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Huq’s Pen: More on ESPN’s hypothetical trade of Kyle Lowry to the Houston Rockets

I spent much of yesterday discussing Amin ElHassan’s proposed trade of Kyle Lowry to the Houston Rockets, both on Twitter and in a podcast.  Again, a disclaimer: this is not an actual scenario that has been reported to have been discussed.  Don’t run with this.  It’s merely speculation and Red94 is a blog.  I’m just here to entertain you.

With that out of the way, to the particulars of the deal: ElHassan proposes sending Jeremy Lin and three second rounders to the Raptors for Lowry and Austin Daye.  On the podcast, I discussed my thoughts on this, in depth, so no need to rehash that.  But one addendum I’d like to make, which I hadn’t discussed in the pod, but touched on a bit on Twitter, pertains to the long term ramifications of such a deal.

If you trade for Lowry, and you’re hoping it works out, you’re essentially locking yourself in to this roster.  Why?  As of now, the team stands to have major flexibility in the summer of ’15 upon the expiration of the Lin and Asik contracts.  By all reports, they’re guarding that flexibility at all costs.  This was why, allegedly, Daryl Morey balked at deals for Jeff Green and Thad Young last month – because those players had deals which extended into 2015.

If you trade for Lowry, it’s a safe assumption you are hoping it works out.  If it works out, and you keep him, it will probably cost you, at the least, $8million/annually to extend him.  There goes that ’15 money.

Now if it doesn’t work out, and you let him walk, your coffers are still in tact, but you lost Lin for nothing.  This is where difference of opinion takes over as I’m not of the opinion that Lin is a guy that you just give away just to get out from under his contract.  But my opinion is a minority opinion.  Most people feel that contract is an albatross and that just makes very little sense to me.  I’d only trade Lin if I got something back in return, not just to get rid of him.  But in any event…

If you bring back Lowry, and you get initial feelers that it is a long term fit, then you might as well just deal Asik for either Green or Young.  Because at that point, ’15 is out the window.  Would you all be comfortable with a nucleus of Lowry, Harden, Parsons, Howard, Green/Young (with Beverley and Jones off the bench)?  On Twitter, almost all of you were very comfortable with that and even preferred it to the scenario of waiting it out for Love.  (It’s fascinating how divergent the opinions to those of you on Twitter are from those of you who participate in the forum.)  I don’t know which way I’d lean, but I’ll say this: there’s something to taking the bird in hand.  Daryl Morey has never put his team in a position where they would be locked in to a roster and that’s essentially what you’d be doing in this scenario.  But this is also the first time since the McGrady years that he’s had a contender in his hands.  Can he really just waste precious years from Dwight Howard’s prime hoping on a longshot?  Dwight Howard is a very old 28 and I think that really needs to be carefully considered.

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Total comments: 21
  • Journeymany says 8 months ago

    I can't believe so many people are seriously talking about this trade - does no-one remember what happened the year Lowry left??!!

    No, no, and.... no. And I'm pretty certain that Lowry would be seriously pissed at having to play for McHale again. Everyone forget this?

    "If things aren't addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved."

  • rocketrick says 8 months ago Don't forget that the 1993-1995 Rockets did not have a top PG and they did just fine with Kenny Smith, Vernon Maxwell and Sam Cassell. With Harden taking some of the necessary playmaking away from typical PG's because of his unique skillset, it just doesn't make any sense for the Rockets to spend even more money at the PG position in my opinion. Lowry is going to command at minimum a 4 year, $32 million contract at the end of this season and don't be surprised if he ends up with even more money than that.

    I agree with Bucko that the Rockets are in perfect position to sign both Chandler Parsons and Terrance Jones when it comes time to re-up them. Terrance Jones is under contract through 2016-17 so plenty of time yet to see how he continues to develop. For sure I expect that Parsons gets paid at the end of this season. In 3 years time, who knows where Terrance Jones will be. Hopefully he will continue to improve his game and become too valuable to not re-sign. That would be a good thing!

    Anyway, instead of the Rockets paying too much money for a Rondo or a Lowry, I'd rather see them invest in Parsons and add a quality 3 and D wing and a solid backup center for D12. At some point the Rockets will also have to make some decisions on PG as Lin is under contract through the end of next season, Beverley is under contract through the end of 2015-2016 and AB is only signed for just this season.
  • BallSoHarden says 8 months ago

    Now Lin is worth Amir and Lowry??? I can't fathom how some peoples minds work

    Deffinitely not. Adding in D-Mo, picks, Asik or something from Boston, and taking back a bad contract like Fields or Salmons, I think would because as thenit said earlier the Raptors believe Lowry will leave for nothing. We have 6 picks in the next 2 years and won't have enough roster spots to sign most of those players so we should deal them and anyone who won't be a main contributor on a championship team to upgrade the 8/9 man rotation.

  • thejohnnygold says 8 months ago

    If I were Toronto I would be shopping for a SF or PF upgrade. Maybe you can get a SG and move Derozan to SF. This Lin/Lowry trade just doesn't make sense for either side.

    Even if Toronto decided they could put Lin at SG and run with Vasquez at the point we still don't want Lowry in Houston. This trade is not viable.

    I truly believe we will be using OKC's cap management failure as a guidebook for our future moves. Retaining Jones and Parsons should be a priority. If we can keep Lin and Beverley then that's great. If not, at that point letting them go and signing a veteran PG who can manage the offense will be fine as we will be solid at every other position.

    I disagree that our window is small. Dwight will decline slower than Parsons and Jones will emerge as studs (they are nearly there, aren't they?). As his ability to lead declines, they can pick up the slack. Imagine Howard being the 4th or 5th best player on the court in 2-3 years. That will be awesome! He will still be better than most centers in the league.

  • thenit says 8 months ago


  • timetodienow1234567 says 8 months ago Now Lin is worth Amir and Lowry??? I can't fathom how some peoples minds work
  • BallSoHarden says 8 months ago

    Still haven't decided how I would feel if Rondo was the PG on this team, but it makes for an intriguing 3 team trade between HOU/BOS/TOR. A trade centered around:

    HOU receiving- Rondo, amir Johnson

    BOS receiving- Lowry

    TOR receiving- Lin

    Of course other players and picks would have to be traded around for salaries and talent to be equal, but this is just the basis for a trade. We might have to throw in Asik and take back a bad contract but as long as it's not Gerald Wallace, I'm fine with it because that would be a future expiring or money reserved for Parsons (like Indiana will let Granger expire for L. Stephenson's new deal). If we can save Asik we could maybe flip him for a Wilson Chandler or Korver package.

  • thenit says 8 months ago

    Well NYK offered Felton, Metta and 2018 pick. How is that any better. At least Lin has an upside, there is an huge Asian population in Toronto so it would also fill the seats here. He is a young PG with upside and Toronto has money to spend. His expiring contract on 2015 is not bad either for them to try to chase FA then.

    Out of those two deals HOU is the better one.

  • Steven says 8 months ago

    There have to be better packages than a year of Lin at 15 mil and second round picks....

    You forgot Brewer.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 8 months ago There have to be better packages than a year of Lin at 15 mil and second round picks....
  • thenit says 8 months ago

    Why would Toronto make that deal?

    I live in Toronto, they are afraid that Lowry won't resign and therefore lose him for nothing. Masai is a smart GM and worshipped so I doubt they be happy with making a run and ultimately lose in the 1st or second round without a chance of winning it all. The problem here in Toronto is that no Big FA wants to sign here because of lack of exposure on ESPN and the tax situation.

    As a Rockets fan I hope to God we don't make this deal. Lowry needs the ball in his hand and run the offense like Lin. Lowry is better at D, but his attitude will destroy the team chemistry. Rudy Gay who is Lowry's best friend didn't even let Kyle run the offense and we saw those # he was awful and crying a lot here in Toronto, so he will not like playing with Harden.

  • Buckko says 8 months ago

    We won't be able to sign a better PG than lin unless we intend on screwing our cap situation and the rockets have bird rights to both jones and parsons so we ca sign them to what ever X amount even if we're past the cap limit. Best decision, do nothing.

  • John P says 8 months ago

    Following Sir Thursday...
    First, from just the eye test, getting Lowry now is getting a pretty damn good player...as long as he brings his D with him (effort wise) the value is there for the next three years as far as ability is concerned

    but the ultimate result is that it depends on what Lowry wants...if he wants to get paid and run the show then you don't resign/extend him after his one year with us...
    if he has made his big money and then instead wants to be on a championship bound team like the Rox then maybe he is willign playing second fiddle

    ...but if we can just get past the attitude issue...which is a big if I realize, then that bulldog D that made his name for him when he came to Htown from Memphis, he would be awesome

    I think the issue is that if you trade Lin for Lowry and then Lowry doesn't work, then can you pick up a good guard as good or better than Lin the next year. I think you maybe can....but only if it is in FA....if it is trading for a good PG...the whole league will know how desperate we are for one and will bid the price up

  • Sir Thursday says 8 months ago

    @Knickabokkaz: I find that a pseudo-religious observance of the "Any time you see Stephen A Smith, change the channel/close the video/mute/do whatever you have to do to make him go away" credo makes basketball a much more enjoyable sport to follow ;).

    But I think you're right that Lowry would not thrive in Houston to the extent he was doing in Toronto.


  • Knickabokkaz says 8 months ago This reminds me of Stephen A Smith so happy to get Felton over Lin. A guy in his 8th yr or more, with multiple years of mediocrity with the upside completely shot. It's done. Your staying at that level. You get the ultimate neo green light (like Lowry does with Toronto this year) after about 8 years, and you finally put up decent #s .

    All you hear now is Stephen A Smith crying saying "I wish we had Jeremy Lin right now". I even have audio of it

    There's 3 things you need for Lowry to be successful that he won't get in Houston like he gets in Toronto
    1. The GREEN LIGHT
    2. Run the offense (he ain't getting that over Harden)
    3. Dominate the ball (he ain't getting that over Harden either)

    Guess what you got? Lol the same JLin situation.
  • Cooper says 8 months ago If you could make that deal and then get green or Thad young it's pretty much a no brainer. That's a team that can compete with Miami okc and Indy. And you'd have a shot at KD in summer 16 who's by far the 2nd best player in the league. But if you just end up with Lowry and can't swing a deal for one of those other guys you're stuck with essentially a WCF ceiling which wouldn't be the end of the world but not a maximization of Dwight's few prime years left. It's clearly a long shot to get both Lowry and green/young though.
  • John P says 8 months ago

    I think do figure this out you have to say who you have to have on the team long term: Harden, Parsons and Howard, and then see where you can have a lesser/cheaper player and still be competitive.
    With Parsons playing the way he is, he is going to get paid and a lot....add in Jones and I don't see how we keep either one if we are paying Love or someone like Love max money. Maybe I am wrong but I think it is maybe better to fill in the spots around H and H with B players rather than A players...your team will be more well rounded/balanced across the board, helping you deal with injuries when they happen and able to create a balanced attack.

    But then I guess if you had a team of Love, Howard, and Harden, vets like the Battier's and Allen's of the world flock to you anyway to chase rings and give you that B performance you need at those positions to put you over the hump.

    ...also, don't Melo and Love come off at the same time? why wouldn't they team up? I can't seem them going far but you could see them in LA with the old Kobe. So many factors, but when you look at the downsides/improbabilities of making a third A player fit in, signing Lowry doens't look like that bad of an option (ignoring any issues of personality with McHale)

  • John P says 8 months ago

    I think the bigger question is that, at least this year, we are not going that far with this team...and PG/perimeter D is our biggest weakness.
    I am not for locking up this team long term and/or losing Lin for nothing either, but even if you can sign Love you still need a capably PG or at least a good perimeter defender to take this team over the hump. Lowry is that....only one example, there are other players who could work, but he is a damn good player. ...how many other good defenders with a positive offensive game that can be gotten...not that many that I can think of.

    Also, I don't have the numbers but even if you take Lin and Asik off the books in 15, you have to eventually pay or trade Parsons and Jones, both of which are looking to be great players. Maybe you trade one of them to get a Love or other type player, but where do those costs come into calculating if you can even pay for Love's max or near max contract.

  • Buckko says 8 months ago

    I agree. Mchale and Lowery did not mix well. 3 2nds is a lot too.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 8 months ago Why would Toronto make that deal?
  • goRockets says 8 months ago

    I thought Lowry left Houston partly due to his "issues" with McHale, didn't want to play for him, so how would bringing him back affect all that messy dynamic, doesn't sound like he's going to be happy about it, especially knowing that his role is likely going to be something like JLin's, even if he starts, Harden is still going to have the ball in his hands 90% on most possessions. Contractually it might make sense, but chemistry wise I think getting Lowry back is a step back for the Rockets.

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