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Robert Horry dishes on the Barkley trade and why it didn't make sense for the Rockets

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by redhotrox, Jun 8, 2015.

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Should the Rockets have made the 1996 trade for Charles Barkley?

  1. Yes - liked it when it happened and still think it was a good trade

    62 vote(s)
    30.2%
  2. No - disliked it when it happened and still think it was a bad trade

    81 vote(s)
    39.5%
  3. Yes - disliked it when it happened but now think it was a good trade

    2 vote(s)
    1.0%
  4. No - liked it what it happened but now think it was a bad trade

    60 vote(s)
    29.3%
  1. tanviraman

    tanviraman Contributing Member

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    Why do people always say that? Cassell and Drextler were not healthy in that series and it was a lot closer than a sweep. 3 close games. The Spurs never defended their title and won back to back, why didn't they just trade ginobli or Bowen for a star? Cassell could have been a rockets pg for his whole career and that's why that trade was not good. It would have only been good if we won one NBA championship. Making it to the WCFs, and losing in the first round 2 years in a row after, and then completely sucking does not make that trade good.
     
  2. rdsgonzo13

    rdsgonzo13 Contributing Member

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    Shawn Kemp never scored on Hakeem at will. He struggled mightily against Hakeem like he did against Mutombo in the famous playoff series.

    Barkley was not an impactful player in the 97 Series against Seattle. He just was not. He was not a good defensive player at all (lazy and undersized) and the only times we controlled Kemp was when Hakeem switched over to him.

    The biggest difference truthfully in the 97 series win against Seattle was unconscious 3 point shooting from Matt Maloney along with the team being much healthier in 1997 than 1996 (as Cassell notes in the video 4 Rockets had major surgeries in 1996).

    Also and perhaps most importantly 1996 was the peak of the mid 90's Sonics teams. The 1997 Sonics team was not as good as the 1996 Sonics team.

    Horry is spot on when he says the better play was to sign Kevin Willis. The team desperately needed help at PF as their only options back then were Chucky Brown and Pete Chilcutt, 2 below average players with little Brawn.

    Had they signed Willis, they would have added a lot more muscle and defense without sacrificing the ability to create that Cassell afforded them, the valuable team defense Horry provided and the incredibly clutch shooting that Cassell and Horry brought them.

    With Barkley, they added low post scoring which they did not need (Hakeem was a FAR more efficient and clutch version of Barkley in the post) and lost a ton defensively and the team chemistry went from excellent to problematic.

    It was a very poor trade. You build a great team not by adding as many great players as you can, but as many complementary skillsets as you can.

    The Horry/Cassell tandem won 2 titles in 3 years. The Barkley Rockets never made the Finals in 3 years and were a joke in 1998 when they barely even made the playoffs. So you can't only look at how they did vs. Seattle, particularly if you aren't going to closely look at context.
     
  3. tycoonchip

    tycoonchip Member

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    We gave up too much in that trade. Yes we did need a power forward that could stop Kemp but that is where we needed to add to the nucleus not switch it up. Horry, Sam, Elie, Clyde, Dream and even Kenny were that nucleus. Anyone and everyone was expendable. This is where I hope the Rockets learn from that lesson this offseason. We're so desperate to make a big 3 that I hope we do not trade too much of our current nucleus to make it happen.
     
  4. Asian Sensation

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    In 96 Hakeem struggled against Kemp there's no denying that. kemp was too quick inside and he was able to bring out Hakeem even further with his midrange jumper. It also didn't help the fact that there was no illegal defense so and Hakeem also had to come out even further with Perkins ability to hit the 3. He was in no mans land quite often in that series. The rebounding numbers would back that up. Kemp put up nearly 22 and 14 in that series. Not only was he scoring when he wanted too he was quickest to the boards with Dream out of position. Compare that to Olajuwon's 18 and 9.75. Not quite the Dream numbers we're used to.

    Barkley's ability to box out and rebound while slowing Kemp down was huge for us. We had the most success with Barkley on Kemp and then Hakeem coming over from the weak side. He was the hungriest out of the Big 3 for a ring and he put up 19 ppg and nearly 14 rebounds per game that series. Not bad for a "lazy" and "undersized" 33 year old. The bottom line is we beat the Sonics which was our main mission for signing Barkley. We were totally supposed to go to the Finals that year and defeat the Bulls and weaken how history views their Dynasty.
     
  5. Zboy

    Zboy Contributing Member

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    Correct.

    Sample....

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NhC3ULsfoK0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Kemp used to have a lot of problem with Hakeem.

    In the 97 series, when the Sonics had a chance to tie or win the game on last second shot, they went with Kemp in the post. Since it was the last play of the game, Hakeem told Barkley he will play Kemp one on one.

    Kemp made his post move and went up for the shot and was rejected by Hakeem.

    Kemp got most of his points on the PFs of the Rockets. Against Hakeem, his best option was the jumper.
     
  6. Asian Sensation

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    Adding role players is easy especially if your name is Morey. This past seasons team is probably my 3rd or 4th favorite Rockets team of all time but we Totally could've used a 3rd "superstar". We gave up what we had to in order better our chances of making it happen. I'd do the same thing thing all over again if we could land a legit 3rd guy at the expense of Bev, Dmo and Ariza and a pick for example to better our chances of defeating the Warriors.
     
  7. Asian Sensation

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    To be fair Kemp was only like 22 or 23 in 93 and by that time Hakeem was at his peak or very near it. Barkley totally helped Hakeem get back to being himself and not caught in no mans land away from the paint defensively. The play your talking about where Hakeem rejected Kemp and finally eliminated the Sonics is the same play I was thinking of and the exclamation dunk. Hakeem never looked so relieved to finally put the Sonics away.
     
  8. rdsgonzo13

    rdsgonzo13 Contributing Member

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    Kemp was basically as effective in the 97 series as he was the 96 series. So Barkley didn't really help to slow him down. His #'s were only slighty down.

    Kemp in 1997 btw was not the same player as he was in 1996. 1996 was the absolute peak of Shawn Kemp's career. He was traded after the HOuston series for Vin Baker. Here's a link to some of the issues -

    http://articles.latimes.com/1997/sep/26/sports/sp-36358

    Barkley shot 41.5% against Seattle in the 97 series from the Field and 26% from 3 on 23 attempts. He was not efficient at all offensively against the taller, younger, much more athletic Kemp.

    Hakeem and Drexler clearly had much more effective series in 97 than did Sir Charles and the X factor truly was Maloney spreading the floor and draining back breaking 3's. Maloney was a scrub, but that series was his shining moment and his 15 minutes of fame. He was amazing.
     
  9. Asian Sensation

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    Why was Hakeem so much more effective a year later against the same team basically?

    Had we not traded for Barkley and rolled out the same team as 96 in 1997 even with a completely healthy Cassell do you think we would've advanced past Seattle? How does the amazing Matt Maloney fit into the picture with a healthy Cassell? Was Kevin Willis going to be the answer to us getting by Seattle?
     
  10. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    The problem with the Sonics was Gary Payton not Shawn Kemp.
     
  11. PJ86

    PJ86 Member

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    There were other options besides Barkley to explore, which would've meant we could've at least kept our future PG in Cassell. If you trade for a PF, I get getting rid of Horry, but Cassell was just downright stupid. We didn't get a decent PG back until Francis was drafted. The impact of that trade was much more negative than it seems at first sight.
     
  12. RocketsMAN!

    RocketsMAN! Member

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    I think CD could have done more to bolster the bench to bring in the complementary guys necessary to surround Dream,Clyde, and Charles, but CD was not Morey.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    Because the Rockets gambled everything on a 1-2 year window. Rudy, CD, and Les decided better to go for it all in 1997(and maybe 1998 although injuries killed any chance of that) while Dream and Clyde still had something left in the tank than to keep the same core(only with Price or Maloney replacing Kenny Smith) that just got swept by Seattle in the 2nd round and hope things worked out differently.

    We were not going to beat Seattle without Barkley. We couldn't even win a single game against them for the better part of 2 1/2 years. Yes, Games 2, 3, and 4 in 1996 were all incredibly close and could've gone either way, but the bottom line is they didn't. We could not beat them. Ever. Barkley's presence on this team changed all of that. The problem was just as we finally overcame the Sonics, along came the Jazz with an unbelievable amount of depth(Osterfat, Carr, Anderson, Russell, Eisley) and Malone having a MVP season who finally overcame the Rockets.

    Like I said, the real problem was not gambling it all on 1 or 2 more shots at the title. It was the aftermath of that. Trading for Pippen was another gamble that didn't pan out. No problem. It was worth a try. But then dealing him for a bunch of bench guys and scrubs and resigning one of them(Cato) to an insane $42 million contract off of one preseason game didn't help. Signing Mo Taylor to a big contract didn't help either. Neither did handing out long-term deals to Shandon Anderson, Matt Maloney, or Moochie Norris(while letting James Posey walk). Or trading for a washed up Glen Rice. Or trading 3 draft picks for Eddie Griffin. Or passing up Rashard Lewis in the draft 3 times.

    That period of 1999-2003 was downright pathetic with regards to personnel moves. The lone bright spot was Yao and that was just sheer luck with the ping pong balls. Rudy left such a mess in his wake that it took the Rockets front office 4 years to finally rebuild a championship contender with quality depth(which injuries then promptly derailed). In fairness, some of the blame also falls on Les' shoulders. He never allowed the franchise to tank for a couple years in order to get some high lottery picks. Instead we saw those Francis-Mobley teams struggling to win 40+ games which clearly wasn't even close to good enough to sniff the 8th seed in the West.
     
  14. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    My memory is fading a bit, but the original proposal to acquire Barkley was Horry and Cassell. It did not include Chucky Brown and Mark Bryant.

    The Rockets were accused by the NBA of tampering, because Rudy T admitted on TV in a hushed tone that they were after Charles Barkley.


    The deal then had to be rearranged. Losing Brown hurt our defense. Bryant's value was low, because he was injured for the most part in his brief time as a Houston Rocket.

    I do agree that Morey shouldn't give up too much to get a Big 3 unit.
     
  15. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    Ding, Ding, Ding! Rep for you.
     
  16. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    Barkley's presence made it easier for Maloney to knock more shots. There is no doubt though that Gary Payton was a very dangerous player against us.
     
  17. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    You guys need to look at Barkley's career against Seattle... Phoenix included.

    As bad as the Rockets were against Seattle... Seattle could never guard/stop/contain Barkley (some of his BEST career playoff games came against them... at a time when the Rockets could never beat them).

    Even a shell of his former self in 1997 had this stat line in the pivotal road game 4 that pretty much guaranteed the series win:
    39 min 26 points 18 rebounds (7 offensive) 2 turnovers

    By comparison, Hakeem only had 11 points (but also 12 rebs and 9 assists). The Rockets would have NEVER won that sort of game in years past, without the improved spacing (and eventual 3 point shooting) and rebounding provided by Barkley.
     
  18. dc rock

    dc rock Contributing Member

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    Should have went after Chris Gatling, like I suggested to Dawson in a fax.
     
  19. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Hakeem wasn't a Sam fan... Sam did take a lot of shots when Hakeem was open in the post.

    Its an underrated part of why he was "expendable" that never really gets talked about.

    And there was no way the Rockets were going to go against Hakeem's wishes... Hakeem also wasn't going to waste the last couple of years of his prime playing for a team that was essentially rebuilding around Cassel/Horry (who would never have been able to "carry" a team, ever).
     
  20. Centerville

    Centerville Member

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    The Rockets were rightly in win-now mode and it was a good trade. I was really sick of losing to Seattle. I was sick of hearing how the Rockets wouldn't have won their rings if Seattle hadn't choked in the first round in '94 and '95.

    So the trade was worth it to me just for the WCSF win against the Sonics, though it would certainly have been sweeter if they'd made it past the Jazz to face the Bulls in the Finals.

    And hell, I also loved the Francis-Mobley Rockets,* and after migraine-induced suckage, the Yao Ming Rockets, and ultimately the Ming-McGrady Rockets. None of it happens the same way if we don't move Sam and Horry, and there's no way to tell if it would have been better or worse.

    * The Rockets acquired some other prominent scrub somewhere in there that was a direct result of the Barkley trade, but I've had that incident surgically removed from my memory.
     

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