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[ESPN Insider] Offseason Blueprint: Accessorizers (Rockets)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by wallyj12, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. wallyj12

    wallyj12 Member

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    In case anyone is interested in this Insider article..

    Offseason Blueprint: Accessorizers
    These teams can address specific needs through niche free agents or clever trades


    By Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher
    ESPN The Magazine


    Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty ImagesTrading for Chris Paul would be risky, but it could be a boon for the guard-needy Bobcats.

    ESPN Insider is breaking down what every team in the league could -- and should -- do during the most anticipated offseason in NBA history. Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard have separated the league into six groups based on everything from cap room to organizational philosophy. Next: the accessorizers -- the Bobcats, Rockets, Pacers, Thunder, Grizzlies and Bucks. Follow the whole series here.

    Charlotte Bobcats

    By Chris Broussard

    Objective: Build on last year's promising regular season by upgrading at the point guard spot. Try to keep Tyson Chandler, who can terminate his contract before June 30.

    Assets: Minimal cap room at best.

    The Plan: With terrific wings in Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson and a trio of solid, if not spectacular, bigs (Chandler, Nazr Mohammed and Theo Ratliff), the Bobcats are looking for a point guard. Their own free agent, Raymond Felton, is the best on the market, so they'll have to improve via trade. After the way Felton, who turned down a six-year, $40 million contract, was abused by Orlando's Jameer Nelson in the playoffs, Charlotte feels it needs an upgrade. Around draft time, the Bobcats tried to trade for Kirk Hinrich but lost out to Washington. Their dream would be to land Chris Paul, who's from North Carolina. In an ideal world, they'd also find a big who can play with his back to the basket, but those are few and far between.

    Alternative Advice: We certainly advocate going after Paul, but a more realistic scenario may be landing Monta Ellis from Golden State. Sacrifice the second part of the original objective and offer Chandler's expiring contract for Ellis to see if the Warriors will bite.

    Houston Rockets

    By Ric Bucher

    Objective: Acquire an All-Star player.

    Assets: $3.1 million trade exception

    The Plan: The first objective appears to be landing Chris Bosh, the ideal complement at power forward for Yao Ming, through a sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors. Bosh, sources say, is set on leaving Toronto but wants a maximum-salary contract. The Raptors, in turn, want some front-line toughness to complement defensively challenged forwards Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu. The Rockets can offer some combination of Shane Battier, Luis Scola, David Andersen, Chuck Hayes and Jordan Hill, all of whom are arguably tougher than anyone Toronto has at the moment.

    Alternative Advice: Acquiring Bosh at the max means their nucleus moving forward is Bosh, Trevor Ariza and Kevin Martin, with Yao's future uncertain because of his foot problems and a contract that expires next summer. That trio won't strike fear in any hearts nor does it possess the markings of a title contender. Neither Martin nor Bosh succeeded in previous stops as team leaders. Scola and Battier, meanwhile, filled those roles exceptionally well last season for a Rockets squad that remained competitive despite the absence of both Yao and Tracy McGrady. Targeting an All-Star is fine, but sacrificing assets and tying their financial wagon to an All-Star who couldn't lead his team to the playoffs is a risky proposition.

    Offering some of that toughness and veteran leadership to the Atlanta Hawks for Al Horford, who could be too pricey for Atlanta to keep if it re-signs Joe Johnson, is a less splashy move but could be more fiscally prudent with a new collective bargaining agreement around the corner. Another option is to wait and see if financial pressure forces the Utah Jazz or New Orleans Hornets to sacrifice their All-Star point guards, Deron Williams and Paul, respectively, and then pick one of them off.

    The bottom line: The Rockets aren't ready to contend, and their immediate future is wholly unknown until it's clear exactly how much Yao can give them and for how long he can do so. There's nothing gained by committing long term to anything less than a surefire cornerstone -- and Bosh is not one.


    Indiana Pacers

    By Chris Broussard

    Objective: Develop young talent while using a glut of expiring contracts to upgrade their roster or set the team up to have major cap room/flexibility in the summer of 2011.

    Assets: None.

    The Plan: Seven players (Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, T.J. Ford, Jeff Foster, Jamaal Tinsley, Solomon Jones and Josh McRoberts) have expiring contracts worth more than $45 million combined, meaning the Pacers are set up to have major cap flexibility. They could trade some of those guys this summer or at the February trade deadline.

    Whether through trades or exceptions, the Pacers want to upgrade the point guard position and add an athletic power forward to play next to center Roy Hibbert. Selecting the talented Paul George in the draft could make Dunleavy expendable, and Ford is certainly trade bait. Murphy was in demand at last year's deadline, and while he's currently penciled in as the starting power forward, he could also be had at the right price.

    Alternative Advice: The Pacers' problem ever since they ran out most everyone affiliated with The Malice in the Palace (Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Jackson) has been their lack of star power. Danny Granger is a fringe All-Star, but not a superstar. So let's make a splash -- or at least try to -- and offer Granger and Dunleavy to the Hornets for Chris Paul and James Posey. Dunleavy's expiring contract would save the Hornets more than $11 million next season, while they'd have an All-Star to build around in Granger. And because Granger is a New Orleans native, he would ease the blow of losing the popular Paul. Meanwhile, Paul would give Indiana its star to build around and would attract free agents next summer when the Pacers have major money. He can opt out of his deal in two years, though, so it could be risky.

    Oklahoma City Thunder

    By Ric Bucher

    Objective: Add size and toughness to the front line and 3-point shooting on the perimeter while staying under the cap.

    Assets: $14 million in cap room

    The Plan: GM Sam Presti utilized that cap space by taking the 18th pick and Daequan Cook the day before the draft from the cap-room hungry Miami Heat for the 32nd pick. He then dealt their two first-round picks, Nos. 21 and 26, to the Hornets for No. 11 pick Cole Aldrich and veteran swingman Morris Peterson. The two deals took roughly $9 million of cap space, but they netted OKC a coveted, young big man in Aldrich, who's been compared favorably to Joel Przybilla, and added perimeter shooting in Cook and Peterson. Even better, those two contracts expire at season's end.

    Alternative Advice: None needed. Presti recognizes that he has his superstar in Kevin Durant and, rather than swing for the fences with his assets, has continued to build a formidable squad, piece by shrewd piece. The Thunder should not only be better next season, but by trading Miami's 18th pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for a future first-round pick, they ensured they had the means of continuing to improve in the future.

    Memphis Grizzlies

    By Chris Broussard

    Objective: Re-sign restricted free agent Rudy Gay to a reasonable deal and strengthen the point guard position.

    Assets: None.

    The Plan: The Grizzlies have said they will match any offer Gay receives from another team. While Memphis certainly wants Gay back, don't expect that strategy to hold true in the unlikely event he gets a max offer. Anything around five years, $60 million should keep Gay in a Grizzlies uniform.

    Memphis did a solid job in the draft by adding Kansas swingman Xavier Henry to back up Gay (or perhaps replace him) and Maryland point guard Greivis Vasquez to back up Mike Conley. Henry also makes Ronnie Brewer, another restricted free agent, expendable. But after giving up a future first-round pick for him, the Grizzlies are likely to re-sign Brewer.

    While the slow-footed Vasquez has promise, the Grizzlies would like to upgrade at the point since Conley has failed to consistently display a starter's ability.

    Alternative Advice: Re-sign Gay up to $65 million. Let Brewer walk, since he can be replaced by Henry and Sam Young. Offer Luke Ridnour a multiyear deal worth $5 million per year and see if he can beat out Conley.

    Milwaukee Bucks

    By Ric Bucher

    Objective: Remain a playoff-caliber team without incurring the luxury tax.

    Assets: None

    The Plan: Dealing Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell to the Golden State Warriors for Corey Maggette protected the Bucks against the potential loss of their other scoring small forward, John Salmons. They dealt a future second-round pick for New Jersey Nets swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts. GM John Hammond is still hopeful of re-signing Salmons, who is opting out of the final year of his contract, and free-agent backup point guard Luke Ridnour. Already being roughly $6 million over the cap, Hammond would have to move Michael Redd and his $18.3 million contract that expires next summer for no more than $9 million in assets for any chance of making it all work.

    Assuming All-Star center Andrew Bogut recovers from his horrific elbow and finger injuries suffered at the end of the regular season, Milwaukee has an inside-outside tandem with Bogut and Brandon Jennings surrounded by an array of long, athletic wing players similar to the model Orlando built with Jameer Nelson, Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis.

    Alternative Advice: Hammond has a lot of confidence in coach Scott Skiles to incorporate Maggette and Douglas-Roberts, two high-maintenance personalities based on sources with their previous teams. On paper, Maggette is a far more dynamic scorer than Salmons, but maintaining that effectiveness playing with Bogut and Jennings will be a challenge. The Bucks were a top-10 defensive team, tying Boston in defensive field-goal percentage during the regular season, and defense never has been a strength of Maggette's. With such a risky move, don't be afraid to scrap it if things aren't working and be prepared to put an unhappy Maggette on the bench for long stretches if necessary.

    Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher are senior writers for ESPN The Magazine.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    So Bucher says since we don't know what the future holds regarding Yao, we should just sit around not go after elite talent!? ok... :confused:
     
  3. DCHAMP

    DCHAMP Member

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    wow rich bucer and chris brousard always report things for the sake of getting attention while they really dont know what they are talking about nor do they know what is really happening
     
  4. cjtaylorpt

    cjtaylorpt Member

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    "Shane Battier, Luis Scola, David Andersen, Chuck Hayes and Jordan Hill, all of whom are arguably tougher than anyone Toronto has at the moment."

    I lol'd
     
  5. The_Yoyo

    The_Yoyo Member

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    scola could not be moved in a deal involving bosh unless he is signed to a max deal and traded for bosh.

    as a restricted free agent he cant be signed and traded as a package
     
  6. HeyDude

    HeyDude Member

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    He keeps mentioning Scola and Battier as the leaders etc but never once does he mention Brooks in the entire article, when he clearly was the best Rocket last year, and maybe even our best player in the post season the year before...
     
  7. Mr.Scary

    Mr.Scary Member

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    I laughed too. David Anderson and tough should never be together.
     
  8. BasketballReasons

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    LOL @ Brooks getting no love. Kid was MiP last year people..
     
  9. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

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    between the last 2 comments proves that you can say pretty much anything you want in these stupid articles even if it isnt true.

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  10. quinnolivarez

    quinnolivarez Member

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    The logic behind Bucher and Broussard's argument is a little off-base.

    First, they are right that Bosh, Martin and Ariza have not lead their former teams to success as the number 1 option, but when teamed up, they are sure to make a big impact. Bosh hasn't had more than 1 or 2 guys on his squad to help him out, and Martin's 20-some-odd games here were his first taste of that. The supplemental talent on this team is undervalued - Jeffries is a great stopper, Budinger is a great scorer, Lowry is a great facilitator / initiator on offense and a solid defender at the point. A lot of teams who may make the playoffs but not perform well are typically too one-dimensional (a bunch of solid defensive players but no offense [Chicago], a bunch of scorers but no defense [Phoenix nearly every year]), but Houston has a lot of diversity in their starting lineup and on the bench.

    Second, they misunderstand how much talent would exactly have to be given up, plus they don't consider the possibility of a buy-out. A Bosh sign-and-trade will almost undoubtedly include stuff like Battier, Jeffries (both add defense to the Raptors and are 2011 expiring deals), and then a young guy (ie Taylor, Hill or Budinger, but not 2/3). That's not a total sacrifice. Sure, the Raps will want some picks too, but we will get to keep our core - this is primarily because the other teams on the market for Bosh really dont' have assets.
     
  11. UTAllTheWay

    UTAllTheWay Member

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    Yeah, I don't really understand what his deal is.

    Right now, the Rockets are tied to Yao's future. They have some solid young players but they can't win a championship on their own. They need a big star to help carry the weight.

    Yao could supply that short-term, but his health is a major concern, so tying it onto him would be a bad, bad decision.

    Giving up players like Luis Scola, David Andersen, Chuck Hayes, and Shane Battier for Bosh would not hurt the Rockets in the long-term... at all. Scola isn't exactly young, Andersen is Andersen, Chuck Hayes is a decent role player but nothing more, and Shane Battier is losing a step every season.

    Giving up Jordan Hill would hurt a little bit... but that's why they drafted Patrick Patterson. The only person the Rockets could give up that would hurt them quite a bit is Aaron Brooks, but that might be something I'm willing to do.

    I understand his thought process. Pinning your future NBA Championship hopes on Trevor Ariza, Kevin Martin, and Chris Bosh probably isn't the best of ideas... but it's a lot better than pinning your future on Yao Ming, which the Rockets have tried before.
     
  12. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    wow, no love at all for brooks. and that lineup, even without yao, should strike fear in a lot of western conference teams.
     
  13. 757

    757 Member

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    I don't really agree with their plan of attack, but they make a good point. Everything hinges on Yao's health and his contribution in limited minutes. In the thread with the poll asking if you would be said if we didn't get Bosh, one thing I saw many people post was "If Yao is healthy..." Will Yao be healthy? No one knows. If he is, then we are very close to being contenders. If not, then I don't know how much adding a top FA will help us. It's just quite unfortunate that Yao has been plagued by these injuries his whole career. :( I can't see post-injury Yao being Yao from a couple of years ago, when he dominated. Please, please prove me wrong big man!
     
  14. Aleron

    Aleron Member

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    There's a funny thing about being a team leader.

    If I wrote an article in 2007, I could have written that Kobe has never succeeded as a team leader, and even today I could write that he shoots about 25% in title deciders.

    It really depends which factors I want to use.
     
  15. Charles Jones

    Charles Jones Member

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    this is exactly what i think
     
  16. DaGreatest

    DaGreatest Member

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    same here lol I was like "David Anderson is tuff?" lol
     
  17. Prince

    Prince Member

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    Agree about Bosh, he's not the WAN.
     
  18. Corpusfan

    Corpusfan Member

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    This analysis doesn't mention the Rockets' great depth. It only focuses on the "nucleus" of Martin, Brooks and Ariza.

    It assumes Yao won't be around much longer. I'd assume he will be.

    It mentions a group of players some combination of whom might be used in a sign-and-trade, then later talks as if all of them will be gone. That's highly unlikely. So some of those players - maybe Scola, maybe Battier, maybe Hill - would remain with the team. That makes a significant difference, especially because some of those players provide the leadership mentioned in the analysis.

    It doesn't take into account any other roster moves Morey could make this summer.

    It doesn't take into account the development of Hill or Patterson.

    This analysis is sloppy. It depicts a much weaker team than the one that will actually exist.
     
  19. Matt78777

    Matt78777 Member

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    Bucher and Broussard write the worst articles on ESPN, imho.

    Everything hinges on Yao's health, good point (but obvious).

    DA is not tough, someone didn't do their homework.

    How exactly were Bosh and Martin supposed to lead their teams in the playoffs other than play good basketball? I hate it when star players unfairly get blamed for their teammates sucking. Was Bosh supposed to coax an all star season out of Juan Dixon?

    If we sign Bosh, we have two legit all stars in him and Yao, borderline in Martin and to a lesser extent Brooks, along with glue guy in Ariza plus depth. That's a scary team with very few holes in my book.

    And without Yao? I still think we are VERY good.
     
  20. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    weren't they in a playoff spot before his face got broke?
     

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