melo are off to MIA, this is my order of preference:

    A - Trade for Love
    Combining 3 top-15 players on this team is still the best option, even if it costs Parsons, so long as Dwight and Harden are happy
    This would be the best Big 3 in the NBA since Magic/Kareem/Worthy, and all 3 could be potential 2015 All-NBA 1st Teamers ... you don't pass up that chance, even for Parsons

    B - Sign Lowry to non-Max, add 2nd starter with extra cap room
    Looking at the lineup above, I could even make an argument that team is better than any combination Morey could put together around D12/Harden/Love minus Parsons
    That is a team built for a deep playoff run, loaded with the veteran shooters and defenders this team sorely lacked this past season
    Lowry might not be a superstar, but he has become a legit 3rd star, and is the exact type of PG this team needs desperately

    C - Sign Bosh to near-Max
    If he's leaving MIA at all, it's not necessarily because he wants a ton of money
    If he cares about winning, but MIA chose to move on without him, his options are limited, which helps HOU
    If everything else fails, and Bosh is available and willing to come here, he would still be a tremendous addition to this team as a 3rd star and starting PF
    3 people like this.
  9. Jpripper88

    Jpripper88 Member

    May 2, 2013
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    The problem is, Chicago could get right into those talks and trade Boozer, Gibson, their 2015 1st, and the 2015 1st owed from Sacramento for Love and Martin's contract. Or some variation of that if they can't get Melo. Personally, I believe that is what they should do before Melo, but I hope they don't.
  10. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

    Jan 1, 2001
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    It was a real educational piece for me. 5 stars.
  11. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

    Aug 11, 2001
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    I'm a little surprised that Bosh and Wade opted out. If they go get Kyle Lowry, they are probably going to be making less than half of what they could have. I don't understand that at all. Before they took less, but not half of their value.
  12. basketballholic

    Feb 5, 2013
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    one-year contracts.
  13. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

    Jun 18, 2001
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    The guys on ESPN just made a good case for Channing Frye to the Rockets to solve the stretch 4.
  14. crash5179

    crash5179 Contributing Member

    Dec 9, 2000
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    Once you ignore the fact that he is not a very good basketball player and anyone can make a compelling case.
  15. redearth

    redearth Contributing Member

    Nov 5, 2012
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    I love this part of the off-season!
  16. vcchlw

    vcchlw Contributing Member

    Jun 26, 2002
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    Great writeup. Thanks Clutch.
  17. THE DR34M

    THE DR34M Rookie

    Nov 15, 2013
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    Lin going to Dallas? Say it aint so.
    1 person likes this.
  18. RocketsNana

    RocketsNana Member

    Jul 1, 2014
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    Thanks for information and details behind the free agent season. Looks like the Rockets are in a good position now and for the future! Great job Clutch!
  19. Kiddsir

    Kiddsir Member

    Jan 31, 2013
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    Sound like other GMs reluct to deal with Morey. Reputation is important in this business.
  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy 99ers STAND BY
    Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 1999
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    Yeah, except he's probably the most active GM in the NBA over the past 5 years, so... the data doesn't really support that.

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