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Discussion- my Rockets (re-)building plan

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Newgirl, May 31, 2003.

  1. Newgirl

    Newgirl Member

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    Well just a little plan.

    The plan is following the approach of SA Spurs of this year and try to win, yet build the team to achieve the "cap flexibility" and avoid the dreadful "luxury tax" (Remember that if you are over the tax limit, every time, you pay for a player, you double the money in tax. I doubt that there are many owners in the world who are enthuastic and willing to pay a MLE guy and then double the pay in tax. So it limits your ability of getting FAs too if you are awfully over the tax. 2002-03 LA Lakers are a good example of the luxury tax working against winning) in the summer 2005. The key here is to NOT overpay for any talent and manage the cap space in a good and reasonable way. (Think again how important to NOT overpay talent, it's VERY IMPORTANT. Let's say if we cap space OR have more reasonably-priced veterans and more expiring contracts instead of the contracts of Maurice Taylor and Kelvin Cato, could we provide a better and more attractive offer for the likes of Kevin Garnett and Elton Brand or any free agents or players likely to be traded now, of course we can. BUT those contracts limit us what we do and we ultimately pay for those mistakes and have a few bad seasons which if we manage our salaries better could have been avoided. Well but let's learn from the mistakes and move on now. And we now try to correct those mistakes and open a new page). I am a big admirer of Popovich's CBA knowledge and GM-ing skills and I want the Rockets to take a similar approach. Winning, YET still rebuilding for future.

    IMO this summer, the Rockets should...

    1. Resign James Posey for MLE ($4.5m for 4-5 years). The key is NOT to overpay him.

    2. Trade Maurice Taylor ($7.8m with 4 years remaining on his contract) + Cuttino Mobley ($5.3m with 3 years remaining) + Moochie Norris ($3.6m with 3 years remaining)

    to New Jersey Nets for Dikembe Mutombo ($17.8m with 2 years remaining)

    We do this because we want to get rid of Taylor's and Norris's contracts and get the "cap flexibility" in 2005.

    Nets can get 2 legit offensive options (Taylor and Mobley) who can help them win NOW.

    3. Trade Eddie Griffin ($2.3m, cheap rookie contract) + Kelvin Cato ($7.3m with 3 years remaining) + Glen Rice ($ 9.6m, expiring contract)

    to New York Knicks for Latrell Sprewell ($13.5m with 2 years remaining) + Charile Ward ($6m, expiring contract) + a future 1st round pick

    We do this again because we want to get a contract which expires in 2005. We may get lucky that New York throws a future 1st round pick in the trade (Remember that's the way Detroit got lucky this year!).

    Knicks do this because they can get a young player still with potential to build around (Eddie Griffin) and a semi-legit center in the East (Cato) and can also significantly reduce payroll through Rice's expiring contract.

    4. Sign one of Karl Malone, PJ Brown, Juwun Howard, Kenny Thomas (!), Keon Clark, Derrick Coleman in the free agent market to a 2-year MLE contract, again in order to get a contract which expires in 2005.

    5. Sign the rest of Terence Morris, Juaquin Hawkins, Jason Collier, Tito Maddox to 1-2 years veteran minimum contracts or pick up some veteran minimum players with 1-2 years contracts in the FA market. Well all contracts should expire before or in 2005.

    So the Rockets 2003-04 team will be:

    Starting lineup:
    PG- Steve Francis
    SG- Latrell Sprewell
    SF- James Posey
    PF- Mystery MLE FA
    C- Yao Ming

    Bench: Charlie Ward, Bostjan Nachbar (Is he ready? Is he good enough? Well... just give him a chance!), Terence Morris, Dikembe Mutombo

    End of bench: Tito Maddox, Juaquin Hawkins, Jason Collier

    Starting on IR list: Mystery veteran minimum player, Mystery 2003 2nd round pick

    Is this team weaker than the 2002-03 team talent-wise? Well maybe a little bit. But you go where your best players go. As long as the new coach is the real deal (either Jeff Van Gundy, Paul Silas or Larry Brown is fine by me as long as we don't give Brown any GM powers. Talking about a great coach but Terrible GM, Philly are good because of coaching but Philly are not-so-good-enough because of his GM-ing), as long as the offense runs through Yao and Francis plays the point guard the right way, the team will be fine. This team is always (and should hopefully be) built to go where Yao and Francis take them, no?

    Then, the 2004-05 team will be similar except replacing Ward with the 2004 1st round pick.

    Then that comes the big summer of 2005. A lot of contracts will come off the book. The guaranteed contracts by the start of 2005-06 season will only be:

    Steve Francis- $12.5m
    James Posey- $5m
    Mystery 2004 1st round pick- $1.5m
    Mystery 2005 1st round pick- $1.5m

    Payroll = $20m

    Plus,
    Yao Ming (team option)- $5.5m
    Bostjan Nachbar (team option)- $2.2m

    So can we just pick up the team options for Yao and Nachbar in their 4th year and resign them in 2006 summer? Or should we need to provide them a new contract right now or we risk losing them? Do the new contacts count against the cap? Some CBA experts please help me out here.

    Anyway, let's assume we need to sign. If Yao becomes the player we think and hope he can be, of course max him out at the 1st opportunity. As for Nachbar, well it depends...

    So $20m + a max-out Yao = about $32m. That's our TOTAL PAYROLL in 2005 summer. That means we will have $8-10m to play around (the cap room should be about $40-45m as like last year and this year). Well that's A LOT. We can be A MAJOR PLAYER in the FA market that year.

    Which teams are there to compete with FAs with us that summer? I doubt there are many. I DOUBT there is one more attactive than us. Well what are the 2005 Free Agents class? I will find it out later. Just a little quick look: Tracy McGardy may be available! Sure he should be tired of carrying that lousy supporting cast at Orlando shouldn't he? Sure he hates losing in the 1st round every year, shouldn't he? (I can dream a little bit can I?)

    Actually whoever available doesn't matter much. We will certainly be one of top destinations if not THE TOP ONE for the top FAs that year with 2 MAJOR things to offer a) money, b) a winning record (as long as Yao and Francis are for real, we will certainly have a winning record by the end of 2004-05 season). We can have THE PICK of the 2005 FA class (actually I will even be content with 2 reasonably-priced little over the MLE guys such as Karl Malone and Gary Payton of this year, just as an example). We CAN BE the 2005 version of SA Spurs of this year where all the very top FAs want to go.

    It's CERTAINLY a lot better than holding onto Taylor and Cato and let their contracts expire in different years and leave us NEVER in a position with decent cap space. It's CERTAINLY much realistic than those unrealistic KG or Brand trade ideas.

    That whole plan only has 1 major question to answer, "Can Yao live up to his potential?". No more "Can Griffin live up to his potential", "Can Cato and Norris play up to their contracts", "Can Taylor and Rice stay healthy" questions. It's NOT even a risky plan. NOT AT ALL.

    We have a chance of building not only a championship team without paying much tax (Les Alexander should LOVE that) BUT a dynasty SA Spurs style.

    Feel free to discuss or point out my mistakes!
     
  2. Uprising

    Uprising Member

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    Wow...that's really long!!
     
  3. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Member

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    I understand where you're coming from, but (a) this will never happen and (b) trading away half the team and replacing them with players who may or may not make the team better, just so you can have cap felxibility 3 yeras down the road, is not the answer.
     
  4. RocketFan85

    RocketFan85 Member

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    Not bad, but it does not make us a better team. Well tought out though. Who are you trying to sign in 2005?
     
  5. fatman510

    fatman510 Member

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    We are a competitor NOW, the Rockets do not need to wait three years to get a big FA pickup to be successful. Right now, all we need is a good coach who can give our guys discipline, defense and team coordination.
    Also, trading Cat and MoTay and Norris for Mutumbo is ludicrous. I understand we get more money and flexibility in years to come, but that is too many offensive weapons that we lose, especially since the Knicks would never trade us Spreewell and Ward for Rice and Cato and Griffin.
     
  6. pasox2

    pasox2 Member
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    In general, I like the way you're thinking. It's good to get contracts with 2 yrs or so. I don't like the specific deals so much.

    The other thing is you have to be able to do something with the cap room. Not saying we'll be a pariah like Chicago, but sometimes having cap space doesn't help you very much. You don't get that FA player if they decide to stay with their own team, which is usually the best for them. The FA gets the most money by resigning. So, the best way to get top talent is sign and trade. Maybe you can trade one of those big expiring contracts you're going for to get a top guy from a troubled team.
    Maybe not.

    You also have to ulimately have a plan as to what kind of talent you want around Ming and Francis. You can't just get any old expiring contract - you need five players on the court, working as a team.

    Personally, I don't trust the slot machine model ... you could end up like Orlando with Grant Hill instead of Tim Duncan. I'd rather just try to get my favorite players however I could, but still keep an eye on contracts. Use expiring contracts as trade capital, but avoid the slush fund model. You could end up with slush all over you.
     
  7. couch_pot8o

    couch_pot8o Member

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    we are a competitor with this roster we have! we got all the ingredients, all we need is a coach that will make our roster work the best it can. we dont have to change half of our squad and rebuild again. i can see your point, and it looks good. but imo, we just need a lil addition to our squad. like for example, if your food aint spicy enough, we dont change every lil detail of your food and go back to scratch, but we just add hotsauce. see what im saying? just some essential signings for the shooting guard will help us alot. move cat to be the 6th man or we can trade him for a good sg.
     
  8. Yetti

    Yetti Member

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    You dont know what you are suggesting! The paying public in Houston wouldnt stand for it! For Yao Ming to develop as the future leader of the Rockets, he would have no chance because Spreewell would compound the problems of last year and by example and challenge make Francis more selfish, when we are trying to get him to go the other way. It would become the Francis and Spree Show instead of the Franchise and Cat Show. Most of the Fans and public want more of Yao Ming not less. This team does need an overhaul and the most important renovation is to get rid of selfish play and bring back Team Basketball. This would never happen if the Rockets did what you suggest!
    PS. Shooting for our major renovation in 2005 could be a killer, especially if there isnt any one available that is decent and fits our team.
     
    #8 Yetti, May 31, 2003
    Last edited: May 31, 2003
  9. ivanyy2000

    ivanyy2000 Member

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    With many, many, many horrible games we had last season, I dont think we have all the ingredients. We even dont have an pure shooter yet (Rice is old and will leave after next season), we have a very very weak PF position in western conference (I was told by many people here that Mr. Griffin need smoke anther 2 - 3 years to become solid) and lack an experienced PG that can make good decision.


     
  10. codell

    codell Member

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    I am completely with you on this one. Just to further elaborate:

    New Jersey Trade - This is all based on them resigning Kidd, which may or may not happen. While they would no doubt love to get rid of Mutombo's contract, they certainly don't want two bad contracts in return (ones that are more lengthy in terms of years than Mutombo). With the current contracts and long term (resigned) contracts of Jefferson, Martin, Kittles and Kidd (potentially), this would absolutely eliminate any cap room for N.J. for the next 5 years or so.

    Furthermore, adding offense is not at the top of N.J. list of things to do. Taylor and Moochie would both be backups (long term expensive ones) and while Mobley might be a slightly better player than Kittles, I am sure N.J. is content with him as their starter.

    Bottom line, no way N.J. would do this trade as they can just wait out Mutombo's contract for 2 more years and be in the same position that you are trying to put us in.

    Also, I have always been against all these Brown/Malone/Howard/Coleman trades and signings. These guys are all in their mid 30s. Considering the fact that Yao won't be at the top of his game (prime) for at least 2-3 more years, I don't want any of these guys as they all will be either ready to retire, nothing more than a solid bench contributor or way past their prime by time we are ready to contend for a title.

    I am not opposed to getting another PF in here, but lets find someone a lil younger than these guys. Clark may be an option, although I don't think hes starter material at this point in his career.

    I also don't want Sprewell, and it has nothing to do with his contract. If we trade Mobley, we need a SG who wont require a ton of touches, as they ball should be in Yao and Steve's hands most of the time. Taking on Sprewell will only further limit Yao's touches.

    In addition, your moves leaves us extremely thin on the bench, with the only proven 8 rotation players being Ward and Mutombo (past his prime).

    The last thing is, by making these moves for the purpose of having lots of cap room in a few years, you are putting the team into a position of having to sign FAs to be competitive during Yao's prime years (i.e. if the FA market happens to be thin that summer, we are left with a ton of cap room with no one to spend it on; in this scenario our team, without FAs, would be sorely lacking in debth).
     
    #10 codell, May 31, 2003
    Last edited: May 31, 2003
  11. Yetti

    Yetti Member

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    Dont you see the problems from last season?
    1) Francis doesnt know how to play Point Guard.He rebounds too often instead of getting down the floor and he doesnt play defence.
    2) Mobley doent believe in our Center and doesnt pass the ball.( Black Hole)
    3)Our Guards dribble and dribble.They are poor passers.
    4) Most of our players are playing SELFISH Basketball not the Team Game.
    5) Yao Ming needs to learn how to play the NBA Game.
    6) Our Power Forwards play like Small Fowerds with a soft game.
    7)Posey and Mobley are the only players that know how to play defence.We are a soft defencive team!
    8)etc etc etc.......
    If we keep the same team it will take Larry Brown [and only Brown] plus a team of good Coaches two seasons to sort out our present Roster without any MAJOR changes.IMHO
     
  12. rezdawg

    rezdawg Member

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    This team does not need any changes other than the area of "coach".

    Remember, we completely choked against some really crappy teams. Hopefully, under a new coach, this wont happen quite as often. We won 43 games last year. Lets assume that next year, we take better care of the bad teams, thus leading to about 7 more victories (at least). Thats a 50 win team right there.

    Also, Yao Ming will be one year more experienced and he will actually come into camp rested. Nachbar will also be added to the mix.

    This team just needs a new coach. And new uniforms. We will have both next year.
     
  13. Just B

    Just B Member

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    The only part of this that's just out of the question is the New Jersey trade. I'll take Mo Taylor and Cuttino over an injury plagued Mutumbo any day, and it's not worth giving those 2 up for nothing just to clear up cap space.
     
  14. striker

    striker Member

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    Good ideas. Houston is going to have to do something radical to step up to a competitive level let alone be contenders for the ring. The rest of the league isn't standing still.

    You've only captured half the magic of Pop though. The other half is identifying/developing talent on the cheap. Parker, Jackson, Rose, Ginobili, Bowen, that's also necessary for the formula to work. Without that the Spurs would be, at best, exiting early in the playoffs and next years cap space wouldn't be enough.
     
  15. SLA

    SLA Member

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    Hey, that was one long thread. At first....I was like...DIKEMBE MUTOMBO?!?

    But then.....yeah I saw the rest.

    It's okay...never gonna happen though. Let me read all of it now.

    NEVER MIND! Nets would definitely do that. DEFINITELY. 3 for 1...
    Eddie for 3... Tell them to give us a 2nd rounder!
     
    #15 SLA, May 31, 2003
    Last edited: May 31, 2003
  16. Maninthebox

    Maninthebox Member

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    Very well thought out, if slightly idealistic. First of all, even if you can find a taker for Cato at that price, good luck finding a taker for Taylor (what an underachiever). Personally, I'm not ready to give up on Griffin. He's shown flashes of brilliance. Remember, he could still be playing in college right now, so he needs a little bit more of a chance to prove himself. But what he really needs is a coach to light a fire under his ass!
    I think Rudy babied these players a bit too much, they need discipline and a team mentality. Sometimes it looks like Francis and Mobley are out there playing a game of HORSE or something (there's 8 other people on the court guys!).:mad:
     
  17. Maninthebox

    Maninthebox Member

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    P.S. Hey Newgirl. Did you try running all those transactions on RealGM.com? Not that that necessarily means they could happen or not, but it's a good way to sort of check your transactions.
     
  18. hikanoo49

    hikanoo49 Member

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    Great post Newgirl!!!!!!!

    I agreee 100%. But I have a few variations to your ideas.

    2) I agree with getting rid of Mo T and Moochies contract but we should be able to do a bit better than Dikembe. On this team, he will be nothing more than a 10 min per game backup. But again, I agree with your vision on getting rid of contracts.

    4. I think these PFs will be difficult for us to get for the MLE.
     

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