So, I know it's been a disappointing offseason, for many possible reasons, because we lost Parsons or because we could have had the best starting 5 in the league or Anthony, or even LeBron. After trading for Harden in 2012, and signing Howard in 2013, 2014 was far from an ideal offseason. But it's not as bad as people make out to be. So I decided to make this thread to address the Rockets' roster right now, and see if we could be better or at least at the same level as last season, even after losing our third best player.
First, Parsons. In my opinion, not matching his $46 million offer over three years (player option after the second year) and a huge trade kicker, was the right decision. If we had matched, we would have this same team, plus Parsons, without cap space or exceptions to add depth this year. And with three guys making over $15 million, plus Ariza making $8, there would be no cap space to get better in at least 2 years when Howard can opt out. Not to mention we would be really close to the tax line, with our only PG being a FA next year.
The thing is we could have another season of Parsons, at only $900k. I think he was poised to leave sooner or later. If we hadn't declined the option, he would leave to pursue a bigger role as a UFA. So declining the team option also seemed the right decision. The problem is that Cuban thought Parsons was worth max money, which he isn't. The Mavs will be a bordeline Playoff team, 1st round exit for the next three years, if they can't land a star next summer.
Parsons is very replaceable, and I love the Ariza signing. I don't know if we can expect him to keep those numbers from last season, but if he do, I'd say he could actually help more than Parsons. Defense was a far bigger concern than offense last season, and if Ariza isn't as complete all-around as Parsons on offense, he's an elite defender and he can lock down wing players as good as anybody in the league. And he's also become a better three-point shooter. I long said the two things we need the most surrounding Harden at the 1 and 3 positions are defense and three-point shooting, exactly what Ariza and Beverley provide.
About Bosh, you can't be sad for losing something you never had. It would be hard for him turn $118 million down and a 1st option role. I think we haven't given Jones much credity, his offense was pretty solid last season, and his defense should improve in his third year, especially having McHale, Howard and Olajuwon around to help out. We could also make a move. Boozer and Marion are available, and both would be solid additions.
And Motiejunas has played well in the Summer League, and I just LOVED the Jeff Adrien signing for the minimum. Great defender, 11 and 8 averages for the Bucks last season (13 and 9 as a starter) in limited minutes. Also Capela might be coming, and while he's a project, I wouldn't rule out an impact in his rookie season.
Troy Daniels re-signing for only $2 million over two years was also great news. As well as bringing Dorsey back from Europe. I hated trading him back in that T-Mac-K-Mart deal, and he's become a huge defender over there. Defensive Player of the Year in the Greek League. Morey found Beverley in Europe. He always keeps an eye there.
As for "losing" Lin and Asik, we can all agree that Lin is also very replaceable, and considering he was the backup PG and SG, Daniels and Canaan could be just fine. And Johnson could have an impact right away. I would still love a PG signing this offseason. About Asik, he missed to many games, and only played 15 minutes when coming off the bench. Not hard to handle 15 backup minutes, unless Howard gets hurt.
Lastly, as I've got nothing else to do, this is our team salary right now:
Daniels and Dorsey both got $2 million over two years, I'll assume it's $1 each season.
That gives us $52,545,586 on those 10 guys. Johnson doesn't need to count against the cap yet. Now we add one roster charge of $0,507,336 and a rookie scale contract for Capela ($991,000 for the 25th pick) as cap holds.
$54,043,922. That's the numbers we're looking at. If the Rockets pick the option on Covington, add $309k (because you remove the roster charge).
With the cap at $63.065, we have $9 million to spend. It could be enough to land two good role players like Marion, Nelson, Allen, Sessions. Or how about bringing AB back? I haven't heard of him yet.
And with the trade exception we got from the Lin trade and the pick we got from the Pelicans, we have enough space to try to trade for Rondo (if you're interested, although I'm not) or try an unlikely sign-and-trade for Bledsoe. Can you imagine a Harden-Bledsoe backourt?
And this is out depth chart right now: 11-13 guys depending on Capela and Covington.
Beverley / Canaan
Harden / Daniels / Johnson
Ariza / Covington
Jones / Adrien / Motiejunas / Capela
Howard / Dorsey