Huq’s Pen: On Brewer, Parsons
- I didn’t care much for the Casspi and Williams signings, but Ronnie Brewer has me excited, especially if he can return to form. He’s been a proven contributor on playoff teams and thus, there’s no reason to think that Brewer can’t rebound to where he left off in his last productive season, given the right situation. Houston has quietly stockpiled a glut of defensive specialists, from Dwight Howard, to Omer Asik, to Patrick Beverley, Francisco Garcia, and now Brewer. Chandler Parsons and (despite the hearsay you may have heard) Jeremy Lin are not exactly slouches on that end either. This is an important development for a team with title aspirations and a best player who isn’t particularly interested in bending his back on that end. The Rockets will also likely need to hide both Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones as well.
- On that note, it’s striking to consider the underrated nature of the Rockets’ offseason as a whole, aside from acquiring Dwight. They’ve scooped up low risk veterans like Brewer and Camby for peanuts, and somehow managed to retain Aaron Brooks and Garcia, the latter two both having paid dividends in the postseason. Perhaps the best move of all was opting to keep Omer Asik rather than hurriedly dealing him away, despite that player’s alleged trade requests. My Gosh, look at that depth chart. The veterans are all players, even Reggie Williams, who have very recently been productive, and the young players all possess exceptional potential. To add, not a single player can be considered a deadweight contract (despite the hearsay you may have heard about Jeremy Lin.) Gone are the days of Clarence Weatherspoon and Mark Jackson, and waiting to unload Shandon Anderson off the books. Do you remember those days? I try to forget but sometimes still wake up in cold sweats.
- I noted this morning, in passing, that it struck me that the team’s three best players (in Howard, Harden, and Asik), were all not only young, but boasted tremendous playoff experience, all having been to at least the conference finals. I didn’t think at the time that this would be considered a controversial statement but instead, several of you took exception, citing the merits of the man recently dubbed on these pages as The Hair. Parsons is a fascinating case study and one the subject of which would not be given due attention without a longer piece….so we’ll do that, later. But for now: I think many seem to misunderstand absolute and relative value. Parsons is far and away the best value contract in the league, but if normalized for salary, that perceived value drastically diminishes. Now, indeed, Parsons is a rock solid glue-man who I hope retires in red. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, some more painful truths need to be spoken. At the $10million/annual he’ll likely command, Parsons suddenly isn’t indispensable and a business man like Morey will likely pause and give second thought to the check he is cashing. But I truly believe Morey will swallow down because, in some instances, a premium must be paid for the synergistic values of chemistry and longevity. To wit, in a vacuum, there would probably be better options than Parsons for the amount he might get. But for the reputational goodwill that would be destroyed if casting him out (after his role in recruiting Dwight), and for what he brings as the team’s longest tenured player, the price will be worth it. But let’s be honest with ourselves in reaching that conclusion.
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