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Thread: Lebron James

  1. #1
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    Lebron James

    I've been away from PSD for a while, but I'm shocked no one has started a thread for this discussion yet. I realize it's an outside chance, but if Lebron were to come to any team other than Cleveland, I think Houston makes the most sense on paper from a chemistry, legacy, financial and marketing standpoint. For those naysayers who believe it can't happen, let's break this down...

    How could it happen?

    There are two feasible scenarios that could have Lebron in a Rockets uniform: signing him outright if he opts out or a sign and trade if he opts out. They could also feasibly sign him outright next year if he were to opt out, but let's stick to options that have Lebron coming to Houston this summer.

    Scenario A: Signing him outright

    Currently, Houston is looking at around $58.8 million in contracts with the options of Parsons, Beverley and Daniels. The salary cap is expected to increase to around $63.2 million this offseason. Obviously Lebron is not signing for $4.4 million so the best way to free up space would be to deal Asik and Lin for draft picks to a cellar dweller with plenty of cap space. They could probably get a late 1st, early 2nd for Asik, but they might have to give a team a pick or two to take Lin.

    With both Asik and Lin's contracts off the board, Houston's looking at around $42.2 million, leaving $21 million available for a free agent. A max for Lebron would start at about $22 million, I believe. So how do you get him an extra million? By not picking up Parsons' contract and then signing him to a long-term deal after Lebron signs. He's worth about $10 million per year, so Houston would probably be looking at something around $73 million with the following roster:

    PG Patrick Beverley / Isaiah Canaan
    SG James Harden / Troy Daniels
    SF Chandler Parsons / Francisco Garcia (assuming he picks up option) / Robert Covington
    PF Lebron James / Terrence Jones / Donatas Motiejunas
    C Dwight Howard

    Yeah. That lineup would need work, but Houston could easily fill out the roster with veterans willing to take the minimum to chase a championship. And with Lebron on the roster, likely at the 4, Houston could swing Terrence Jones or D-Mo for other pieces. But one thing's for sure. That's a championship caliber team every year for probably the next 4-5 years.

    Scenario B: Sign and trade

    Although this scenario provides Houston the advantage of not having to clear cap room to sign Lebron outright, it's a little trickier, because we have no idea what Miami would want in return and we have to make the salaries work since both teams are likely going to be over or near the cap once this thing is done.

    Miami would likely covet Asik. One of their biggest holes the last few year has been post defense and rebounding and Asik provides that in spades. The biggest problem is Lin, because he's the only other significant contract on the Rockets roster that Houston could get rid of to make this deal work. With Chalmers likely gone, Miami will need a PG, but Lin isn't exactly a major step up from Chalmers.

    Assuming Miami takes Lin in the deal, Houston probably has to throw in an extra 1st rounder and/or another young piece or two. If Bosh is Miami's guy moving forward, then Jones or Motiejunas wouldn't exactly be huge selling points for Miami. They're going to want Parsons. Now so much of this is based on conjecture, because we have no idea what Miami wants or how much leverage they would have in this scenario. But I could easily see a situation where Lebron refuses sign somewhere unless he can get his 5-year max that Miami can offer him and in a deal that can get Miami some pieces in return. So let's assume Houston includes Parsons. Now your roster looks like:

    PG Patrick Beverley / Isaiah Canaan
    SG James Harden / Troy Daniels
    SF Lebron James / Francisco Garcia (maybe) / Robert Covington
    PF Terrence Jones / Donatas Motiejunas
    C Dwight Howard

    This roster isn't nearly as sexy, but it's still a championship caliber team. And Houston would be in a similar situation as Miami has been where they would have the MLE to offer every year moving forward to add additional pieces. Note that I prefer Lebron as a small ball PF on this team, but with this roster, having him at SF just makes more sense to take advantage of Jonees at the 4 and the lack of talent at the 3.

    It's also worth noting that everything I said here could feasibly work for Carmelo Anthony as well. They've been in the league just as long, so their max deals would be identical, and they both could work out perfectly as small ball 4s on this roster. Obviously I would prefer Lebron (who wouldn't), but Melo would be a hell of a consolation prize.

    Yeah... I know it's a long shot, but this is a hell of a lot more likely to happen than it would have been a year or two ago, and if Lebron were to leave Miami, Houston is one of only a handful of teams that would make any sense whatsoever. Get excited guys. Free agency is just around the corner...


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    very good post!
    i think the only way to get him is the "scenario A"!
    just few hours and we would know if he'll opt in or no!

  3. #3
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    Two quick things: A) If we don't pick Parsons' option, he will become a RFA and he'll have a cap hold worth his qualifying offer, so that doesn't clear any money. And if he signs an offer sheet, his cap hold will be the same as the offer sheet. If signing LeBron already seems difficult, signing him in the first two or three days of FA will be even harder. We can, however, try to deal Garcia together with Lin or Asik, or both, or just deal him along with a second pick to some team willing to take his small contract. That clears enough space for a max salary. If we decide to decline Parsons' option to sign gim this summer, a sign-and-trade seems the only option.

    B) LeBron won't get a 5-year deal in a sign-and-trade. We could only offer a 4-year deal, if I'm not wrong.


    I think LeBron stays with the Heat. It wasn't an easy way out when he left Cleveland as he was hated across the world. And, unlikely Anthony, Bosh and Wade, he doesn't even have a need to opt out. He'll be offered a long-term max contract without a doubt next year anyway.

    And over Houston, Cleveland and Chicago might be his choice, considering how weak the East is.

    A sign-and-trade deal is complicated because of leverage, of course Miami prefers to get something in return instead of losing LeBron for nothing, but if you go that way, the other 29 teams would be interested in him, and a package of Asik, Lin, a pick and one or two young guys wouldn't be enough. The Warriors are reportedly offering more for Love. And a sign-and-trade is the only way I see us getting him, unless we pick Parsons' option.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    Two quick things: A) If we don't pick Parsons' option, he will become a RFA and he'll have a cap hold worth his qualifying offer, so that doesn't clear any money. And if he signs an offer sheet, his cap hold will be the same as the offer sheet. If signing LeBron already seems difficult, signing him in the first two or three days of FA will be even harder. We can, however, try to deal Garcia together with Lin or Asik, or both, or just deal him along with a second pick to some team willing to take his small contract. That clears enough space for a max salary. If we decide to decline Parsons' option to sign gim this summer, a sign-and-trade seems the only option.
    I had forgotten about the cap hold. However, I read Sam Amick tweeted earlier today that Garcia will likely opt out of his player option. That alone would likely give the Rockets enough room for a max contract if you couple it with Lin and Asik's contracts being removed. They also could move D-Mo or Covington or not accept Daniels' options.

    B) LeBron won't get a 5-year deal in a sign-and-trade. We could only offer a 4-year deal, if I'm not wrong.
    You're right. Harden and Howard both got five-year deals, which would mean Houston could only offer him a 4-year deal.

    I think LeBron stays with the Heat. It wasn't an easy way out when he left Cleveland as he was hated across the world. And, unlikely Anthony, Bosh and Wade, he doesn't even have a need to opt out. He'll be offered a long-term max contract without a doubt next year anyway.
    I also think he stays with Miami, but I'm not sure that's the best choice for his career. If Wade gets anything close to a max, they'll be cap strapped for the remainder of his career with a mediocre 2 who just keeps getting older.

    And over Houston, Cleveland and Chicago might be his choice, considering how weak the East is.
    Maybe, but that didn't exactly help him win a title this last year. Ultimately it doesn't matter how weak or strong your conference is. It matters how good your team is, and the talent in Miami isn't good enough for him to win multiple titles moving forward unless they add another significant piece in the process.

    A sign-and-trade deal is complicated because of leverage, of course Miami prefers to get something in return instead of losing LeBron for nothing, but if you go that way, the other 29 teams would be interested in him, and a package of Asik, Lin, a pick and one or two young guys wouldn't be enough. The Warriors are reportedly offering more for Love. And a sign-and-trade is the only way I see us getting him, unless we pick Parsons' option.
    But he likely doesn't have any interest in 20-25 of the other teams in the league. He's only going to be interested in going to an already talented squad that will contend for the next 4-5 years and preferably is a larger market. Having a financial advantage in Texas certainly doesn't hurt either. The only leverage Miami has would be in terms of how much money Lebron can make, but if Lebron really wanted to become a Rocket, then those extra millions might not matter that much.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    I had forgotten about the cap hold. However, I read Sam Amick tweeted earlier today that Garcia will likely opt out of his player option. That alone would likely give the Rockets enough room for a max contract if you couple it with Lin and Asik's contracts being removed. They also could move D-Mo or Covington or not accept Daniels' options.
    That would be the biggest help from Garcia since the Playoffs in 2013 against the Thunder. I doubt he gets a multi-year deal elsewhere.


    You're right. Harden and Howard both got five-year deals, which would mean Houston could only offer him a 4-year deal.
    Actually Howard signed a 4-year deal (3+1, player option). It's not that, players can't sign a 5-year deal on a sign-and-trade, they need to stay with the team in order to get the max.

    I also think he stays with Miami, but I'm not sure that's the best choice for his career. If Wade gets anything close to a max, they'll be cap strapped for the remainder of his career with a mediocre 2 who just keeps getting older.
    Well, Wade should know he needs to take a big paycut in his next contract.

    Maybe, but that didn't exactly help him win a title this last year. Ultimately it doesn't matter how weak or strong your conference is. It matters how good your team is, and the talent in Miami isn't good enough for him to win multiple titles moving forward unless they add another significant piece in the process.
    But look how "easy" it was for them to get to the Finals four years in a row. So, at least the weak East helped him get to the Finals. Aside from Indiana, no one really scares much. Chicago, only if they get MVP Rose back or get Anthony. And if Miami isn't talented enough, Chicago sure could be, with Noah and Rose, and so could Cleveland, with Irving and this year's top pick. Hell, LeBron alone could get to the Finals. We know he did some years back with Cleveland, when he wasn't nearly as complete as a player.


    But he likely doesn't have any interest in 20-25 of the other teams in the league. He's only going to be interested in going to an already talented squad that will contend for the next 4-5 years and preferably is a larger market. Having a financial advantage in Texas certainly doesn't hurt either. The only leverage Miami has would be in terms of how much money Lebron can make, but if Lebron really wanted to become a Rocket, then those extra millions might not matter that much.
    If we do need to work a sign-and-trade, the only leverage we have is the fact that we would be taking LeBron out of the East. If we can't sign him outright, it doesn't really matter if LeBron wants to come here, we won't have the cap space. Unless LeBron doesn't want to sign with any team with cap space, Miami can just take a better offer (let's say Warriors for instance, if LeBron wants there) or James would have no choice but stay.
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    Anyway, considering any scenario, being James or Anthony, our bench will look completely horrible. Canaan played somewhat well last year, but then really disappeared. Daniels only stepped on the court in the Playoffs, and even though he was amazing, it's a really, really small sample size. And he isn't much more of a shooter. Covington was amazing in the D-League, but has yet to show something with the big guys. Motiejunas has some moments, but his lack of defense eventually really hurt him. And no center after cutting Greg Smith, who wasn't really your ideal backup 5. And we all hope Garcia declines his option, even though he still is a team leader. That should tell the kind of season he had.

    If Melo is a hell of a consolation prize, I would still be happy if it didn't work out as well and we could keep at least Asik and fill the team with some smaller names.

    Considering we'll probably lock Parsons for 4 more years, or use the cap space for it on other players, anyway you look this offseason looks good for the Rockets and we'll definitely get better for next season.
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    By the way, if we miss on Anthony and James (and hopefully Bosh), how about Pau Gasol? We know he is gone in LA and coming off of that huge contract, he might be willing to take a paycut. We could keep Asik and Lin (or trade them for something good in return), re-sign Parsons and still be able to offer him a full MLE worth 20-something million over 4 years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    By the way, if we miss on Anthony and James (and hopefully Bosh), how about Pau Gasol? We know he is gone in LA and coming off of that huge contract, he might be willing to take a paycut. We could keep Asik and Lin (or trade them for something good in return), re-sign Parsons and still be able to offer him a full MLE worth 20-something million over 4 years.
    So you don't want bosh but pau is alright? Yeah that makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asik's better View Post
    So you don't want bosh but pau is alright? Yeah that makes sense.
    Yeah it makes sense considering I'm suggesting Gasol for $15 million less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    Yeah it makes sense considering I'm suggesting Gasol for $15 million less.
    I'm talking more about last time pau and Dwight were paired together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asik's better View Post
    I'm talking more about last time pau and Dwight were paired together.
    A lot of things went wrong in that season for the Lakers. Gasol missed over 30 games that year. If he's willing to take a paycut and accept what we are willing to offer, in my opinion full MLE, I think he's worth the risk playing 4 along with Howard for 15-20 minutes and backing up Howard 10-12 minutes. He's coming off of a 17 and 10 with 3.4 assists on reasonable shooting numbers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    A lot of things went wrong in that season for the Lakers. Gasol missed over 30 games that year. If he's willing to take a paycut and accept what we are willing to offer, in my opinion full MLE, I think he's worth the risk playing 4 along with Howard for 15-20 minutes and backing up Howard 10-12 minutes. He's coming off of a 17 and 10 with 3.4 assists on reasonable shooting numbers.
    Honestly, I agree with you that I would prefer a much less expensive Gasol over Bosh and then use that extra money to supplement the roster with some bench scoring and defense. I think Gasol still has decent game left and is on par with Bosh at a much lower cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    A lot of things went wrong in that season for the Lakers. Gasol missed over 30 games that year. If he's willing to take a paycut and accept what we are willing to offer, in my opinion full MLE, I think he's worth the risk playing 4 along with Howard for 15-20 minutes and backing up Howard 10-12 minutes. He's coming off of a 17 and 10 with 3.4 assists on reasonable shooting numbers.
    Problem is gasol isn't a good PF. He plays his best as a C. And that leads to another problem. Do you think pau will come and play back-up to a guy who screwed him and the organisation he loved playing for?

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    Gasol's health is definitely a concern though. 55 games missed last two years combined.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    If we do need to work a sign-and-trade, the only leverage we have is the fact that we would be taking LeBron out of the East. If we can't sign him outright, it doesn't really matter if LeBron wants to come here, we won't have the cap space. Unless LeBron doesn't want to sign with any team with cap space, Miami can just take a better offer (let's say Warriors for instance, if LeBron wants there) or James would have no choice but stay.
    But you're operating under the assumption that Lebron would be okay going to multiple teams and would just let himself get traded to the highest bidder that has a decent roster. When have we ever seen that in NBA free agency with a superstar, much less one of Lebron's caliber? The bottom line is that the Heat have very little leverage in this case. Once Lebron makes his decision, it will be for a single team and he'll be on that team's roster one way or the other. If Lebron wanted to come to Houston, the only thing Miami could do is refuse a sign and trade offer from Morey. But even if they did, Morey could just make the necessary moves to get Lebron enough money for a max offer.

    I still think it's extremely unlikely, but if Lebron did truly want to come to Houston, Miami couldn't do anything to prevent that from happening.


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