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[ESPN Insider]Next Moves for Rockets and Heat

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Manny Ramirez, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    By Bradford Doolittle

    Once LeBron James announced to the world that he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the dam that had been holding back high-profile free-agent moves finally broke. But the resulting flood hasn't quite flowed in the direction we figured. Once James was out, it was all but assumed now-former teammate Chris Bosh would take up the Houston Rockets' max offer to join Dwight Howard and James Harden.

    Nope. Bosh surprised many by agreeing to a five-year, $118 million deal to remain in Miami.

    The Heat were reportedly moving fast to lock down Dwyane Wade, who for a few fleeting minutes was attached to nonsensical rumors involving the Chicago Bulls. Udonis Haslem was also expected to return. So in essence, the Miami offseason has comprised of adding veteran forwards Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. Oh -- and losing James. That strikes me as a net negative.

    You just don't get over losing a player like James easily, as fans in Cleveland circa 2010 can surely attest. Nevertheless, even after agreeing to contracts with McRoberts and Granger, Heat president Pat Riley still has about $15.8 million of cap space with which to work, per my colleague Kevin Pelton. James is joining a young team in Cleveland, while the limbo surrounding Carmelo Anthony means another powerhouse might or might not be forming in Chicago.

    So is all lost for Miami?

    As for Houston, after reportedly being ruled out of the Anthony chase, and seeing its talented young forward Chandler Parsons sign a $46 million offer sheet with Dallas, the summer has gotten a whole lot more complicated. As Bosh's two leading suitors, let's talk about how the Heat and Rockets might complete their respective puzzles.

    Miami: Big shoes to fill


    By throwing massive dollars at Bosh, and keeping Wade in the only uniform he's known in the NBA, Riley has sent a clear signal that he's not about to downshift into rebuild mode. You do wonder if he's regretting his commitments to McRoberts and Granger, who in theory would have made nice complementary pieces to a James-led roster. Without James around, you have to figure Miami will move towards more conventional lineups and on-court style. That means finding a rebound-and-defense big man to pair with Bosh.

    McRoberts is a highly-skilled player, but he does not fit the bill of rim protector. It's not out of the realm of possibility that McRoberts and Riley decide mutually back out of their verbal agreement. There is nothing in CBA against doing so. McRoberts would surely be welcome back in Charlotte, which wanted to retain him in the first place. It's also possible that Riley is content to pay McRoberts the equivalent of the full midlevel exception to be his third big man. Or maybe Eric Spoelstra will want to maintain a pace-and-space style, and will pair McRoberts and Bosh together. These are things we don't yet know.

    Could Luol Deng head to South Beach with Bosh back in the fold?
    We do know that the Heat needs a new starting small forward. Luckily there are several veterans options on the free agent market, such as Luol Deng, Trevor Ariza and Shawn Marion. Deng and Ariza in particular seem intent on extracting the most of what this crazy marketplace will yield. Now, in terms of need and finances, no one matches up better for those players than Miami.

    In terms of RPM, Deng is easily the top-ranking remaining free-agent small forward. His 2013-13 RPM of plus-2.94 easily outpaced that of Ariza (plus-0.91) and Marion (minus-1.04). So let's assume Deng is the target. James' RPM was plus-9.19, so that's what Miami is up against. It's a massive difference in value, as you'd expect. Given a comparable number of minutes to James, and durability is one area in which Deng can at least hope to match James, the difference is somewhere in the order of an eight-win hit to the Miami bottom line. Given Nate Silver's projections of various James scenarios, that drops Miami's baseline to about 43 wins. It's still a playoff spot in the East, but the Heat would be hard-pressed to get out of the first round.

    It might not be as bleak as all that. First, Bosh's numbers as a third wheel may be all but irrelevant now that he's likely to become the top option on the refurbished Heat. If Bosh can at least approach his Toronto production, that would improve the Miami baseline by probably three or four wins. Then if Riley can find his defensive big man, perhaps Miami wins in the high 40s, which could be a decent seed in the East. Still, that's not championship level, and after the dust settles, it's unclear how the Heat will get from good to great any time soon.

    Houston: Next star up


    The Rockets have spent their summer attempting to form a power trio that began with Harden's acquisition, then buoyed by last year's signing of Howard. Bosh would have been the perfect piece to complete the set, and by matching Parsons' offer from Dallas, the Rockets would have had as good a top four as any team in the league. Expensive -- $71.4 million for four players -- but darned good. Now what?

    Let's assume that Houston is still hunting for that third star, and it's still going to be a forward. A star-level point guard wouldn't make much sense next to Harden, and Howard has a hold in the pivot. The problem is timing. The clock is ticking on Parsons' offer, and the Rockets will likely have to decide whether to match before a Bosh contingency plan can be set in motion. They could throw the same max deal at Carmelo, but you have to assume that was already on the table before the Rockets turned their attention to Bosh.

    Kevin Love might make sense, but it's hard to see how that works if the pursuit of Minnesota's disgruntled star is as hot as has been reported. Simply put: Love may already be gone. If Parsons is matched, he can't be traded until December, and would have to approve any trade for a year. If you don't match Parsons' offer sheet, it's hard to see a match between Minnesota and Houston, given the aggressive pitches the Timberwolves are likely to hear, even though Houston could absorb Love with its cap space.

    The Rockets' best chance to move the needle is probably a hard-and-fast offer to an unrestricted free agent before the deadline on Parsons is reached. Unfortunately, the top available players are disappearing fast. Greg Monroe would be a possibility, but as a restricted free agent, Houston doesn't have time to wait out an offer sheet. Really, the one player who makes the most sense is Pau Gasol, who has contenders all over the league lighting up his agent's phone. If the Rockets want to go small, then Ariza might fit, as some reports have suggested

    Status quo, it should be noted, is not an appealing option. That's because Houston already had cap-clearing deals sending out Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin in place, with no on-court assets in return, in an effort to accommodate Bosh. In the end, Houston may have to hope Minnesota hangs on to Love into the season, then they can dangle a Parsons-led package. It's a tough position for the Rockets, a product of bad luck, not bad design.


    link: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/stor...at-houston-rockets-options-chris-bosh-signing
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. IgotNext

    IgotNext Member

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    I thought parsons couldn't be traded this year on new contract
     
  3. recadna

    recadna Member

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    Pau is not coming (See DH12).

    So, basically we have no option. I repeat it again: Parson's third year option really bites us.
     
  4. duluth111222

    duluth111222 I.D.I.O.T

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    People need to keep this in mind. Morey's gamble didn't work out. But IMO it was a gamble worth take.
     
  5. mfastx

    mfastx Member

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    Paragraph on the Rockets details how and why exactly we are royally ****ed... not very optimistic but we'll see what happens.
     
  6. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Thanks, Manny, but really nothing in the article that we haven't discussed here. Damn, I'm depressed. :-(-
     
  7. conquistador#11

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    durant 2016, Griffin 2017, lebron 2018
     
  8. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    Yea, I know. Personally I hate matching the offer sheet for Parsons. I almost would rather gamble and let him go to Cuban and try to fill in the gap with good cost-saving alternatives. Yet, when Jordan Hill is getting 9 mill a year, you quickly realize there isn't a lot of cost-saving alternatives/bargains out there.
     
  9. Billionzz

    Billionzz Contributing Member

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    He can be traded in Dec. with his approval.
     
  10. ksny15

    ksny15 Member

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    I mean do we really have any moves besides matching Parsons to keep H&H from being pissed off? I can't think of any
     
  11. scolandry1

    scolandry1 Member

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    Morey has done an excellent job rebuilding the team with neither panicking (Pat Riley) nor tanking (you know who). Miami has no flexibility going forward, and their team will be mediocre, especially by giving Wade a big contract. Wade's contract is worse than giving Amar'e 100m in 2011.
     
  12. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    There is a slight glimmer of hope that the T-Wolves will hold out for a Cavalier package of Andrew Wiggins and Cleveland just refuses to deal him.

    Alas it is a pipe dream though - like Deckard, I am so bummed. I had a feeling that Lebron would make his decision today and I was so happy that he chose Cleveland as I felt that it cleared the way for Bosh to come here. All it did was clear the way for douchebag Riley to offer the max and 5 years to Bosh and screw us over.
     
  13. OremLK

    OremLK Member

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    Just go for a collection of smaller pieces which can effectively replace what Asik and Lin brought to the team. None of the big name guys are worth it and I'd like to actually have a bench.
     
  14. Fantasma Negro

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    Too bad Pau hates Dwight. Only option now it to trade for Josh Smith
     
  15. MFG16

    MFG16 Member

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    I read until it said "Love might already be gone" and immediately thought about Doc's tweets. It'll be interesting what Morey does in the next 24 hours. This organization can't throw away a year chasing another star and Morey knows it.
     
  16. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    Without guarantees from love regarding an extension? I doubt it.
     
  17. haydenfisher342

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  18. cdrive

    cdrive Contributing Member

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    Kazakhstanz, we are still better than Chicago, Dallas, The Heat, Cavs with Lebron, the Lakers, and NYC.

    Getting better than Portland, Spurs, OKC, Clips are still the priority. We're actually better right now than we were at the end of last year. Deadweight gone, superstars more gelled.

    Harden needs to emerge emerge EMERGE. Get emerged and emerge like you've never emerged before. Take all that insane talent and click it together on the D side.
     
  19. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    Click clack (the sound of a pistol being cocked)
     
  20. HardenWay

    HardenWay Member

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    Everyone ignoring that no team will trade a star for nothing. We have no valuable assets anymore.

    We have to accept that Parsons will get match and we have to get the right depth pieces.
     

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