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mrblisterdundee
05-12-2017, 03:27 PM
Let's continue this series of recapping the next step for each vanquished playoff team.
The Rockets have an obvious identity and leader in Jame Harden. He obviously needs at least one more star for the team to seriously contend. What should Houston do? Who do they go after? Are there options to improve internally?

lakerfan85
05-12-2017, 03:46 PM
Trade for Deandre Jordan..

hugepatsfan
05-12-2017, 03:55 PM
Curious to see what Rockets fans have to stay. They seem kind of "stuck" to me this offseason. Next year they should have flexibility though. But I wonder if there pieces are out there to capitalize on that. Doesn't seem they have trade chips for star talent nor do they have cap space this offseason. I suppose they could create it by dumping a bunch of guys but I don't think a player who justifies that is out there this year.

If they moved Ryan Anderson they could probably sign Millsap and I think that'd be really interesting, though I feel Anderson would be tough to salary dump without taking cash back.

Vee-Rex
05-12-2017, 04:22 PM
The Rockets improve by upgrading the SF and getting some more size on the perimeter. An infusion of talent would be great. The problem is there aren't too many free agent options for them. Much of their improvement would probably have to come through trades.

They should have around 12 million of free cap space (assuming they don't re-sign Nene) so there's not much to work with and the options are limited. If they had a way to pull in a Jimmy Butler or Paul George-type player they would be GOLDEN.

IMO they're not far off, though. Give Harden a true running mate and the potential is there.

Scoots
05-12-2017, 04:40 PM
Turn Ariza into Gallinari, sign Dewayne Dedmon for the center rotation

MILLERHIGHLIFE
05-12-2017, 04:51 PM
If they had the capspace. I suggested Lowry as third times a charm. But they would have to unload a player or two or Raptors agree to a sign and trade.

WaDe03
05-12-2017, 04:59 PM
Get a legit leader.

Scoots
05-12-2017, 05:03 PM
If they had the capspace. I suggested Lowry as third times a charm. But they would have to unload a player or two or Raptors agree to a sign and trade.

Lowry would be interesting ... but I don't know that it would work with Harden.

warfelg
05-12-2017, 06:03 PM
I like the idea that someone suggested of Gallinari.

I think if they could flip Ryan Anderson to someone else, sign Gallinari, and find another wing via trade or draft, they could be rolling. In fact, with the style that they play, I think that finding a "smaller" wing and playing small ball full time would really benefit them greatly.

Heck if they can pull it off (And I feel that Morey of all people can do this) go get KCP from the Pistons, and still bring in Gallinari.

Beverly
Harden
KCP
Gallinari
Capella

3 strong wing defenders around Harden, all three of which can cut and shoot offensively, and a potentially good defensive center in Capella to run the pick and roll with.

Quinnsanity
05-12-2017, 06:51 PM
Just gonna paste my post from the other Rockets thread:

I'm just gonna throw this out there, but the Rockets are set to have something like $12 million in cap space already this summer (that number is inexact). The stretch provision could lower Ryan Anderson's salary from around $19.5 million to around $8.5 million. That gets them to $23 million in space. Could they get into the Paul Millsap derby with that much money? I don't know what his priorities are. If he wants to win a ring, Houston is by far his best shot. But he'd be leaving a lot of money on the table. That's basically a 4-year deal at around $100 million. His five-year deal in Atlanta, if they offered the full max, would be around $200 million. So yea, it'd be a big sacrifice, but suddenly that Rockets team is a hell of a lot more interesting. If you swap out Ryan Anderson for Paul Millsap defensively you're going from the 17th best defense into the top-10 somewhere. You get a bit more ball-handling and creation and he can still shoot. If you have like the 3rd best offense and the 8th best defense you're right in the thick of things. If you have the 2nd best offense and the 17th best defense, things can go wrong pretty quickly if some variance swings the other way.

I think the likeliest outcome involves Houston sitting on their cap space until 2018, when they'd have max space and only lose Ariza and Lou Williams. I think Morey still wants that second star (which Millsap is, just not to the degree that Paul George and Boogie are).

I'm just not sure that's what I would do. Their advantage over the league as far as three-point shooting goes is going to get progressively smaller each year as everyone else catches up. This core is older than you'd think, and it's not like beating Golden State is going to get any easier. I kind of think that if you can get Millsap now, you just do it and try to win your title over the next 2-3 years rather than wait on the uncertainty of 2018.

warfelg
05-12-2017, 06:58 PM
I'm just gonna throw this out there, but the Rockets are set to have something like $12 million in cap space already this summer (that number is inexact). The stretch provision could lower Ryan Anderson's salary from around $19.5 million to around $8.5 million. That gets them to $23 million in space.

I know I'm picking a slim thing here bit I think that they could easily trade out Anderson to a team under the cap looking for a stretch 4 by attaching a 1st and taking back some rights to players and 2nd's or something like that.

I think a team like Chicago, Philly, Charlotte, heck maybe even Phoenix would be good with a deal like that. The Nets would be all about renting out their cap space for a pick and something else in my estimation.

I've noticed that you love going to the stretch provision really fast for teams rather than thinking about them possibly moving.

Quinnsanity
05-12-2017, 07:12 PM
I know I'm picking a slim thing here bit I think that they could easily trade out Anderson to a team under the cap looking for a stretch 4 by attaching a 1st and taking back some rights to players and 2nd's or something like that.

I think a team like Chicago, Philly, Charlotte, heck maybe even Phoenix would be good with a deal like that. The Nets would be all about renting out their cap space for a pick and something else in my estimation.

I've noticed that you love going to the stretch provision really fast for teams rather than thinking about them possibly moving.

Of course you try to trade him first. That goes without saying. You try to trade anyone first, but some guys are much more easily traded than others. But Ryan Anderson is probably at his peak right now or trending slightly down, has a significant history of injuries, plays no defense and is locked in for three more years with a salary cap that's gonna be pretty flat over the next several seasons.

Just to go through those teams that you mentioned, Charlotte is already above the cap, they can't absorb him. Chicago won't have the space either if Wade is back, and even if they did, Mirotic is a more complete offensive player who is younger and will have his market value depressed by restricted free agency, so I'm willing to bet his contract will look better than Anderson's. Assuming Philly chases Lowry they need to save $35 million of their space, meaning they don't have the space unless they decline Gerald Henderson's option, and even if they do that I imagine they'd rather spend their cap on youngsters at guard/wing rather than bring in another 4/5 who needs minutes. Phoenix doesn't have the space unless they lose Alex Len, and even if they did, they have Bender and Chriss as their two planned 4's of the future who both need minutes to improve.

There isn't really a good trade fit for Anderson that I can see. Cap space is a lot more limited this year than it was last year, and all of the same concerns that previously existed with Ryno are still there. I don't think there's a team that would take him into their cap space for a first round pick that's likely to be in the late 20's this summer. I think it's stretch or bust for him.

Now, if they wanted to trade Lou Williams, they could do that in a hot second. Same with Eric Gordon. But Lou doesn't create as much space and Gordon is too good on a contract that looks too nice right now.

warfelg
05-12-2017, 07:27 PM
I see you skipped the Nets in that analysis you did there because it works. Chicago tried to trade Mitric this past season so I'm not 100% sure they are bent on keeping him.

NY Knicks might be able to, but I think it's unlikely for them.

And the Sixers only have $35mil in committed salary. With a $102 mil cap we could very easily being Anderson into the fold, and it's something that Colangelo has said he would like to do. I also think it's highly likely that we do not pick up Henderson's option. With at least 1 high pick to get a guard, TLC coming on very strong at the end of the year, and Furkan Kormaz likely to come over, Henderson would just be squeezed out of the rotation. Bringing back Holmes, RoCo, and TJ would only cost us about $3mil which could be saved by giving away Okafor for a bag of fart air.

Saddletramp
05-12-2017, 07:36 PM
If they were really serious about dumping Anderson to have the money for a star (assuming they have something in the works) and Philadelphia wants Anderson, why not Anderson for Okafor? That would free up $15 million right there. If he plays well next year, great. If he doesn't, see ya. They can renounce him next year. EDIT: Btw, I'm not saying that they should do this but if a guy like Millsap or Heyward wants to come over, it's a thought to clear up space.


I posted something in the Rockets forum last night:
The season's over. It was fun and the Rockets really set themselves up as a top team in the league (maybe not a top tier team but they're definitely up there). What should they do to keep it going next year?

I'll defer to Eddie with this stuff, but just looking at http://www.basketballinsiders.com/houston-rockets-team-salary/ it looks like next year's cap is around $101 million and right now the Rockets are at $87.6ish. So that's about $13 million open if Wiltjer, Bobby Brown, Isaiah Taylor, and Troy Williams aren't retained. Maybe renounce Nene and bring him back at the room exception (he'd still get a raise).

Harden isn't going anywhere, neither is Beverley, Gordon, Lou Will or Capella (unless it's the sticking point to a Paul George or Jimmy Butler type trade, which is doubtful). I'm assuming Dekker and Harrell are still in Morey's plans but Dekker might have a better trade value than he'll probably be worth long term.

Ryan Anderson makes about $20 million and if his 3 isn't falling, he's an expensive decoy. Blake might be available but I doubt he's an option, same with Millsap. Ariza has slipped so badly but I'm not sure what he could get you. Trade his $7 million for a second rounder to free up the space (and no, if that $7 million isn't needed than I'd say keep him)? That'd be about $20 million open if he were traded.


What would be a good plan for that $20ish million?

Harden/Gordon
Beverley/Lou
????/Dekker
Anderson/Harrell
Capella/Nene

The guard rotation is set and assuming Nene comes back, the PF/C rotation is set as well. If Ariza is retained, then maybe some extra pieces here and there with the $13ish million but honestly, there's enough of those type of players on the roster.

So that leaves a gap at SF. I assume Durant, Iguadola, and Hayward aren't interested. I don't think I'd want any part of Rudy Gay or Gallinari at a high price. Otto Porter will be restricted and I doubt he's a target. PJ Tucker? Joe Ingles? Bogdonovic? All three of these guys can hit 3's and Tucker has some pretty good defense (ask Harden). What about a guy like Sefolosha or Roberson (if cheap enough?)

What do you think?

warfelg
05-12-2017, 07:46 PM
If they were really serious about dumping Anderson to have the money for a star (assuming they have something in the works) and Philadelphia wants Anderson, why not Anderson for Okafor? That would free up $15 million right there. If he plays well next year, great. If he doesn't, see ya. They can renounce him next year. EDIT: Btw, I'm not saying that they should do this but if a guy like Millsap or Heyward wants to come over, it's a thought to clear up space.


I would do that as long as something was attached to Anderson coming along in exchange for eating that contract.

Quinnsanity
05-12-2017, 08:11 PM
I see you skipped the Nets in that analysis you did there because it works. Chicago tried to trade Mitric this past season so I'm not 100% sure they are bent on keeping him.

NY Knicks might be able to, but I think it's unlikely for them.

And the Sixers only have $35mil in committed salary. With a $102 mil cap we could very easily being Anderson into the fold, and it's something that Colangelo has said he would like to do. I also think it's highly likely that we do not pick up Henderson's option. With at least 1 high pick to get a guard, TLC coming on very strong at the end of the year, and Furkan Kormaz likely to come over, Henderson would just be squeezed out of the rotation. Bringing back Holmes, RoCo, and TJ would only cost us about $3mil which could be saved by giving away Okafor for a bag of fart air.

Let's say Henderson does get his option declined. That's basically $42 million in committed salary for next year before the pick, and if we assume they're picking 4th since that's their slot, that adds another $5 million. So $47 million in commitments. With a $101 million cap, that's $54 million in space. Lowry costs $35 million. Anderson costs $19.5 million. Both can't fit. It's close, but both can't technically fit unless Lowry takes a pay cut, and all of this is before we factor in Furkan potentially coming over, another potential lottery pick or any other player the Sixers might want to sign. Let's also point out that even without Okafor, they already have Embiid, Simmons, Saric and Holmes who need minutes at 4 and 5 spots. Don't give me the "Simmons is playing point guard" spiel, that doesn't mean he's going to defend 1's, it means he's going to initiate the offseason but nominally be the 4 and defend bigger players or wings. Why would they be interested in Anderson anyway? Is the 27th pick really worth having $60 million on your books for the next three years when Embiid and Covington are going to get extended next year? Is that pick really worth taking yourselves out of free agency entirely and taking minutes away from the guys you already have? It isn't. Or, if you'd just stretch him afterwards, do you want to be paying $8.5 million per year for the next seven years, well into the second contracts of every other youngster on your team? I doubt it.

I didn't skip the Nets because they work, I skipped them because you didn't mention them. But no, they probably don't work either. They have far less space than people think. It's really only around $30 million (don't remember the exact number offhand, but they signed some contracts last offseason, have some Deron Williams money left on the books and just have a bunch of guys on the bottom of the roster they want to keep looking at). They've also been connected to every RFA under the sun. They can't afford to sign KCP or Otto Porter or whoever they want to chase and fit Anderson. It would also be really dumb in a basketball sense to put Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson in the same front court (yes, I know they've technically played together, but they were both rookies). How are you going to defend anyone? Again, the 27th pick isn't worth all that.

And yea, the Knicks are going to take on ANOTHER giant big man contract when they just signed Noah for that ridiculous money, need like seven guards and have 30+ minutes per game dedicated to KP. There's also the fact that Phil thinks three-pointers are cheap, and the fact that we already have several younger guys getting minutes at 4 and 5 (Willy and Kuz, even if Kuz played more wing). This one is absolutely unequivocally not happening.

The Bulls also went 11-4 with Mirotic in the starting lineup down the stretch and through the first two Boston games before Rondo got hurt, and he kicked *** in those games (16/7 on 47/44/80). Could I see them letting him go? Sure, but I don't think we should take Chicago trying to trade someone as gospel because GarPax tries to trade everyone.

And on a general note, look at the free agent market. Why on Earth would a team commit to Anderson for three years at $60 million or so with the sheer volume of guys out there who do similar things and will make less? Mirotic, Olynyk, Ilyasova, Ingles, Patrick Patterson, Omri Casspi, Mike Muscala, these are all guys that are worse shooters than Anderson but offer other things as players and will come at a cheaper price. Hell, if you're willing to pay Anderson that much money, why aren't you getting in on Serge Ibaka or Gallinari? Both are more complete players who offer enough shooting to fill a similar offensive role.

Now, is it totally impossible that a team would find itself alone on the dance floor on like July 11th and say, "hey, Ryan Anderson looks pretty good right now?" No, of course not. Ryan Anderson is still a useful player. But he's overpaid with an injury history and a long contract, plus, what are the odds that this team with cap space that's taking him on has a guard that can take advantage of him as much as Harden and a coach like D'Antoni? I'd imagine the Anderson another team could realistically expect to get would be much closer to the New Orleans version than the Houston version. And plus, the Rockets will sort of be on a clock with this. If Millsap agrees on like July 5th, he's not going to say "sure, I'll hold off on signing my contract for 10 days while you figure out how to create the money."

That is the crux of why I bring up the stretch provision as often as I do. It is the one means of cap space creation that is totally within a team's control. Of course a team wouldn't stretch a player without TRYING to trade him first. That would be horrifically stupid. But there isn't always a market for the guy you're trying to trade. Show me an example of a team taking on a player making 20% of the cap for three more years as a cap dump in history. I don't believe it has ever happened, and if it has, it would've come in a climate with expected cap spikes, which are no longer coming. So I imagine if Houston had to create space in a pinch to fit in someone as good as Millsap, the likeliest outcome would be stretching Anderson (if the owner even approved that). In other cases, usually with smaller contracts, you can trade the guy more easily. But taking on Ryan Anderson is a colossal commitment. I doubt it's one any team would be interested in taking considering all of the other factors involved.

warfelg
05-12-2017, 08:18 PM
I'm only going to reply to the Sixers part because I'll be repeating myself:

COLANGELO HAS SAID HE WANTS ANOTHER POWER FOWARD!!!


Also I did mention the Nets:

The Nets would be all about renting out their cap space for a pick and something else in my estimation.

warfelg
05-12-2017, 08:25 PM
Also the reason I think it's funny that you talk about the stretch provision is because teams rather save it for situations other than this. You keep going to it like it's a normal thing to happen. It's not really. Teams don't like just going to it at all if they can help it. In the end a trade is normally found.

Saddletramp
05-12-2017, 08:32 PM
Yeah, he won't be stretched out this offseason or next. Too valuable even at that price.

Heediot
05-12-2017, 08:36 PM
Find a chauncey billups type with leadership (someone to hold everyone accountable), competitiveness, clutch shooting, someone who can close a series and how up in the playoffs/big moments.

warfelg
05-12-2017, 08:40 PM
Yeah, he won't be stretched out this offseason or next. Too valuable even at that price.

That and you can always find 2-4 teams that could be willing to take on salary for you if you put in the right things.

Quinnsanity
05-12-2017, 08:56 PM
I'm only going to reply to the Sixers part because I'll be repeating myself:

COLANGELO HAS SAID HE WANTS ANOTHER POWER FOWARD!!!


Also I did mention the Nets:

Yea, every team would probably want another power forward. There's a difference between wanting one and making a three-year, $60 million commitment to one. I wouldn't take what GMs say at this point particularly seriously.

And yes, the Nets would probably be willing to rent their cap space out for picks. Why would they do it for Houston when there are so many more sensible options with better contracts? Toronto is probably going to want to offload DeMarre Carroll if they plan to make a sincere effort to re-sign as many players as possible from last year's rotation. If I'm getting a pick all the same, and that pick is potentially this season rather than in the future, I'm definitely taking the two-year $30 million deal over the three-year $60 million deal. What if Charlotte wants to create cap space? They have a bunch of smaller contracts and their picks are probably going to be more valuable. Utah might need to trade Derrick Favors if they want to retain Hill and Hayward and stay below the tax (especially if keeping Ingles is a real goal), and even if Favors doesn't get you a pick he's a valuable guy you're getting on a one-year flier. Indiana has Al Jefferson, the Thunder have Kanter, the Magic have Augustin, the Pistons have their three backup centers, half of the Pelicans roster is on bad deals and ALL of these teams have real reasons to try to lose money, either for cap space or for luxury tax reasons, in a market that has far less total space than last year. Anderson is the biggest contract that anyone would try to dump unless the Knicks or Grizzlies really wanted to get rid of Noah or Parsons. That means moving Anderson is probably going to be hard, and Houston doesn't have a pick this year and will have low picks for the next few years. It would be enormously difficult to move that contract.


Also the reason I think it's funny that you talk about the stretch provision is because teams rather save it for situations other than this. You keep going to it like it's a normal thing to happen. It's not really. Teams don't like just going to it at all if they can help it. In the end a trade is normally found.

You know what the "normal thing to happen" is? The team that just made the second round NOT dumping their starting power forward to sign a replacement. The normal thing to happen would be Houston either taking their $10 million or so in space to sign bench guys or hoarding it for next summer when they can have max space. Normally teams do not aggressively try to improve upon 56-win teams when they don't already have the cap space to do so.

But this thread was about how the Rockets might improve. Millsap over Anderson is a big improvement. I don't think a trade is particularly likely given his contract. So if Houston wanted to go after Millsap, which I highly doubt they do, the stretch provision was the option available.

That's the thing. When I bring up the stretch provision it typically isn't in a way that suggests that I think it would happen. It rarely does happen because owners don't like paying players not to pay for them (the biggest reason Harden got traded to Houston in the first place, btw, was because OKC didn't want to amnesty Perk to solve their expected luxury tax problems). I bring it up as a possibility. It is always an avenue a team could explore to create more space if they had a really pressing reason to. That doesn't mean I expect it to come up often. It means it's an interesting tool for hypothetical conversations like these. Of course teams would look for trades first. They'd be stupid not to. But that doesn't mean a trade will be available for a player signed on for three more years at over $60 million with a significant injury history who needs very specific conditions to succeed.

TheMightyHumph
05-12-2017, 09:39 PM
The Rockets improve by upgrading the SF and getting some more size on the perimeter. An infusion of talent would be great. The problem is there aren't too many free agent options for them. Much of their improvement would probably have to come through trades.

They should have around 12 million of free cap space (assuming they don't re-sign Nene) so there's not much to work with and the options are limited. If they had a way to pull in a Jimmy Butler or Paul George-type player they would be GOLDEN.

IMO they're not far off, though. Give Harden a true running mate and the potential is there.

Patrick Beverly and Lou Williams aren't true running mates?

Scoots
05-12-2017, 10:52 PM
Find a chauncey billups type with leadership (someone to hold everyone accountable), competitiveness, clutch shooting, someone who can close a series and how up in the playoffs/big moments.

That's a tall ask. Got any names?

Vee-Rex
05-12-2017, 10:57 PM
Patrick Beverly and Lou Williams aren't true running mates?

I mean like another all-star type talent.

Toxeryll
05-12-2017, 11:08 PM
If they had the capspace. I suggested Lowry as third times a charm. But they would have to unload a player or two or Raptors agree to a sign and trade.

Lowry and Harden in the playoffs :badidea:

Vee-Rex
05-12-2017, 11:24 PM
They could start by giving Harden more rest (as suggested by D'Antoni), right MBT?

KnickNyKnick
05-12-2017, 11:26 PM
add melo have him chase dantoni away in 7 secs or less

europagnpilgrim
05-12-2017, 11:30 PM
If KD opts out try to hold a meeting with him, call Indy about George situation, also Bulls just to check on Butler, all else fails try and sign a Sefalosha type wing to back up Ariza or take his place and put Ariza coming off the bench since both are pretty much the same players but Ariza I think is older veteran

they should also check on what Gallinari is going to do over there with Denver, re sign Nene and if they don't plan on using Harrell I would probably package him up with Decker to see what I could get or to free up a few more million to spend, I would not trade Lou or Ariza unless it would net me a star player back or set me up to get one, especially on the current sweet deals they are on

other than that I don't see them doing much since Anderson probably wont be traded but if he does it will help them much sooner to acquire that superstar to team up with Harden which should help them more come playoff time, had Melo not end up on sour note with Mike D then I would look into that, but we all know that probably is not happening

Good thing is rockets won 55 or so games so its not like they are operating from a really desperate situation, just a nice tweak here or there and they could win 60+ games next season

Heediot
05-13-2017, 06:02 PM
That's a tall ask. Got any names?

Yeah guys like Billups and Sam Cassell are hard to find. Maybe Cp3, but he lacks credibility in terms of winning when it matters most.

lol, please
05-14-2017, 02:39 PM
IMO the Rockets need some post scorers around Capela. They have the 3 point shooting, to me this team is close enough to just make minor adjustments. They didn't lose because of personnel.

MILLERHIGHLIFE
05-14-2017, 03:05 PM
Yeah guys like Billups and Sam Cassell are hard to find. Maybe Cp3, but he lacks credibility in terms of winning when it matters most.

Brogdon been compared to Billups and Andre miller already on some sites. But the Bucks aren't giving Brogdon away.

FOXHOUND
05-14-2017, 03:41 PM
They don't have much flexibility to do much, but given that they had the 3rd best record in the NBA it means that they have to do too much. They already traded their 2017 1st for Lou Williams, so there's no more options there. Having $12M in free agency to play with can net them a solid player, but where do you go?

Someone like Ryan Anderson doesn't have that much value around the NBA. He didn't even have a strong year, he's 29 and he's making $20M. His value added to D'Antoni's system as a super stretch 4, with him standing way downtown, is not something that translates well to any other team. He's much more suited to be in a 6th Man role like he was in New Orleans than starting like he did for D'Antoni, and I don't see many teams lining up to absorb a highly flawed $20M 6th man.

Really, it's going to start with James Harden. If he continues to fail in the playoffs in the biggest moments then the peripheral talent doesn't matter that much. They can maybe look to move Lou Williams and his very manageable $7M, maybe even try to recoup that 1st round pick they traded for him, and then have $19M to go after someone. I'm not sure if that's enough for anyone meaningful, like a Millsap. I think both Boston and San Antonio will be vying for his services and both would probably be more attractive to him.

They have a very guard heavy roster and it's clear that D'Antoni loves his small ball and will continue to give guards minutes at SF. I would focus that $12M on trying to get a more legit PF than Anderson. Ideally, someone who can send Anderson back to that 6th Man role. Their bench is really their strength and with that they would have three of the strongest 6th Men in the NBA with Gordon, Williams and Anderson.

kyubi256
05-14-2017, 06:17 PM
Chris Bosh will be waived... So maybe they need to take a flier at him and hope for the best.

mrblisterdundee
05-15-2017, 12:08 AM
Chris Bosh will be waived... So maybe they need to take a flier at him and hope for the best.

If he comes on a steep discount and gets the full sign-off from his physician, Bosh would totally be worth a flier. He's already 33, but I could still see him approaching Aldridge-level production with some sustained playing time.