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The 4-Year Rebuild Cycle

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by HI Mana, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. sydmill

    sydmill Member

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    20-21: Rebuild begins. Trade vets who are in their primes for younger players with potential. Look for guys who will be in their primes in 3-5 years.
    21-22: Incorporate your new top 4 pick who shows potential to be a top player. Continue to develop young players. Compete but fall short of playoffs.
    22-23: Add a mid lottery pick and late first for depth/shore up weaknesses. Hopefully trade Wall and/or Gordon for a foundational vet. Make playoffs.
    23-24: Window for contention opens

    For this timeline the Rockets are looking good. The only holdover from our contending teams is Gordon (who would also have likely been traded if not for the injury). I think Wood, KPJ, Tate and KMart are all guys who fit as guys who will still be in their prime in 3-5 seasons. KPJ and KMart may still be improving in that timeframe while there is an argument that Wood and Tate will be on the decline by then. Regardless, these 4 appear to be potential keepers as rotation players on a good team by 23-24.
     
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  2. HI Mana

    HI Mana Member

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    Say what you will about the Tilman Ownership Era, but if there is one thing that I believe they are doing correctly is fostering good will with players and player agents during these down times. They sign-and-traded Austin Rivers to the Knicks after he played here for two years on minimum deals. They traded Harden, PJ and Oladipo to their preferred destinations, guaranteed DeMarcus Cousins' contract before they waived him, and waived Ben McLemore to let him catch on with a contender.

    I think it will be interesting to see what they end up doing with Olynyk. As someone who thought Tilman was going to buy him out immediately to save on his minutes played incentives, his play has been an absolute revelation. He's the very definition of guys that the Rockets should be trying to collect during their rebuild; vets who are still wiling to play hard, and speeding along development of the young guys by being competent rotation players, even if the team as a whole does not ultimately win.

    One last comment as to how the Rockets are better positioned than most of the teams that I had mentioned, because they have a strong young core of Wood/Porter/Tate/Martin...

    Would you rather have those four, or:

    A) A core of a 23 year old player averaging 19ppg, 3 more players all under 30, each averaging greater than 18 ppg, a 22-year old center averaging a double double and over 1 steal and 1 block per game, 2 more rotation players under 25 each shooting over 45% from the 3 point line, and a former top-10 pick big man who had just turned 21 developing on the bench?

    B) A core of a 26-year old future HOF center averaging 21-10, a 20-year old future HOF rookie PG, a former ROY averaging 18 on 40% shooting from 3, and a 20-year old top 10 pick who would start averaging 20 per game in the very next year?

    I really like Chris Wood. He is not going to be better than Pau Gasol in his prime. KPJ making it to Monta Ellis's level as a borderline all-star would have to be considered a resounding success. And keep in mind, both of these cores (which to me look far better than what the Rockets have right now) still took 4 years to make the playoffs again.
     
  3. DonatelloLimestone

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    I agree with you and thats why my disappointment with the premier years of the “tilman era” ripe to at least take a shot at the title reasonably doesn’t plague me from seeing the silver linings and hope in the future. Once the lottery happens and we move on to our new course, I expect many of us to look forward but as of now with our games essentially meaningless outside of hoping for the L it will pile on how we got here, which the trajectory was changed with tillman.

    But as you mentioned, our best hope is that he is learning as an organization that you don’t have the same bullying leverage you would as an owner of a normal business and these players are our partners. So With cousins, austin, tucker hopefully the agents see we’re trying to learn from the mistakes of the first few years of haggling and tillman finally heeded his own advice, to shut up and listen.

    I also agree with you on Kelly. When we got oladipo and seemed to prioritize expiring contracts, I thought it was just tillman being tillman once again. Jokes on us, just like his gimmicks of even getting a Brooklyn 21 trade swap or ‘paying’ 5 million for a late 2nd rounder, just headlines for casuals to point at that are essentially blowing smoke. But Kelly has been a pleasant surprise. Avery also has the right mentality too and they can bring us some of that heat mentality and he has already mentioned he’s focusing on helping developing the young guys. Ultimate pro. Kelly has been able to showcase how much more he can really do and seems like he’d damn well fit on any team with shooting, tenancity, and passing awareness too. I hope we can keep him, but he’s playing his way to a high contract that we aren’t really known for paying. Or he could possibly even go like Harrell and take a mid level to play for a winner if someone doesn’t show him the money. I hope he enjoys the opportunity to showcase here and I’d welcome him back.

    As far as the cores and the stats, I don’t think its so linear and each team and skill set is built differently. Basketball is too much about cohesiveness that can change the tracks. Culture matters. Will we invest in a proper player development scene like Miami or spurs have done? Are we willing to pay for those unseen talents that demand a premium in this league but don’t make the headlines? Are we able to establish that culture to let these people flourish. Remember you can throw out Manu and Tony Parker’s stats or even Timmy d, but you wouldn’t see what makes them brew into a winner.

    So its tough to say how its going to play out, so far Tillman’s methods even haggling himself with coaches contracts were a major fail. Has he learned to properly delegate? I don’t mind giving new people are shot like morey got a shot, but hiring a rookie GM/Coach(both at half the salaries of someone notable) wasn’t the right move if they were trtying to still compete this year, but can they learn at this point and we have good assets. I don’t know woods potential, i know he can be a part of a winning team with the right system he’s got special talent. KPJ as well has the talent, the instinct, the vision. He’s already got one strike in this league but has bounced back nicely. What I like about him is each time he interviews he keeps talking about what he can do better and has that growth mindset, same with Wood. Tate came the hard Patrick Beverly way to the nba and it shows, I love it and think he can fit any team/player. KMJ plays big, plays tough, plays physical. If he gets his 3 consistent then he can also be a great role player too and you really need those to make a team cohesive.
     
  4. DonkeyMagic

    DonkeyMagic Contributing Member
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    You guys are cute. Prepare for disappointment for a long time. Only dumb luck could save this team. But on a positive note, there is a lot of dumb around this team.
     
  5. Le$$

    Le$$ Member

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    Ya he will always try to dodge the trade deadline by a self injury but he is just injury prone. When hes healthy he can be a great sharp shooter.
    He was with Pelicans for 5 seasons, now 5 with Rockets, and id assume he will be gone this summer tbh.

    Somebody going to get him to bolster there playoff team, id assume mavericks would be a good place for him, he would not have to leave texas, and probably could just retire after his 2 years are up, his last year is not guarnteed, so he could just get waived into retirement. They probably dont want to resign Tim Hardway at more money and Gordon would fill his role ok, for what price they save by not retaining Tim.

    Powell at Center is kinda expendable with his production, but he not getting the mins there, he could be lot better starting in Houston next to Wood, if rockets do get Cade, Green or Suggs.
     
  6. duluth111222

    duluth111222 I.D.I.O.T

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    So we suck for two years to get top picks. If we do get lucky and end up drafting the right players, it’ll at least take them a year or two to get used to NBA.

    And by the time they are ready to take over? Yep, 4 years or more.
     
  7. Corrosion

    Corrosion Member

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    I don't think this team is as far away as many of you believe.

    They have some god parts .... Wood , Porter , Martin & Tate - maybe add Brooks & Sterling Brown to that list of keepers. That's a good start.
    You get lucky and keep this years draft pick and pick early again next year to add to the above and you should have a solid rotation.

    What they don't have is a lead dog .... Wall just isn't that guy and he costs them 32% of the cap to be a chucker.

    Then there's EG eating up another 13% of the cap.

    Both of them expire in the same year .... They won't finish the 22/23 season with the Rockets. They'll be gone by the deadline and that's the Rockets big opportunity to add a top quality talent to an already pretty solid team.

    We're a year and a half away ..... even without this years draft pick. Hitting on this years and next years draft picks is icing on the cake.


    Porter & Martin have huge upside too ....

    MKJ is shooting .400 from three for the season , EFG% of .598 & TS% of .631. The EFG and TS numbers would put him in the top 25 of both if he qualified.

    Porter has played 17 games in the NBA as a lead guard .....
     
  8. HI Mana

    HI Mana Member

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    Old timers absolutely hate the Barkley trade, but to me, the CP3 swap was the modern day equivalent. Taking on an aging superstar for two very key bench pieces who went on to be major contributors, and hoping that talent would overwhelm the questionable fit both on the court and in the locker room. And just like the '97 team, it worked all the way to the WCF, where except for a horrendous no-call, we'd have had the Jordan/Olajuwon finals that was never to be.

    And unlike how Les Alexander broke his word to Barkley and managed to get out of committing a bunch of money to someone who was injured, Tilman kept his word to Paul, and got spooked staring down potentially paying a declining PG $40+ million per year into his mid-thirties to play 50% of the games. So he took the lessons he'd learned from his other successful businesses and borrowed future debt to flip what he thought was a declining asset for one that had a fixed downside. Only problem here is that borrowing from the future can't be so easily bailed out in the NBA by taking on partners, and that bill is going to have to be paid. Like you said, here's hoping he learns from this.

    I freely admit that the stats and player descriptions I put in there are deceptive, intentionally so. I just get so tired of people trying to say that the Rockets have a great core that just needs a single young superstar, our guys can average 20/10/5, they're so young, and they're bound to improve. News flash, every team has great players in the NBA. Minnesota is tied with the Rockets for the worst record in the league, and they have Karl Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, and D'Angelo Russell, all of whom are under 25 years old. I don't care how much you like Wood/KPJ/Tate, but that's a flat out better core, and that team still sucks. You can potentially argue that the Rockets aren't 3 lottery pick hits away from the playoffs, they're about 3 lottery picks away from simply catching up to the 29th best record in the league.

    Tying it all back to the original post in the thread, it truly doesn't matter who the Rockets put at HC during the rebuild. That guy is 99% getting fired before the team returns to the playoffs. Young, old, qualified, long time assistant, TV broadcaster, doesn't matter. Absolutely no coach can keep the respect of the locker room through so many bad years, and the ones that can are likely going to be the ones with limitations like being too player-friendly that prevent them from taking the team to the next level. So I can't really hate on Tilman trying to save some money while the team is bad, I honestly have no real guidance for what works best. Even experience at the GM position seems to be pretty overrated. Sean Marks was the least qualified candidate that the Nets seriously interviewed, and they attempted to pay him less to be the GM than he was making as an assistant GM in San Antonio. And yet, he brought them back into the playoffs after only 3 years, where his highest draft pick was #20, Caris LeVert, and should be the odds-on favorite for executive of the year while building up the Nets this year.
     
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  9. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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    Is our Mana level sufficient for the rebuild?
     
  10. DonatelloLimestone

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    I agree with your points about the wolves, on paper they have a bright future they technically hit on their picks and it still hasn’t translated to a winning culture. It’s never so cut and dry as we want to make it as basketballs is so much about cohesion arguably a sport that allows individuality and creativity to flourish unlike any others and the nba promotes that with its open court style. They have a ‘better’ core, but on that note of cohesiveness I mean that guys like Tate and KMJ particularly will be ones that can make the best out of a star, do the dirty work and work anywhere. Woods/KPJ also hVe the benefit of being on some of the best contracts in the nba on oppose to Russel and Towns, that matters for flexibility, assets, so forth.

    I also agree about silas, I feel bad for him because this league is a talent league...Kerr, popovich, doc Will all tell you that. There is less structure and plays the more we keep going on, even the crafty Stevens can’t pull miracles with his great plays. You need talent and Silas has a young gritty team, the nba is only 300 or so players and a the talent discrepancy is a really thing, they can all be misleadingly good, but there are levels to it. Sadly coach is usually the first one to go and so in our situation I feel for silas will probably run up a terrible HC record and new opportunities are few and far between in this league.

    I also don’t mind tillman saving now, It’s how we got here that still frustrates the hell out of me. Even that first year a 1 year ariza deal, no future cap issues, just to run it back would’ve calmed many. But now we are here and we’re at the bottom of the league, I don’t care or mind if he does his loop holes to save money, but doing that while we are in competing with a generational talent and then screaming to anyone who will here in public that its an all in time was sad to see and frustrating to experience, these talents and chances don’t come often in this league.

    As far as paul goes, I would’ve done it too. The nba has changed the game and it caters to more open court and stars generate so much. He wasn’t a great fit with Harden bc the way we played essentially your just have to spread the court and stagger your times, but he was elite, he didn’t have his health with that bad luck, but have you seen the other contracts, the owners don’t have much leverage. To keep a winner you have to pay the players. Chris paul was getting paid anywhere and he is a star despite his stats he’s a great steady hand that can have flashes and control a game and a feisty defender. There was no mistake that team was one game from the finals, and even that Berkeley trade...I wouldn’t equate a lazy aging Barkley to a feisty motivated but injured Paul, but in this league of slapstick knee jerk reactions its easy to say trade him ,each year there are heartbreaking injuries. But we were contenders and tillman got lucky that Capela’s agent was so terrible, also had all the leverage in the world to hold out and demand a bigger contract, but finally tillmans negotiations unlike with MDA, Jeff bzdelik worked out. But i get what you’re saying, depth matters, but f you have a chance for elite talent even if you stagger their minutes its important in this league. The plus minus goes towards the final score if your bench is in or not, so having a floor general at all times is incredibly valuable. For as bad as the Westbrook experiment ended, from December to end of the season he was playing MVP level ball, but a Westbrook at even 80 percent is damn useless and we saw that at the beginning and end of the season and beginning of this year too and now he’s miraculously finding his thunder again.
     
  11. Corpusfan

    Corpusfan Member

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    If the Rockets luck out and get a top 4 pick this year, that'll be the end of the tanking. They won't tank next year.
     
  12. Tristan_fiore

    Tristan_fiore Member

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    Do the Rockets go all out next year and try to get Kawhi Leonard? Letting Exum, Bradley, Wilson, Jeffries, Nwaba, and Lamb all go clears more than $18M in cap space. If they can trade House and Gordon that clears another $21M. So their roster could potentially look like:

    Wall/Augustin
    KPJ/Brooks
    Cunningham/Brown?/Draft pick
    Tate/Martin/Wilson
    Wood/Olynyk/draft pick

    I did see someone suggest waiving and stretching Wall, it would mean $18M counting against the Rockets each year for the next 2 years. Saving them $26M per year though at the same time. Then the Rockets could put Porter or Cunningham at PG and pursue someone like Kawhi at SF. Stone said they were going to be aggressive this offseason, just not entirely sure what that means.
     
  13. xtruroyaltyx

    xtruroyaltyx Member

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    I hear ya...

    but disagree.

    If we got on a top three pick this team will be back in the playoffs next season.
     
  14. DonatelloLimestone

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    It’d be great for us, but why would Leonard even consider us? Harden is his good buddy, he’s not goin to trust tillman to spend for a contender and let alone the clippers are more prime to compete next year and his family is in LA was a big point than we are. It’s hopeful, but just clutch fans hopeful.

    Stretching wall might be more practical if it saves us money, maybe the owner will do it. I’m not sure we can strech anymore though, anyone know? I mean we literally would not cut Carmelo in a contending year, let someone in our rotation in Daniel house just leave the team mid season, until we could trade melo and package 2nd picks to trade others. We did that while we were in ‘contention’, now anything goes
     
  15. HoustonWest

    HoustonWest Member

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    Well, deliberate tanking. The team this year with Oladipo wasn't intended to tank, they just did by osmosis and Silas.

    Never underestimate the heart of a loser. I like Silas, but unfortunately haven't seen much in the way of him proving that he can make the right adjustments when they matter, when to call timeouts and reeling in/subbing out bad players.

    Best case is he's like a Spoelstra who I personally didn't think was that great up until last few years. He was really thrown into a fire while learning on the job when he was first named head coach with the Heat.

    Realistically the Rockets will be mediocre until Wall is gone. Having said that, I'd love to be wrong and I'd REALLY love it if Houston bounced back and jumped ahead of Dallas in terms of a rebuild and return to contention. Too much whining from Doncic and Cuban while the media fawns all over them.
     
  16. HoustonWest

    HoustonWest Member

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    I'm surprised you spent even more than a second responding to that person's message. Leonard is not leaving Los Angeles. Even if he did, he'd never come to Houston. Not even worth the effort to entertain such pointless fantasies.
     
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  17. Jwise44

    Jwise44 Member

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    If we get a top 4 pick this year, then I hope we start trying like hell to win other than unloading Gordon/house/wall (if possible), but it’s still unlikely

    play to win with kpj/brooks/Tate/kj/wood/rookies from the draft and hopefully olynyk augustin and nwaba as vet presences and get a pick in the 8-12 range and I’m happy
     
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  18. photojoe

    photojoe Member

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    But.... Tilman said this wasn't going to be an extended rebuild?

    #trusttheLTSprocess
     
  19. ico4498

    ico4498 Member
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    ... you're wrong for that.
     
  20. deb4rockets

    deb4rockets Hope is on the horizon in the NBA draft.
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    It's been a quarter of a century since we won a Championship. Can we do it again before 30 years?
     

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