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[ClutchFans] Podcast: On Sergio Llull, Josh Smith and the NBA Draft

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Clutch, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
    Staff Member

    Feb 13, 1999
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    2 people like this.
  2. HeWhoIsLunchbox

    HeWhoIsLunchbox Contributing Member

    Oct 1, 2008
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    Thanks Clutch.
  3. Bezzle

    Bezzle Member

    Jul 13, 2012
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    Omg! Thank you Based Clutch!!

  4. skroodup25

    skroodup25 Member

    Jul 1, 2012
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    Thanks can't wait to listen
  5. LandryMegaBeast

    Dec 4, 2009
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    **** lil b clutch is the real based god
  6. Mattician

    Mattician Member

    Jan 31, 2013
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    Will give this a listen, thanks.
  7. jump shooter

    jump shooter Contributing Member

    Mar 14, 2000
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    Good podcast Clutch and Bima. Thanks. Love Justin Anderson if he's there plus Portis. If the rockets could trade up and get Turner or if Stein drops then I'm all for it as well.
  8. Pen15clubber

    Pen15clubber Member

    Jun 11, 2015
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    Weiner bomb ftw
  9. Fantasma Negro

    Jun 23, 2011
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    Clutch thanks for changing the front page pic
  10. 1Deep

    1Deep Member

    Nov 11, 2010
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    Love the podcast!

    I personally hope we trade both our picks for a real PG. We are in win now mode and I just don't think there is a rookie that will be available when we pick that can actually break into the rotation nxt season...Lowry or Lawson please come on down.
  11. ivenovember

    ivenovember Member

    Nov 3, 2007
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    Great discussion on early 2nd round rookies possibly taken the 1 year minimum deal, instead of the longer deal this year.

    I wonder if the Rockets would avoid players at pick 32 with the same agent as KJ McDaniels, to try and avoid someone taking the 1 year deal.
    Looking at Mark Bartelstein (KJ's agent) the following players may apply in regards to avoiding them if they fall into the pick 32 range:
    Cliff Alexander
    Jonathan Holmes
    Larry Nance (probably a later 2nd round pick)
    Sam Dekker/Bobby Portis/RJ Hunter (should be gone before 32)
  12. dragician

    dragician Member

    Feb 27, 2011
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    much appreciated.
  13. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

    Jun 18, 2001
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    You need to tighten up the string between the two cans.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ss2hULhXf04" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  14. Da Wink

    Da Wink Member

    Apr 23, 2002
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    any recap guys...audio is blocked here at our office
  15. J.R.

    J.R. Member

    Jun 30, 2008
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    BT: The Rockets have options but in the end, sorta don't. If they wanted to create cap room, barring trades, if the Rockets renounce everyone and rights to draft picks, they could have $7-10 million, which isn't enough for a major free agent. In the alternative, they can remain over the cap, retain rights to all their free agents, exceed the cap using the MLE. There are two MLEs, taxpayer($3.4M) and non-taxpayer($5.5M), they could use either one. If they use the full MLE, it will create a hard cap at the apron level ($4M above the LT--$85M mark). I think they could still use the full MLE and still have wiggle room to re-sign guys and add a piece without running up against the hard cap quickly. Morey has said the team expects to operate over the cap and that's what I expect as well.

    C: Will he come over is the big question?

    C: I've not heard anything here that says he's definitely coming. I tend to believe it but we just don't know. If not now, when?

    BT: This would be an opportune time basketball wise. Rockets have never had a greater need at PG. He might want to wait until next summer when every team will have a ton of cap room. There might be incentive to wait a year. This is tricky for him. ... He's from that part of Spain, hometown hero, star on his team, home in Madrid. That's a great personal situation. To uproot and move to Houston is a lot to ask. I hope the competitor in him realizes this is the next step in his basketball evolution, to prove himself on the biggest stage.

    C: I think he can really help. Quick & experienced. There will be a learning curve. I'd liken it to Scola's learning curve. I talked to Sam Hinkie a few years ago, he likened him to a Lowry or Dragic, a combo guard who can score. There is a lot to like. A MLE offer would be great. You have to think they have a good idea of whether he'll come. How does that impact Rockets draft plans?

    BT: Madrid plays next on Wednesday. Best case scenario, they win, completes sweep, wins the championship and then make up his mind. It's quite possible and realistic he will have not made his decision when they pick at 18. We might be rushing for a quick decision but I think it's somewhat unreasonable to criticize him if he hasn't made up his mind.

    C: I haven't gotten much on Llull. I have heard a lot of positives about Smith coming back. As you've written, if they make the MLE offer on Llull, they have a early bird offer of $2.5M to Smith. Whether he'd take that, I don't know. I've heard positive things of him wanting to come back. Smith has become good friends with Harden. Same about Smith and Brewer. He has good friends on this team and to cap it off, loves Kevin McHale. In Smith's view, McHale helped changed the story of Smith's career. If you can get him for $2.5 and also add Llull, could kick start a great offseason.

    BT: Ever since he was acquired, I've had fingers crossed that this would be a good situation for him and come this summer, he'd accept that tender of $2.5M. ... He's "only" gonna get $5.4M from Detroit instead of $13.5M. That amount will be offset by whatever new salary he signs. If he signs the non-bird tender, when you account for offsets, his total income between Detroit and Houston would about a little over $7M. Most would be happy with that. He can always sign somewhere else for more. For every dollar more he signs for, it's 50 cents more he'll make total between his new team and Detroit. There is incentive for him to get every dollar he can. I'm hoping he doesn't push hard for the MLE. They can use it on Llull, McDaniels or an outside FA. Fingers crossed.

    C: Draft: I was convinced they would go PG in the first round, had no choice. 2 things: 1) Dropped from 14 to 18. Kris Dunn of Providence, who I liked most, pulled out of the draft. What is their philosophy going in?

    BT: Aside from annual attempts to move up or down, get a vet, they're always looking to deal. Assuming they stay where they are, I have to say BPA. All these rookies will play their rookie season with RGV. Maybe we'll get a Parsons or Budinger who is ready early but for the most part, Rockets rookies have not done much their rookie season. Capela was a fluke occurrence. A lot of things fell in place for him to step on the floor at the end of the season. It was great but I'm not holding my breath on #18 being a major contributor. For that reason and because there is so much roster turnover every year, they'll take who is on the top of their board. They could take a PF and 70% of Rockets fans will roll their eyes. Smith is a FA, Jones & D-Mo are RFA next year. There is no guarantee any PFs on the roster now will be here in 12 months. They'll take top talent on the board. I hope the top talent on the board is a PG because I'd like to see roster balance for next year but could go any five positions, although center is well-manned right now.

    C: Draft info for the Rockets is seal air-tight except for maybe Daryl Morey and the St. Louis Cardinals. Who do you like for the Rockets in that range?

    BT: Most have Tyus Jones penciled in to the Rockets. I'd have no problem them taking Jones but I slightly prefer Jerian Grant. He has the size to play either guard position. You want guys with size, who can shoot. He's not the best shooter but isn't a bad shooter. It's nice to have positional versatility where you can switch on defense and guard multiple positions. The Warriors just won a championship with 5 guys, four who could guard 3 or 4 positions at one time. The more 6'5-6'7 guys you can put out there together, the better.

    C: Between Jones and Grant, I like Payne too, but all the PGs in this range have a flaw that makes me take a step back. It's very close between Jones and Grant but I prefer Jones. Grant is low turnover, has the size but I worry the best you'll get is what you see now. I like his size. He hit some big shots, taken some big shots. I like Jones and think he is more of a long term pick. He got shooting ability, play-make, clutch gene if there is such a thing and he is young. Grant is older and wonder about his ability. The two guys I like most are not point guards. I like Bobby Portis. I like the fact he has physical tools, wingspan, and from what so many say is a high motor. The fact he has range and can defend multiple positions, that's the direction the league is going. ... He's not elite at any of these skills but can do a lot. Surprisingly, Trey Lyles. There is untapped potential there. He has all the physical tools of PF. Hasn't shown 3pt range yet but think he could. You worry defensively. Offensively, size wise, a lot of positives for me.

    BT: Those are some good players. I certainly would be happy with either Portis or Lyles. Since you bring up some forwards, I wouldn't mind a couple of small forwards. We have Ariza and no guarantee of anything else. Sam Dekker from Wisconsin. Some mocks have him falling into our range. Early mocks had him a late lottery pick. He reminds me a lot of Parsons from a size and wingspan standpoint although Parsons was a better playmaker. I like his scoring ability coming out of Wisconsin better than Parsons coming out of Florida. Similar body type. Length to guard fours. I also like Justin Anderson. He's a good defender, tough, rugged player, can guard 2-3-4s if necessary and this past year saw a spike in his 3pt shooting. He'd be a nice 3-and-D player.

    C: I agree on Anderson. 18 may early. His 3pt shooting had a huge jump. If that carries over, he is intriguing. Won't be there at 18 and I liked early on, Devin Booker. Some are south on him but you have to take on a potential elite shooter who may grow into more. Troy Daniels was an elite shooter but couldn't do much else. Booker has a good IQ for the game. He's young. He was a freshman. I'm surprised to see WCS drop. I think he'll be a defensive stud in the league. We'll see. He was projected top five and is now dropping in a lot of mock drafts. ... Those are mainly the guys I like. I am somewhat intrigued by Delon Wright. Offensively the wrong fit for the team but his size and defensive ability is tempting. I'm not in love with the point guard pool. I'd like to see them use this pick for PF. Size is so expensive in FA. Cheap size in the draft who can contribute...if you don't love that guard, you gotta go somewhere else. Jones may be the pick. If they can add Llull and get another guard, maybe they go PF at 18.

    BT: Referencing your buddy Chad Ford's tier column, that is one piece I do look forward to. I would assume the Rockets employ some variation of a tiers approach. If there is one guy left in a higher tier that doesn't fit a positional need, they'll definitely take that guy over a lower tier guy. If there are 5 guys in the same tier, maybe they go PG.

    C: 32, second pick of the 2nd round, how do you see the NBA landscape shaping up? Cash to spend? Where do you see them utilizing this pick?

    BT: In prior years, having a pick in the low 30s, 31-35, in recent years have been viewed as better than very late first round picks because you could offer non-guaranteed contracts. ... If you have a piece of your MLE, you could sign these early 2nd rounders to favorable contracts. (Parsons, Budinger, Nick Johnson) As the Rockets' McDaniels has shown, a early 2nd round pick may invest in himself and take the one year rookie minimum. You might start seeing top 2nd rounders taking these one-year deals, hitting RFA early and making more money on the front end of their careers. If the Rockets are looking at an American college player who slips, there might be worry there could be another K.J. McDaniels situation. There have been some rumors, Ken Berger reported that the Rockets were looking to trade up into the late first round for a second 1st round pick. If they move up from 32, maybe throw in a sweetener(Nick Johnson, some money, taking on some salary), that they're looking to get that rookie-scale deal. Next year, maybe $1M-$1.5 of cap room eaten up which is not that much and getting a good talent that falls, locking him up for 4 years. Those long term rookie deals are getting more and more valuable for first round picks. We may be seeing the landscape change a bit where those late first rounders start becoming more valuable and those early 2nd rounders a little less valuable.

    C: If they do stay at 32, more likely it's a Euro-stash?

    BT: Even before over-analyzing the late-first vs. early-second, I was of the belief unless a guy on the board slips, they prefer draft-and-stash. I won't pretend to know about Euro prospects but they'll have a lot of young players on their team. Could they add 2 rookies? Sure. It's one more player not expected to contribute.

    C: There will be some interesting possibilities there.

    BT: You talked about going for draft-and-stash and having money to spend, Les, in years past, bought late second round picks to stash European prospects. They've done it the last 2 drafts with Furkan Aldemir and Alessandro Gentile. Aldemir signed a decent sized deal with Philadelphia and Gentile looks to have a promising career trajectory in joining the Rockets in a year or two. We may see them do it again on Thursday. They only have $800,000 in available cash to spend this season. They paid $1M for the Gentile pick. He was 53rd. Those who will watch the whole draft, keep your eye out for European players drafted in the 50s because it very well could be their draft rights are bought by Les Alexander.

    C: Trade targets - we've speculated Lowry & Lawson. I like Lowry more than Lawson. I've heard they didn't think Lawson was a great fit but did hear that Harden would like Lawson here. That's the only thing I've heard. I'd be willing to bet they're looking at PG via trade.

    BT: I've heard Lawson & Lowry rumors as well. I agree, Lowry would be a better fit. Flat out better player. Having his playmaking plus defense, he can help more defensively than Lawson who is really small. There's a possibility they make a draft night trade or agree to trade in principle on or before the draft and when the salary cap turns over next month, consummate it after the July moratorium, like the Asik trade.

    C: As far as Lowry, I struggle to see how they pull it off. You might look at Llull going to Toronto.

    BT: One interesting aspect with Llull, I'm pretty sure of this, not only could you trade his draft rights but because he is a draft pick, if they sign him to the MLE on lets say July 10, for draft picks, they can be traded 30 days after they're signed and I don't believe it's specific to first round picks. It's possible, don't hold me to this 100%, they could sign Llull to a MLE deal and 30 days later, use him as filler and combine him with other salaries. I believe that is a possibility. That said, it's doubtful they'd sign him and trade him 30 days later.
    3 people like this.
  16. Old Man Rock

    Old Man Rock Contributing Member

    Oct 23, 1999
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    Looking at the draft now I don't see Lyles or Portis being there at 18. At 18 IMO Tyus Jones is the best available and a perfect fit for the Rockets. I expect the ockets to get another first round because there are at least two teams that want to move out of the first and this year the rockets won't have the MLE if used on Llull. So lock someone in a 1st round deal is more advantageous. If that happens then big time hoping that we get Justin Anderson.
  17. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

    Jul 18, 2006
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    JR, please tell me you work in dictation
  18. ivenovember

    ivenovember Member

    Nov 3, 2007
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    JR is actually the upgraded version of IBM Watson.
  19. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

    Feb 27, 2012
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    Pleasant surprise! Thanks Clutch.
  20. basketballholic

    Feb 5, 2013
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    1. Do either one of you have any clue what Llull's buyout is after the season? The only thing I've read is 5 million euro. I can't believe that's the case if we are going to offer him the MLE and expect it to be enough to sway him to come over. If it is actually 5 million euro, then for us to pursue him it's almost going to have to be an under-the-cap offer.

    Since everything we keep hearing is over-the-cap and offer Llull the MLE then his buyout must be substantially less than 5 million euro.

    2. Good to see others are considering the possibility of Llull becoming a trade chip for a good-to-great veteran starting point guard. And yes, I'm pretty sure he can be traded 30 days after signing since he was a draft pick.

    This is why I don't think the possibility of signing Llull will have anything to do with drafting a point guard. But it may have to do with whether or not we bring Bev back long-term.

    3. I can't see how Morey can give up what he gave up for McDaniels and then just let him walk. I know Bima has attributed McDaniels to insurance and the price for insurance being Canaan and the second rounder we gave up for him. But McDaniels has upside. He's not a Pablo Prigioni vet. (Besides 2 first round picks is a high price for insurance.) He's coming off his rookie campaign and if he were in this draft tomorrow he'd probably be a low first rounder. I can't see trading up into the first round (to preserve the full MLE for Llull) and using assets to do that, plus letting McDaniels walk, just so we can get another piece of insurance (backup wing).

    For these reasons I think under-the-cap scenarios have to be considered.

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