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[ESPN] Insider: Hollinger on Deadline aftermath: Rockets mention

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by spaceage808, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. spaceage808

    spaceage808 Member

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    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=hollinger_john&page=PERDiem-100222

    lock if posted

    Why did Houston end up with all those assets, and not anybody else?




    And now we get to what are the two biggest unanswered questions from the trade deadline: How was it that the Rockets, armed with only Tracy McGrady's expiring contract and Carl Landry's cap-friendly one, walked away from the trade deadline with the best haul of anybody ... by far?

    In retrospect, this is puzzling. Houston wasn't the only team with enough expiring contracts and luxury-tax room to take on Jared Jeffries, nor were the Rockets the only team with a star player on an expiring deal who could have helped the Knicks immediately.

    What the Rockets were was (A) persistent, and (B) clever. And that makes them stand out in relation to their partners in this deal.

    Consider the Kings, for instance. They had a coveted star in Kevin Martin, $13 million in expiring contracts belonging to Kenny Thomas, Sergio Rodriguez, Hilton Armstrong, Ime Udoka and Sean May, and $1.6 million in cap room to do an unbalanced trade. They should have been controlling the entire game on deadline day.

    Unfortunately, they didn't choose to play. Sacramento didn't let teams know Martin was available, and in fact insisted he wasn't available; unlike Phoenix with Stoudemire, the Kings have no idea if Houston's offer was the best one they could have had. In fact, there's considerable evidence they could have done much better -- possibly by bypassing the Rockets entirely.

    Consider, for starters, what would have been the perfect home for Martin: Boston. The Kings could have sent Martin and little-used Andres Nocioni to the Celtics for Ray Allen and a first-round pick, and cleared $18 million in cap room (the Celtics, given their current time horizon, would have blurted out yes to this offer in a nanosecond).

    They then could have used Allen and Kenny Thomas in a deal with the Knicks and walked away with the exact same trove of assets that the Rockets did. If so, Sacramento wouldn't have Landry, but look at what they'd have instead: Jordan Hill, New York's 2012 first-rounder, Boston's 2011 first-rounder, the right to swap picks with New York in 2011 (admittedly, an item of more value to Houston given the two clubs' likely records next season), and the same cap room they cleared with the Martin trade.

    The only reason they don't have those assets, it would appear, is that they didn't ask. While the Kings fiddled, Houston forced the action and squeezed all it could from New York. When the Knicks wouldn't flinch, the Rockets scrambled to get alternate deals in place: first an all-smoke, no-fire rumor with Chicago, and then a late deal with Sacramento that both pried Martin free and thrust the Knicks into action.

    That story echoes a fairly constant background noise that's been heard about Sacramento in recent years. The Kings have a small front office and nearly everybody in it has been there forever; one gets the impression not that they've lost their basketball acumen, but that they aren't putting in the legwork anymore.

    A series of lazy deals -- giving Beno Udrih the full midlevel rather than checking out the point guard market, or signing Francisco Garcia to a ridiculous $35 million extension -- were the first indicators, and this is the latest. Sacramento made an OK deal with Martin -- I gave the Kings a B-plus on the merits of the trade itself -- but the Kings had the assets to put together a great deal and failed.

    The reason they didn't isn't because the Rockets had some master computer program that outsmarted everybody. No, this had a more simple cause: The Kings got outhustled.

    The irony here is that a dozen years ago the Kings were the ones outworking other teams to unearth good deals. They were the ones discovering a trove of hidden talent in Europe (Peja Stojakovic, Hedo Turkoglu) and beating the bushes to pluck players like Jon Barry, Scot Pollard and Doug Christie off the scrap heap. And the last time they traded a star shooting guard, they didn't come away with Carl Landry: They got Chris Webber.

    The Kings weren't the only ones who sold themselves short, by the way. Several other NBA execs were disappointed they hadn't been told more openly of Martin's availability, feeling they had the goods to make a substantial offer for his services. Boston was a perfect fit, but by no means the only one.

    Thus, we get to perhaps the greatest unknown of this year's trade season: What contender might have been able to win the Martin sweepstakes had such an event been held, and how might that have altered the coming postseason?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Very nice read from Hollinger. Thanks! I wondered about Sacramento myself when this trade went down, why they didn't just cut the Rockets out of it altogether. Hollinger lays things out pretty well.
     
  3. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    WOW, John Hollinger must be a Kings fan.

    He just called the Kings idiots.
     
  4. spaceage808

    spaceage808 Member

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    Yeah, we got pretty lucky if you ask me. I wondered the same thing myself. Not complaining though! I believe its a combination on timing, and jedi mind tricks.
     
  5. Nero

    Nero Member

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    Attention Hollinger:

    SHUT UP! LIES! THE KINGS TOOK US FOR A BATH AND STOLE OUR BELOVED LANDRY!!

    Just shut up man! What are you trying to do??

    Is that a squirrel over there??
     
  6. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    The Rockets are the all-decade Hollinger team whether they ever win a title or not.
     
  7. RocketBlood

    RocketBlood Contributing Member

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    Ha Ha Kings got outhustled.
     
  8. That Boi Oz

    That Boi Oz Member

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    Great piece by Hollinger! A lot of questions are being brought up seeing the team lose the past 2 games, but this deal will pay huge for us in the long run.

    Thanks for the post!
     
  9. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    Nice find. Thanks.
     
  10. Dave_78

    Dave_78 Member

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    From the sound of things, the Kings made it clear to Morey quite a while ago that they wanted Carl Landry. I think they feel they would rather have a bird in the hand than two in the bush.
     
  11. LifeisButaDream

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    The kings did RA and Martin a favor imo.
     
  12. worzel gummidge

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    In Martin's presser he said he'd been unhappy for 3 weeks. Maybe they were really trying to make it work with the trade being a last minute decision?
     
  13. HeyDude

    HeyDude Contributing Member

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    He says Sacramento could've walked away with the same talent we did from NY, but does not mention they'd have had to take on Jeffries salary also. Wouldn't this just be a wash for trading away Nocioni? Meaning they could've gotten the picks, but not quite cleared any additional salary....
     
  14. LongTimeFan

    LongTimeFan Contributing Member

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    I still maintain that he secretly asked for a trade. From all his comments, he keeps saying how "it was time" and how grateful he was for the Kings to send him to a good team. He makes it sound like he knew this was a long time coming , which if true, shows how badly the Kings misplayed this.
     
  15. No No Mutombo

    No No Mutombo Member

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    Rick Ross approves. [​IMG]
     
  16. CaptainRox

    CaptainRox Member

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    Hollinger in short: The Rockets OWNED the Kings
     
  17. mrfirefly7

    mrfirefly7 Member

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    I don't necessary call it luck. Rockets front office worked their butt off before the deadline and they seized the opportunity when it became available. Hollinger got it right. Rockets did out-hustled many teams to get this deal and they deserve it.
     
  18. Prince

    Prince Member

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    RA's influence...
     
  19. Rip Van Rocket

    Rip Van Rocket Contributing Member

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    yes, that is the key. The Kings got what they wanted. They wanted a good young PF that could score and that's what Landry does. I think the Kings did just fine.
     
  20. glimmertwins

    glimmertwins Member

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    ...totally true. Hollinger has fallen under the spell of Dork Elvis.


    ...but on a serious note, I'm a little worried that teams won't deal with Houston anymore since Morey has gotten so good. Reading Clutch's article about the sign and trade possibilities with anyone(like Bosh) willing to go to New York. It's crazy to think Houston holds future draft picks from the Knicks that increase in value if they can steal a big FA from them in a sign and trade. What a brilliant move.
     

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