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The Look Ahead (long)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by NIKEstrad, May 8, 2005.

  1. percicles

    percicles Contributing Member

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    There is no paticular instance perse. But the option is there. Threatining a team by accepting the qualifying offer puts an organization in a precarius spot insofar as compensation and effort (ie player doesnt go all out for fear of injury). Likewise for the player, the team can play him less and artificially deflate his value or he could injur himself. This nuclear option resonates more with A++ talent ala Lebron or Yao. In the case of chandler he runs the risk of having his bluff called but if he performs he earns more money on the open market next year. And need I remind you that the Rockets will be about 10 - 15 mill under the salarycap in 2006. If we can get Juwon, Sura, and/or James off the books your looking at 20 mill under the salry cap. Which can buy you combination of 1 Tyson chandler, 1 Mike Dunlevy, 1 ben Wallace, and/or 1 Kirk Hinrich.

    You could argue that cap flexability is overrated and point to the Bulls, but I counter you with Phoenix in signing Nash/QT and the impact that had as well as the reported statements by Bucher that Houston is a hot spot for free agents now. The bulls wanted a superstar we already have 2 so what we really need is some grade A-/B+ role players.
     
  2. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

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    This isn't a "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" scenario. What I am pointing out is that you are HOPING that the same people who have screwed up numerous times in the past will somehow start getting things right NOW. All I saying is that the Rockets as a team and as an organization appear to be constantly behind their counterparts in the NBA West in terms of strategy, personnel decisions and such. This is not a negative slam per se on my part - it's more of an area of concern about where they go from here.

    I don't doubt for a minute that the Rockets as a collective whole WANT to win. Will there be mistakes made trying to win? Absolutely. Mistakes happen. All teams make bad player decisions but the teams that ultimately win, learn from those mistakes or learn how to keep such mistakes at a minimum. I just don't believe that this organization has the right guys in place making those decisions and as a result, we fail to learn from our mistakes.
     
  3. Rileydog

    Rileydog Contributing Member

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    Hillboy,

    I'm no CD or Les apologist but it appears that you refuse to be satisfied. It is obvious that before this year, CD and Rudy have made a number of bad moves. it is equally obvious that CD and JVG have had a hell of a year with personnel moves. If you're going to crap on management for bad moves, at least give them credit for good moves. I return to my original statement that it appears you refuse to be satisfied.

    If you don't like the core that currently exists, then you are in the distinct minority, not only in NBA fandome, but among NBA pundits and "experts".
     
  4. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

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    By incremental changes, I was referring to the fact that they have very little cap room, a high draft pick (24) which may or may not yield a good player and a bunch of average/below average players with contracts that expire next year who MAY be moved out later in the 2005-2006 season. Given their history, it's not unreasonable to expect them to follow the path of least resistance. It always seems to be this way with the Rockets.

    Under the current regime, they have had a considerable number of guys come and go over the years and I get this sense of marching in place. When you look at this team what's missing a core of young players that have been acquired and developed by this organization. That's what makes us different from our competition and why we appear to be behind the curve so to speak.
     
  5. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    Sigh, no we won't. I've hashed out why at least a dozen times in the last year, including in this thread.

    There is no instance of it happening because it's not a viable thing for a player to do. Nobody's done it in any sport.

    HillBoy- Are you related to ZRB? The only significant bad move that CD and Co. have made in the past YEAR is Charlie Ward. The McGrady move looks brilliant, the Sura signing looks good, the James trade looks great, the Barry trade was good, the Wesley trade was an upgrade, and getting out of MoT's contract was well done. Even things like Ryan Bowen outweigh the little Rod Strickland hiccup. Even if you want to go back to the draft, if Spanoulis even makes the roster, that was a solid move.

    It sure seems like the people who "have screwed up numerous times in the past" are damn well "getting things right now." Is a years' worth of pretty much nothing but "winning" transactions not enough for you?

    Edit: I wouldn't be completely shocked if we don't trade these expiring contracts. But we have created a cap situation that allows us to use our full MLE to pursue upgrades in the starting rotation. I would be very surprised if we don't use the MLE to sign a Swift, SAR, Marshall, etc. AND just sit on the expiring deals till next season. Even if we don't move them in the summer, those expiring contracts have greater trade value as your near the deadline.
     
    #105 NIKEstrad, May 9, 2005
    Last edited: May 9, 2005
  6. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

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    Oh, I like the core of TMac & Yao very very much. But consider that their competition is not standing still, so while the Rockets, after years and years of bad moves, now try to build around their core of two, their competitors are building around much larger and better player bases because they weren't making the same mistakes over and over and over as did the Rockets organization. To put it another way: How long do you suppose this retooling job to take and what do you expect Dallas, Phoenix, SA et. al to be doing while our rebuilding is in progress?

    You are right about my not being satisfied, however. I won't be satisfied until I see Yao & TMac hoist that Larry O'Brien trophy over their heads while being showered with champagne.
     
  7. Rocket104

    Rocket104 Contributing Member

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    HillBoy -

    Please point out a maneuver by the Rockets front office that made you go "huh?" *at the time of the transaction*.

    Most moves that you see from the past 10 years as being contrary to winning were seen as being *exactly* the opposite at the time. Barkley. Pippen. Francis. Even the role players we picked up had an obvious reason for being there (except maybe the Ward and Sura signings). If you're going to argue that they overpaid for people, consider the market at the time (I can only think of Moochie as being the obvious misstep).

    As for the Les argument. As a face of the franchise, I'm glad he's classy. I'm glad the organization is classy. I'd definitely rather have the Rockets serve as a positive face for the NBA and the city instead of a negative one. Besides, he has nothing to do with game-time moves. He signs the checks and consults with the people he hired to handle the team. Perfect.

    NIKE - you da man.
     
  8. Williamson

    Williamson JOSH CHRISTOPHER ONLY FAN
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    No but seriously, Hillboy, explain this whole Marco Jaric/Shawn Bradley thing.

    Marco Jaric is 6'7 euro point guard. He's 27 years old, from Serbia and was taken with the first pick of the second round in 2000. An interesting side note- Marco Jaric is known for dating models.

    His numbers for 2004-2005 were as follows:

    PPG: 9.9
    RPG: 3.2
    APG: 6.1
    SPG: 1.68
    BPG: .34
    FG%: .414
    FT%: .720
    3P%: .371
    MPG: 33.1


    Shawn Bradley is a 7'6 mormon center. He's 33 years old, from Utah and was taken number 2 over-all in the 93' draft (Right after Chris Webber who went #1 and Anfernee Hardaway who went #3). An interesting side note - Shawn Bradley wears magic mormon underwear.

    His numbers for 2004-2005 were as follows:

    PPG: 2.7
    RPG: 2.8
    APG: .2
    SPG: .32
    BPG: .82
    FG%: .452
    FT%: .683
    3P%: .000
    MPG: 11.5

    So essentially, Marco Jaric, while by no means impressive, is still a second rounder who is playing a respectable amount of minutes and contributing to his team AT THE ONE, while Shawn Bradley is one of the biggest busts in NBA history and has done very little to help any team he has ever played for throughout the entirety of his career AT THE FIVE!

    The only thing I see these two guys sharing in common is that they're both NBA players and they're both far more rich than they probably should be. So please, enlighten us all as to what you meant when you compared the two. I've really gotta know.
     
  9. Rileydog

    Rileydog Contributing Member

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    You can complain about the past all you want, but take a snapshot of the present. You compare us against SA, Seattle, Denver, Dallas and Phoenix. Of those, I would only say SA has a conclusively better roster than we do.

    How exactly is Seattle better than us? Ray Allen has peaked and may walk. Rashard Lewis is good, not great. Ray and Rashard are inferior to Tmac and Yao. The rest of SEattle's roster? Are there any difference makers there? Ridnour, Evans, James (bad contract), Collison, Fortson, Murray, Daniels . . . better quality than our bench but marginally so. You get your core players, build from there. Seattle will be in our rear-view mirror next year.

    Denver: fast and athletic, but are they any better right now? I'm guessing you think that Melo, KMart, Miller and Co are better than our squad. Reasonable minds might differ but most pundits like our core better.

    Dallas: They beat us in a close 7 game series. Actually, one could argue that we are a better squad but choked it away. (don't remember, weren't you just arguing that?). If that's the case, then it isn't personnel, its performance.

    Phoenix: They have the "in vogue" team right now, that's for sure. I'm guessing you prefer Amare to Yao. Who knows. They have an athletic squad but where exactly will they be once Nash loses a step. He is old you know? Their window closes the minute he goes down or slows down. I am not willing to concede that they are any better than us.

    This brings me back to SA. I am sure you'd be satisfied if instead of Sura and Wesley, we had Parker and Ginobli, skilled, talented, athletic and young. If we had Udrich, the dude from UTSA and other athletic unknowns that seem a lot like diamonds in the rough. Well, everyone strives to be SA, they are the model franchise.

    I'm also guessing that you like this new athletic, scoring oriented basketball that Phx and Denver bring. Well, you're going to hate the Rockets so long as Yao's on the team.
     
  10. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

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    The first bad move occurred when the TMac trade was made when they created the holes at PF & PG. Then while they do nothing to address the PF problem instead relying on an undersized group of players, they try to solve the PG problem by getting Ward - a player who came cheap but ended up doing nothing to help the team, Reece Gaines - a failed high draft pick & Barrett the undersized but game PG. In other words, they tried to get by. It was only after this plan fizzled that they finally got down to business in December.

    I'm not saying that getting Wesley, Sura, Barry didn't help because it did. They got to 51 wins this season which is a good step in the right direction. I'm just questioning why it took for the team to flounder in the standings before they started to address their problems. Where was the planning here?

    You have far more faith in Spanoulis that I do. I believe that if this guy could play in the NBA, he'd be in the NBA. I'll believe that he and Badianne are players when I see they playing in the league. Until then, anything else is hearsay.
     
  11. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

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    I don't know where this Shawn Bradley thing came from. RileyDog misunderstood me thinking I was saying that Jaric & Bradley are the same player. What I was referring to is that they are both slow and non-athletic and those aren't the type of players we need right now.
     
  12. Williamson

    Williamson JOSH CHRISTOPHER ONLY FAN
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    er, delete this. oops.
     
  13. Williamson

    Williamson JOSH CHRISTOPHER ONLY FAN
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  14. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    They created holes at the PF and PG?

    As for PG, they said it from the beginning- they signed Sura to be the starter, with Ward and Lue backing him. If Sura stays healthy, they addressed the problem from the beginning. Sura gets hurt, Ward gets hurt, and Lue goes from probably 3rd string to starter and looks like a WNBA player. Any time you trade 3 starters, you're going to deal with depth issues. We tried to get James and Jones in the offseason, but acquiring both Sura AND one of those guys was not possible with the MLE. Rumors linked us to Antonio Daniels, but Seattle wasn't ready to move him with a 2nd year PG at the helm.

    As for PF...we were starting Cato last year. We certainly upgraded at the backup C to replace Cato with Deke, and most people considered Howard, a career 17-7 player coming off a 17-7 season to be productive but overpaid. MoT was probably the best backup 4 not named Jamison in the league last year. We may have all overshot what to expect out of Taylor and Howard, but did you expect BOTH of them to play like garbage the first 3 months? You're right, Les should be like Cuban and pay $14 million for a freaking 3rd string 4 like Keith Van Horn.

    Spanoulis is a mid-late 2nd rounder. If he becomes a rotation player, it's gravy. I'm fairly sure he had a contract with Greece coming into the year, so we knew he wouldn't be coming over year 1 (neither did Ginobili or Delfino). Sure, it's all hearsay, but like I said, anything he gives you is gravy.

    If it takes the team to flounder for us to make a move, you should be happy. We just got blown out by 40 points because our lack of perimeter speed not named Tracy and Mike was badly exposed. Doesn't history suggest we'll do something about it?
     
  15. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

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    RD, I'm not complaining. I am merely voicing my concerns about the direction and makeup of the Rockets. I like the approach that SA has taken far more than that of Dallas (because I find Mark Cuban hard to stomach). I like the consistent and organized way they go about in getting players who fit their system. I admire their organized and smart personnel moves and I can't help but wonder if we have the same type of people in place here making the decisions.

    I also think that it's the desire of Stern and the NBA to move to a more athletic and high scoring style that's closer to the international style of basketball in order to present a more attractive product to their customers. There's no reason to believe that Yao can't play this game since after all, he's playing it for the Chinese National Team. If, however, JVG does not adapt to this new reality, then I can see major problems for the Rockets down the road but we don't appear to be at that point quite yet.
     
  16. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    '93 must've been an interesting draft for the number 2 pick to have been taken after the number 3.
     
  17. percicles

    percicles Contributing Member

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    Accepting a qualifiyng offer in the trade senario that I proposed hasn't happened. But lets not forget that the 4 years + qualifing offer was implemented on the 1998 class who became restricted free agents in 2002. Thats only about 3 classes, draft classes of 1998 - 2000, that have had this option in free agency. Though Im not familiar with with Hockey's free agency, I know that baseball has a hard Laize Faire stance on free angency while Football is more restricted. The closest similarity or option within both these sports is the Francise Tag in football. So cross comparing free agent policies within all 4 major sports is a bit ridiculus since they operate under different systems.

    Again, I cant provide you with an instance in basketball were X player said trade me 2 X team or Ill accept your qualifying offer. But the use of accepting a qualifying offer has been used as a bargaining chip in negotiations. Stromile did it, Darius MIles was gonna do it, and I believe AK47 and Gasol used it to get a max deals this summer.

    My point with Chandler is he can use the qualifying offer as a Bargaining chip. Is it in the realm of possibilty that he can use it in a trade senario? Yes, absolutelty. Does he run risks if he so chooses? Yes
     
  18. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

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  19. Texas Stoke

    Texas Stoke Contributing Member

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    Has Kurt Thomas's name been brought up?

    The Rockets were trying to make a trade for him at the trade deadline this year - it was reported by one of the NY papers.

    NY has an overload of big guys and Thomas was the one big guy everyone thought would go before the trade deadline.
    They're set with big guys and set with Marbury and Crawford as their starting guards so it seems the sort of role Mike James plays - 6th man type scorere off the bench - may be what they'd want to get in return for a trade that ships out Kurth Thomas.

    I bet theres a good chance JVG/CD take a good look at him this summer.

    With that said, spanoulis and the possibility of drafting Hakim Warrick gets me pumped about next season. There's the speed, there's the youth, and there's the energy thrown into the mix.

    add a Kurth Thomas and you've got your above average starting PF who is a very good rebounder, and decent shooter.

    Those would be three key additions(spanoulis, Warrick, Kurt Thomas) with the fourth being a returning Juwan Howard.
     
  20. Bassfly

    Bassfly Member

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    I don't know if this has been mentioned but I'll try to chip in on this discussion...

    I think we would all be lying if we weren't worried about what direction this team will take in the offseason. But I feel that alot of the lackluster decisions have stemmed from rebuilding from the Rudy T era. Rudy's ridiculous obligations to cato, moochie, and of course mo taylor have left us crippled, and in some way have affected our ability to be players in trades/free agency.

    Now that we're 3 years removed from the RudyT/CD tandem and are now deeper into the JVG era, I'm confident that under JVG's guidance and advice, CD will be active and committed this offseason to getting the right players.

    I disagree with your claim that the rockets "tried to get by" with regards to the holes left by the trade. With only the MLE to work with and essentially no trade bait what did you expect us to do? There's no way we would have been able to get a quality 4 with what we had to work with -- It wasnt a case of getting by, it was a case of making the best of a bad situation. Its the price we had to pay to get tmac. (a price i would pay over and over and over again)

    As for our guard rotation, we signed Sura and Ward with our MLE, which had mixed reviews. But here was our guard situation before the season compared to the end of the season.


    Sura, Ward, Lue, JJ (I know he was the 3 but for arguements sake we'll list him as the 2 instead of tmac)

    Sura, Barry, Mike James, Wesley


    I don't think anyone at the beginning of the season would have looked at these 2 guard rotations and heavily leaned towards one or the other. Lue had high expectations to be a solid contributer, having owned rings playing alongside another great guard-center combo. and JJ was a our 3rd best player and a favorite amongst rockets fans. yeah obviously it didnt work out at the beginning of the season, so he went out and made moves. The Jim Jackson trade was especially unpopular but was done under JVG's biding.


    I think after the trade was made, JVG/CD were able to make solid acquisitions under the cirumstances to fill in holes. In reality there would be NO WAY the rockets would have been a juggernaut one year after trading 3 starters away. but I'm confident and have faith that JVG/CD will make the right choices.
     

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