View Full Version : Morey's Ulterior Motive: The Summer of 2010

07-12-2008, 08:02 AM
Taken from Clutchfans

Most indications from Daryl Morey are that the Rockets will unlikely do anything this summer outside of signing their draft picks, attempting to sign Brent Barry (or a similar free agent) for the LLE, to re-sign Dikembe Mutombo (presumably for the veteran's minimum) and to re-sign Carl Landry for a portion of the MLE. Unless a chance arose to get a "significant player" (Morey's own words), the Rockets will unlikely make any major changes this summer.

The chances for a major roster change greatly increase as the February trade deadline approaches next season. The Rockets--armed with the expiring contracts of Bobby Jackson ($6.1M), Steve Francis ($2.6M), Luther Head ($1.9M) and Steve Novak ($797k); a couple of trade exceptions ($2.3M and $917k); their own first round pick; and Memphis's second rounder--will have plenty of assets to throw at a team sporting a good player in a long term deal but desperate for salary cap flexibility. Presumably, the Rockets would pair that new addition as the "third guy" along with Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming in the Rockets' run for a title over the next few seasons.

However, if no major deal is made by the Rockets by the February trade deadline, Rockets fans should not completely despair.

Daryl Morey may have an ulterior motive: The Summer of 2010.

If Les Alexander and Morey play their cards right next summer, the Rockets may position themselves as the most attractive free agent destination in the NBA in The Summer of 2010. This is the same summer that has teams like the Knicks and the Nets blowing themselves up already just for the shot at getting some of the free agents that summer (which includes guys like Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire). In order to best position themselves, the Rockets will need to make a handful of key maneuvers in the summer of 2009.

First, the team should attempt to lock Yao Ming into a long term extension. Yao has a player option for the 2010-11 season; and the Rockets do not want to risk having their cash cow heading to another franchise. Assuming that Yao is happy in Houston and that Les Alexander isn't scared off by Yao's recent injury history, then a max deal is highly likely, meaning that negotiations should not have to be protracted. (Keep in mind that Les Alexander makes a TON of money off of the Rockets' affiliation with Yao Ming through various Chinese sponsorships and other business affiliations, so Yao's max extension would largely pay for itself.)

Second, the team needs to try to convince McGrady to sign a multi-year extension AT A REDUCED SALARY. That last part is crucial. If the Rockets are (a) too worried about Tracy's ability to stay healthy or (b) not convinced that Tracy can help lead a team to a championship (note that I said "TOO worried" and "HELP lead"), then Morey may opt not to go this route. If not, however, locking T-Mac in to a deal that pays him less after 2010 will both keep a major piece of the puzzle in the fold AND open up more salary cap flexibility for the Rockets.

Third, unless it is for a "significant player", DO NOT USE THE MID LEVEL EXCEPTION. Period. The Rockets will have Yao, T-Mac, Battier, Scola, Alston, Landry (hopefully), Barry (hopefully), Brooks, Greene, Hayes, and Dorsey (presumably) under contract for the following year. That group should be good enough for 2009-2010 if Morey is looking to The Summer of 2010 for his "big move". Perhaps if there is a pretty solid veteran who is willing to take a one-year deal, or if Morey wants to lock up one or two second rounders to longer term deals, then maybe. But not otherwise.

Now, assuming that Morey can follow through on these objectives, the Rockets would enter The Summer of 2010 with the following salary commitments:

Yao Ming - Max Extension (~$17-18M???)
Tracy McGrady - Extension (~$12-15M???)
Shane Battier - $7.3M expiring contract
Carl Landry - probably around $5M (if in Year 3 of a sizable MLE portion deal)
Chuck Hayes - $2.3M team option (that the Rockets could decline)
Aaron Brooks - $2.0M team option (that the Rockets could decline)
Donte Greene - likely a $1.1M team option (that the Rockets could decline)
Joey Dorsey - possibly an $854k team option (if he signs a deal like Novak signed)
2009 1st round pick (if not traded)
2009 Memphis 2nd round pick (if not traded)
2010 1st round pick (if not traded)

The Rockets will also have cap holds on Rafer Alston ($10.5M) and Luis Scola ($6.7M). These are inflated numbers prescribed by the league to encourage teams to re-sign their own players before signing free agents. Of course, Rafer would either be re-signed to a low salary or renounced. As for Scola, the Rockets may have to re-sign him to a deal paying him over $6.7M per, so Morey would wait to re-sign him until after pursuing outside free agents.

The salary cap has gone up an average of approximately 5.8% per season over the last three years. Assuming that the cap continues to increase at that pace, then the projected salary cap for 2010-2011 would be somewhere around $65.7M, giving the Rockets the potential to have as much as $15-20M or more in cap room (assuming the team renounces the rights to Rafer and Scola). Even if the team holds onto Scola, they will be significantly under the salary cap.

As for the free agent crop of 2010, they will be looking for that perfect combination of (a) maximum dollars; (b) best chance to win; and (c) maximum dollars. The Rockets, under this scenario, would be able to provide the best combination of these factors. Houston will sport two star players still in their prime (Yao and T-Mac, although Tracy will be on the down side of that prime); a solid veteran leader and elite defender (Battier); a crop of good, young talent (Landry, Brooks, Greene); some decent role players (Hayes/Dorsey, draft picks); and, most importantly, MONEY. The Rockets should have at least enough money to offer the max to one top free agent and still might have some room left over for another mid-level free agent. If this scenario (which is not really that far-fetched) comes to fruition, the Houston Rockets will be an elite NBA team in 2010-2011.

I know you don't hear Daryl Morey talking much about this strategy, but logic dictates that this is a distinct possibility for the Houston Rockets if a "significant player" does not fall into the Rockets' lap before then.

So, as the Rockets head towards the February trade deadline next season, if it becomes apparent that there are no "significant players" to be had, Rockets fans need to ask themselves: "Do I want get something (however mediocre) now in exchange for these expiring contracts; or do I want Morey to shift into another gear and go for broke in 2010?"

Think about it.

What do you think? This was taken from clutchfans, but I think it is a good indication of how the team could be.

07-12-2008, 08:25 AM
sounds good :]

07-12-2008, 08:38 AM
Every team in the league thinks it has a chance at those big name free agents in 2010. The reality is players make more money by resigning with their current teams, plain and simple. Even the disloyal departures this offseason have been motivated by money. Davis left GS because the Clippers offered more money. Maggette was interested in playing for a contender only before a big pay day presented itself. Brand stabbed Davis in the back and bolted for the money. So why would players like Amare, Lebron, Bosh, and Wade take less money to play elsewhere, not to mention, act like a disloyal selfish bytch which would be out of character for all. I'd never confuse any of those players for being Boozer, or Brand.

07-12-2008, 11:24 AM
That summer will be awesome

07-12-2008, 12:08 PM
As much as everyone talks about that Summer, I just don't see every single player just leaving their teams like that. Maybe Stoudemire if the Suns start heading south or Wade if the Beasley experiment fails (which it won't). Plus, we don't know if T-Mac would take a pay cut or if Brooks, Greene, Landry, or Dorsey will pan out to be good players and if thats the case, you'll have to probably lose two of your best (Scola, Rafer) and have no backups at their replacement in order to sign a star player.

07-12-2008, 01:16 PM
This is either going to be really good for us or terrible bad for us. I think we can get one big name in here with T-Mac and Yao but if not we will get alot of help from unknowns.

Rhyming Rebel
07-12-2008, 11:47 PM
It maybe just me but i think Greene has the making of a star. Next year he would have been top 5.

07-13-2008, 01:19 AM
It maybe just me but i think Greene has the making of a star. Next year he would have been top 5.

Sorry but I think it is probably just you...

07-13-2008, 03:47 AM
^^ i dont think he'll be a star but could be a solid player im thinking 15 points 6 rebounds 2 assits maybe, maybe in 3 or 4 years