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How do you build around the Rockets "core"?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by sydmill, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. sydmill

    sydmill Member

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    So many questions will be answered about the Rockets' future this season as they learn about what they have in Green, Sengun, Garuba and Christopher and they learn more about KPJ, KMart, Wood, Tate, Thomas and Brooks. For the purposes of this discussion I am listing what I believe to be the Rockets core and a brief description of their roles below. Feel free to change any of this as it is obviously not gospel. Regardless, the question is what piece or pieces (other than time of course) do the Rockets need for them to be able to put a competitive Roster and, eventually, a contender on the floor*. I realize that the goal isnt necessarily to be good now but I dont think teams become contenders by accident. It takes the foresight to plan for the next possible moves. This is a thread for that.

    1. Wood: Could see him as the best player on the next .500 Rockets team and then the 2nd or 3rd best on an eventual contender or could see him moved at the deadline or next summer. One of the big questions this season will (hopefully) provide an answer to for the Rockets.

    2. KPJ: The highest variance on the team. Could mature into a superstar or could go Royce White and be out of the league. I think he ends up a 20/6/6 guy being a high quality #2 on a contender.

    3. Green: We are all hoping that he becomes the superstar he is projected to be. I am sure there will be ups and downs for him as a rookie but his becoming an efficient 25 ppg type scorer is THE #1 thing for the Rockets ultimate title hopes at this point.

    4. Martin: If he can consistently be the guy that he was the final month of last season then I think he slots in as a rotation piece with possible starter upside at the 3. I think he can end up being a Shawn Marion lite type of guy.

    5. Tate: Ultimate "glue guy". Has the flexibility to soak up minutes at the 3/4 and slow down opposing frontcourt players while being opportunistic on offense.

    6. Christopher: I am one of the few that liked the Christopher pick. I think he will be a 6th man of the year candidate as scoring punch of the bench. If his jumper improves I see him as a guy that plays in the mold of a Paul Pierce.

    7. Garuba: I think he will end up being this generation's Charles Oakley or Kurt Thomas. Hard nosed defender whose offense is good enough to keep him on the floor.

    8. Sengun: Sengun is another guy whose ultimate role is variable. I could see him as an Enes Kanter type who bullies opposing second units or as a Domantas Sabonis starter that averages 20/12.

    9. Thomas: Not sure he will even make the team in this rebuilding year but since he is on the roster and is under team control until 2024 I will include him. Another role player who can potentially D up either guard spot and hit catch and shoot jumpers playing off of more talented teammates.

    10. Brooks: Pretty much the same as Thomas though he has less positional flexibility and is strictly a 2. He will probably end up on another team since the Rockets can really only offer him a 2 way deal and he has likely shown enough to get a roster spot elsewhere as a sniper off the bench.

    So that leaves the "core" Roster below. What spots do the Rockets have moving forward that might need filling and from what type of players? Obviously this is all very fluid but with near future draft picks as well as salary cap space the Rockets have the ability to add talent to this core. The draft and free agency are pretty much done so during this in between time put together your plan wannabe GMs!

    1- KPJ/Thomas?
    2 - Green/Christopher/Brooks?
    3 - Tate/Martin or Martin/Tate
    4 - Wood/Sengun/Garuba
    5 - Wood/Sengun/Garuba


    * Target for competitive team is 2024 season.
     
  2. Dobbizzle

    Dobbizzle Member

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    Too early to say. We actually don't know how many of these youngsters will pan out or not. Ask again after the season, by then we'll at least have an idea if any of these guys are definite keepers and which are still works in progress. If we hit on 2/3 of them as starters by the end of the season, that's a core we can build around. At that point we can evaluate either how long the others will take to get there, or if they're duds. Then we'll know what we need to add.
     
  3. sydmill

    sydmill Member

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    But thats not much fun is it?
     
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  4. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    We should have a good idea of the future by the all star game. Let's have fun watching them grow.
     
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  5. sydmill

    sydmill Member

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    Rockets roster for playoff run in 2024 (I left a few spots for veterans to fill in as appropriate):

    1: KPJ (24 years old)/Kennedy Chandler (22)
    2: Green (22)/Christopher (22)
    3: AJ Griffin (22)/Tate (29)/Martin (23)
    4: Garuba (22)/Tate/Martin
    5: Sengun (21)/Ibou Badji (23)

    Rockets '22 FRP: AJ Griffin - 6'6''/210 with a 7' wingspan at 18 years old. He has the prototype build for an NBA wing. Highly athletic with NBA bloodlines (Adrian Griffin is his dad). This kid is going to blow it up at Duke. Only reason he falls to the Rockets is the superstar power of Holmgren/Banchero /Duren/Hardy. Rockets might need to move up using some Brooklyn ammo but this kid puts finishes the rebuild.

    Miami '22 FRP: Kennedy Chandler - Pass first point guard in the mold of TJ Ford. Would be a great change of pace/get everyone involved PG off the bench behind KPJ.

    '22 SRP acquired via trade of House: Ibou Badji - 7'1'' with a 7'8'' wingspan this is a guy you keep near the rim to shut down the lane. Great athlete for a guy that big, his only offense is finishing lobs. Thats all he needs to do backing up Sengun.
     
    #5 sydmill, Aug 12, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  6. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    the first game of the season will tell us a lot about these Rockets
     
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  7. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I'm not sure we have a core yet--at least the kind of core we want as that (in my mind at least) goes beyond individual skills to culture, resilience, and team psychology. That takes some time and even a group of great basketball players may find it difficult to achieve. I do like what I see from the rookies so far though. They've made it so you can almost imagine it happening. We'll see if they're on a good path to pulling it off within the next couple of years.
     
  8. D-rock

    D-rock Member

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    Players AND coaching staff.
     
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  9. kiwirocketsfan

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    I think Wood is touch and go because of his attitude. I think he might not be cool with rookies coming in and getting the attention and the ball. If he starts to murmur, he'd be gone by lunchtime if I was the GM.

    If Wood and Wall are cool with the youth movement and embrace they aren't the 'man' and the future, I'd be ok keeping them around for now, especially Wall.
     
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  10. Texanasiafan

    Texanasiafan Member

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    Maybe the next coach of the Rockets will tell us more.
     
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  11. Jalen Green OnlyFan

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    Does Wood have an attitude? He’s always seemed like a positive dude to me. Loved the “you’re a casual” call out to Shaq.

    Wasup with so many of us giving up on him? He’s only 25 and should be given a chance before deciding on moving on from him.

    He came here to win with Harden and was taken for a ride.
     
  12. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    They aren't going to make the playoffs without a single guy over 25. Veteran presence is important. The Rockets need to aquire or keep at least one veteran presence who has some playoff experience.
     
    #12 fchowd0311, Aug 12, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  13. kiwirocketsfan

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    FWIW, grain of salt etc.

    "I think Wood's incredibly talented, we know the numbers," Russillo said. "I think he's a tough guy to play with. I think he's a tough guy to have around... I think he's kind of a tough teammate. I'm talking about the locker room stuff, doesn't get the ball enough, shaking his head in the timeout, making sure everybody knows that he's pissed, you know. That kind of stuff."
     
  14. kiwirocketsfan

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    This is why I'm keen to keep EGo around.
     
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  15. fchowd0311

    fchowd0311 Contributing Member

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    I've noticed that he is aggressive about wanting the ball. That can be a good thing on a team like last season's as he probably was our most efficient scorer. But this season there is a small possibility a 21(KPJ) year old or a 19 year old(Green) could upend him as the most effective scorer on the team and I'm wondering how he handles it.
     
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  16. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    Who knows…except for one exceptionally talented general manager of the Houston Rockets
     
  17. Kevooooo

    Kevooooo Member

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    Dream scenario that I will go into this season hoping for:

    Wall and Wood have all star seasons;
    Everyone of our sophomores improves noticeably;
    Green immediately makes an impact;
    The other first round picks perform well enough;
    And we actually compete this year. We turn into one of those hard-nosed Pistons-like team of the early 2000s and we shock the league.

    Then, going forward after Wall’s contract expires, we pursue a top FA or two and resign our young guys off their rookie contracts.

    Even in our bad years I would always watch games with the hope of a miracle. The team that came back from the bottom. The record setters. Can’t make history if you don’t try.
     
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  18. tycoonchip

    tycoonchip Tilman has Aids!
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    Let's see what happens this season. Depending on how well kpj inproves I see us building around Wood KpJ and Green. The three of them should be able to get us at least into the playoffs this year. This team reminds me alot of the 90's lakers. I think in 3 years this team becomes a dynasty if Tillman can pay for it.
     
  19. theDude

    theDude Contributing Member

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    I like the optimism, but I would be extremely surprised to see KPJ in that category. If that happens, we might be making the playoffs.
     
  20. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    I'm leaning towards keeping Wood because Green's scoring is ahead of schedule. I can totally see them developing an excellent PnR game (with KPJ too) and that opens up a lot of options for us in a tough playoff series where you need buckets against the most intense of defenses. Wood and Green can both get points inside and outside while Green is already a below average mid range shooter and could improve.

    Wood is not a proven commodity, I don't know why people think we will get full value from him now. His value is not at its highest right now at all. His value will be highest when he puts on a bit of muscle and has a healthy season putting up at least 18/8 with good defense. It's perfect that he needs a year or two to perfect his game.

    My only advice would be to extend him rather than wait to have to compete with the market. He's at $14m in his final season, a bump to $18m is very cap-manageable for someone who looks like he could be your 3rd or at worst 4th best player on a championship team. Wall and Gordon's contracts come off the books (near $60m) when Wood is an FA anyway. The kids are not eligible for a bump for 3 years.

    It is not easy to find a piece like that if he's healthy. If Green becomes a clear #1, then we essentially have to hope for just one of Sengun, KPJ, Christopher, KJ Martin, Tate to become a 2nd star and another to be an All Star. If you take into consideration that we have better future picks than most teams and guaranteed max cap space in - at most - 2023 then we need to start thinking about this team differently.

    Wood will be at his best when he's 30 imo. If the Rockets don't see him as part of their plans, then trade him for a 2022 pick right now and let this team win as many as they can, I doubt they hit 35 wins without Wood. Combined with the pick we got from Wood and swap rights with Brooklyn, we are in a good position to gran one more major piece before aiming for wins, wins, wins and of course there are going to be so many ups and downs. They're so young and we're only seeing their game right now, but personalities and fitness will come into it.
     
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