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Eight Players in Eight Days

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by corby, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. corby

    corby Contributing Member

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    In eight days, the Rockets have to submit their protected list for the expansion draft. When I put together my list, I was really stunned by our lack of depth.

    Protected List

    1. Yao Ming
    2. Steve Francis
    3. Cuttino Mobley
    4. Jim Jackson

    These are all no-brainers.

    5. Bostjan Nachbar

    Nachbar is beginning to tantalize us with his athleticism and his spunk. It's definitely worth finding out whether this will be his breakout year.

    6. Kelvin Cato

    This was the toughest call. Two years ago, we all would have been begging for this guy to leave. And I doubt that Charlotte would take on his oversized contract anyway. But size is size. We can get a cheaper backup center if Cato goes, but we probably won't get a better one. With only two seasons left on his contract, maybe we should just ride this one out. Too bad we found out that all those easy alley-oop plays from Stevie don't work in the playoffs.

    7. Eric Piatkowski

    Ouch. After the top six players, I suddenly realized there wasn't anyone left that I wanted on this roster. Instead of prioritizing all the players that I wanted to protect, I had to choose from all of the players that I wanted to leave unprotected. Piatkowski was a surprising disaster this season. I'm not excited about paying this aging two-guard for two more years, but he can't possibly be as bad as he was last season, can he?

    8. Adrian Griffin

    He's on the books for one more year at the minimum. We can cut him if he's in for another miserable season. But some years, he has been worth well more than the minimum, so we should hold on to him going into training camp.

    Unprotected List

    9. Maurice Taylor

    Bickerstaff has already made it clear he's not going to take other people's overpriced junk, so we can stop dreaming about this one. But Taylor's contract is clearly the most crippling one that we have. Now that Juwan Howard's megadeal is expired, is he the most overpaid power forward in the NBA?

    10. Clarence Weatherspoon

    I like this guy, and clearly Van Gundy does too. But his contract is a burden, and we need the flexibility to make roster improvements. Bickerstaff won't bite, but its worth a try.

    11. Mike Wilks

    Easily replaceable.

    Unrestricted Free Agents

    12. Mark Jackson
    13. Scott Padgett

    We couldn't keep these guys if we wanted to.

    What does your list look like?
     
  2. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Well, my list would look like yours, with the possible exception of swapping Cato and Wilks on the assumption that the Bobcats wouldn't be fool enough to take Cato. I'd also want to offer to pay the Bobcats something to take Weatherspoon off our hands. They might not go for that, but it'd be an easier sell than Mo Taylor.
     
  3. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    Corby, solid list. My list looks like yours as well. I agree, our depth isnt very good. It would have looked a lot better if Eddie Griffin and Posey were still on the team along with JJ. But that is water under the bridge.

    I dont see the Bobcats taking anyone from our team. I dont see them touching Mo Taylor. It would be a gift if they took Spoon but I dont see that happening either.

    And I agree with you in keeping Cato. Like you said, a few years ago we all would have put him off the list, but now I think he is a serviceable big man. I wouldnt want to potentially lose him for nothing. He DOES have trade value, whereas Mo Taylor has very little if any at all.
     
  4. rocksolid

    rocksolid Contributing Member

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    solid post. i agree with all of it. do we only have to protect those that were on our active roster...i.e. do we have to protect 'badiane'?
     
  5. Toast

    Toast Member

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    I'm leaving E-Pi and Spoonman unprotected.

    Take 'em if you're foolish.
     
  6. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    It might be nice to have them take Pike off our hands. He's not expensive for them and could well be a serviceable player for them too. He should be for us as well, but he's apparently not fitting in and he's got a contract for a couple more years. So, we could get a modest payroll reduction by leaving him open. On the other hand, he has a little trade value too and we may instead want to trade him for another roleplayer who does fit. Tough call.
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Member

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    I would leave Spoon, Cato, and Taylor unprotected, then cross my fingers.

    Raven
     
  8. paxil

    paxil Contributing Member

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    Can you protect less than 8 people? I would like to have them to take a bite on either Cato, Spoon, Mo, Adrian and Pike. None of those players are irreplacable for the amount money that they got paid.
     
  9. bejezuz

    bejezuz Contributing Member

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    True, but the Bobcats can only chose one player. So, make 'em pick between two overpaid big men in Mo and Spoon. They aren't going to pick Mike Wilks.

    Skilled big men are rare. All the other unprotected big men in the league will probably have similar issues, and the Bobcats have to have somebody play power forward. If they need a scorer, Mo might be the answer for them. If they just want a smart player and don't need big scoring or size, Spoon might be the best vet available for the money. There's no reason either of these guys couldn't start on an expansion team, especially in the East. Hell, Mo could be a poor man's Jermaine O'neal out there.

    I think Cato has real trade value, so don't put him out there if you want to move him. With only two years left on his contract, his value is decent now, and will go through the roof after next season.
     
  10. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    But, they could and probably will pass on both of them, especially without payment.
     
  11. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    I wouldn't expose Cato. He has trade value. Just look at all the TMac threads. All of them include Cato as a sweetener for the deal.

    Spoon is more overpaid than Taylor, imo, in terms of "bang for buck."

    I agree that Pike still has potential to be useful for us. We know he's a better shooter than that. And he's not that old yet.

    Griffin is a damaged good. I knew it when we signed him. He's our worse signing last summer. And seeing him play for a limited time, his supposed specialty, defense, is overrated.

    So, I'd definitely expose Wilks and Spoon. I am still debating whether to expose Taylor or Griffin. I kind of think that Taylor still has some positive trade value.
     
  12. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    Charlotte has to pick at LEAST 14 players- a restricted free agent like Mike Wilks has value to them because he'd take up one of those pick slots without costing them any money.

    My list:
    The No Brainers:
    1.) Yao Ming
    2.) Steve Francis
    3.) Jim Jackson
    4.) Cuttino Mobley

    The Sure Thing:
    5. Bostjan Nachbar- You don't let small contract/high potential go.

    Strategy Picks:
    6. Adrian Griffin
    7. Mike Wilks
    These are the guys that Charlotte wouldn't mind taking as they have small contracts and can be contributors; I'd rather they contribute on our team.

    Tough Call:
    8. Kelvin Cato

    That leaves Weatherspoon, Taylor, and Pike. I'd love for them to take Pike off of our hands- it clears us of what appears to have been a mistake, and allows us to go out and make some use of the MCE.

    I leave Taylor and Spoon off not because I don't think they're of greater value to our team, but because Charlotte taking them would be more advantageous to us. I don't think Charlotte can afford to spend 8 mill dollar on a "solid" PF, considering their cap will only be around 28 million. I'd be tempted to leave Cato loose, but I think he has a greater value as a trade chip, and Charlotte may be able to turn around and deal him if they were to take him.
     
  13. alley-oop

    alley-oop Member

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    Taylor is our only consistant scorer off the bench, but Spoon is uneeded. Cato is tradeable. You leave Spoon, Wilks, Griff
     
  14. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member

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    Whether we leave Cato unprotected depends on what kind of play he's getting in trade talks. He's way overpriced, yes; but in the Eastern Conference, he will have value. Imagine him on the Pacers, for example, giving Jermaine O'Neal free rein at power forward.
     
  15. smoothie

    smoothie Jabari Jungle

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    no strategy, just keep out best.

    starters:

    yao
    cato
    jj
    cat
    steve

    bench:
    mo
    boki
    spoon


    unprotected:
    pike
    ag

    why pike and ag? because if they are taken they can easily be replaces through FA's.
     
  16. Pat

    Pat Contributing Member
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    Good original post by Corby. I generally agree with the logic and out come. My only real complain is #9, the use of the word power.

    As to the general tone of the responses, I am inclined to give Pike and Griffin another chance to prove themselves. I think injuries have a much longer lasting effect than I previously realized. Cato and MoT both sucked pretty much the entire next year after their injuries. But after that they showed a game (not "A" game, but some game).

    Just for background sake, I have pretty much always disliked MoT (Didn't like the way he left the Clippers) and I pretty much liked Cato from the beginning (I actually think he is a better than average centrer for about an average salary).
     
  17. GATER

    GATER Contributing Member

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    Mike Wilks is irrelevant to the CHA expansion as he has no 2004-05 contract. It would be foolish to leave Cato unprotected as CHA would take him and turn him into 2 or 3 smaller contracts. Mo Taylor would be tradeable as well just not as much as Cato. The obvious answer is Spoon and Pike.
     
  18. corby

    corby Contributing Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up. I was wondering about that.

    I really doubt that. If we could turn Mo into anything other than more long-term, overpriced contracts, we would have done so by now. If Bickerstaff were to take Mo in the expansion draft, and he won't, it would be the greatest thing to happen to this team since we won the lottery.

    Unless the coaching staff has given up on Pike, I stand by Mo and Spoon as the players we should leave unprotected.
     
  19. HAYJON02

    HAYJON02 Contributing Member

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    I'd be really surprised if they left either Mo or Cato off the protected list. That's a gutsy fan-type move and I think they know Charlotte wont take either one. I don't want to call management conservative but I think thats the case with these 2 contracts. Both were vital contributors and although we have trouble at PF, our situation wouldn't be any better without them. This is assuming we wont make any trades. As much as we rag on our PFs shortcomings, just imagine us without them. Mo's got a good shot and Cato is our only real muscle up front.

    Who would be our free agent options if we do unload one? That's like 8 mil. Why, we could sign a Mo Taylor or a Kelvin Cato long term with that!!! ;)
     
  20. Sane

    Sane Member

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    Charlotte can turn MoT into Chris Mihm and Yogi Stewart for example.


    With that in mind, I hope we trade MoT for Yogi Stewart and Chris Mihm.
     

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