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Posts Tagged ‘Daryl Morey

MVP/Power Rankings Monday: The 10 Best Points I Can Make About the James Harden Trade

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BOOM! James Harden to the Rockets. Trades like this simply don’t happen often. Harden is 23, has All-NBA talent and was very controllable by the Thunder. Therefore, it’s really fun to talk about.

Here are roughly the 10 most insightful points I could make:

10. The Veto strikes again – Fun game, what happens if David Stern doesn’t block the Chris Paul to the Lakers deal? Paul obviously is on the Lakers, the Clippers either still in NBA hell or peeking their head above with an 7th/8th seed. Does the Dwight Howard-Andrew Bynum trade still happen, or do one of the Magic, Nuggets or Sixers go “Eff that, I’m not letting the Lakers have a dynasty”. If so, Howard is on another team as well. Either way, both Paul and Howard’s career paths and probably at least 1 title are affected. Then there’s Anthony Davis likely being on a different team than New Orleans. Davis could end up having an iconic career for the Hornets, changing that team and the one that would’ve gotten him if not for the veto. Finally, James Harden ends up on a team that isn’t the Rockets if not for this and if he breaks out to be a franchise star, the veto changes an era for Houston. And the Thunder assuming they trade Harden, get very different pieces for him – these pieces possibly changing the title picture in upcoming years. The Veto had a massive butterfly effect on the league.

9. The brilliance of the Omer Asik signing – The second most important piece on the Rockets now isn’t Jeremy Lin, it’s Omer Asik. Asik looks to be one of the best defensive centers in the league immediately for the Rockets. Getting a true defensive anchor at C is very hard, some teams go decades without one. The brilliant part of this signing is it happened while Houston had gone all in on trading for Dwight Howard. They had the foresight to have a plan B if they didn’t get Dwight and the balls to sign Asik as a backup C again if they had secured Howard. I suspect many teams would’ve been too blinded by the thought of Howard playing center for them, to consider signing Asik at the same time.

8. The Rockets still have huge cap flexibility and assets – As has been noted in a few places, the Rockets’ are looking at max free agent capspace next year. If Chris Paul leaving the Clippers becomes a real possibility, the Rockets will be involved trying to get him. Josh Smith and Al Jefferson are other plausible targets. Capspace is also valuable in a trade – Perhaps Memphis wants to get out of Rudy Gay’s contract next summer. With capspace and young players to trade, the Rockets are an ideal trade partner.

Speaking of young players, aside from Lin, the Rockets do have other enticing pieces like Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones, Royce White, Donatas Motiejunas, Marcus Morris, Cole Aldrich and Scott Machado. Aside from giving Harden talent to work with, the Rockets just proved building up a store of trade assets is always a good strategy if another star becomes available. Read the rest of this entry »

NBA Franchise Power Rankings: #24 – Houston Rockets

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Lowry with the ball

Image via Wikipedia

Previous rankings:

#30 - Charlotte Bobcats (+ introduction)

#29 - Phoenix Suns

#28 - Denver Nuggets

#27 - Detroit Pistons

#26 - Milwaukee Bucks

#25 - Philadelphia 76ers

#24 – Houston Rockets

Total Trade Value Ranking: #24 (Feb. 2011 ranking: #23)

Best assets – SG Kevin Martin (borderline all-star), PF Luis Scola (legitimate starter), PG Kyle Lowry (borderline starter), PF Patrick Patterson (young, projects as borderline to legitimate starter), SF/PF Marcus Morris (rookie, projects as borderline to legitimate starter), 2012 NY 1st (top 5 protected), PF/C Donatas Motiejunas (rookie, projects as borderline to legitimate starter), SG/SF Chase Budinger (borderline starter), PF/C Jordan Hill (borderline starter),  SG Courtney Lee (borderline starter), PG Goran Dragic (young, projects as bench player to borderline starter), PG Jonny Flynn (young, projects as bench player to borderline starter), SF Terrence Williams (young, projects from non NBA player to bench player), C Hasheem Thabeet (young, projects from non NBA player to bench player)

Assets owed: 2012 Hou 1st to New Jersey (top 14 protected through 2016)

Financial Grade: A-

Managerial Grade: A-

Overall synopsis: The Houston Rockets are like the “high brow” version of the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers. All 3 teams appear mired in mediocrity, yet it’s the Rockets who specialize in intelligent management, advanced statistics, financial prudency, and stress of character players. Daryl Morey has run the Rockets like a small market MLB team, selling older players and soon to be free agents for young prospects and secondary assets. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

September 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

2010-11 NBA Predictions: MVP

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The chic pick right now is to pick against the two-time defending MVP LeBron James , despite the fact that he’s just 25 years old and went to a team with an even better supporting cast.  In the recent NBA GM’s poll, Kevin Durant was the consensus pick to win followed by Kobe Bryant, with LeBron and Dwight Howard receiving one vote a piece.  The statistically minded Houston Rocket GM Daryl Morey came out of the closet as the lone guy who picked LeBron, which helps further position Morey as the lone voice of reason amongst all the riff raff.

Are the GMs crazy?  Nope, their rejection of LeBron here is quite savvy, with the key reason being this is about who will win the MVP, not about who will actually contribute the most value to his team.  Before you get worked up about MVP voters being irrational fools punishing LeBron for leaving Cleveland – it’s really not about that at all. Read the rest of this entry »