Huq’s Pen: Rockets acquire Dragic, Thabeet

A lot of thoughts right now.  First off, today has been one of the worst days in the history of Red94.  The trade deadline–the biggest day of the NBA season–and the server decides to go out.  I’m working to get this situation fixed so I apologize for all of the problems this week.  This was downright embarrassing.

Onto the trades: I wrote earlier this morning of my thoughts on what was then just a rumor in the Battier-Thabeet swap.  I like it.  Shane was a guy who was out the door this summer, most likely, so it’s a plus to get anything out of him.  Yes, we’re out of the playoff race, and yes, this wasn’t the mega-blockbuster that had Shane and 3/4 of our roster going to NOLA for CP3, but scenarios like that were wholly unrealistic to begin with.  With this deal, you net a first round pick, at some point, and take a flier on a guy in Thabeet who could have impact at some point.  Wading around the internets the past few hours, I know the impression on Thabeet is not high at all (as I gather, people would be more excited if I was suiting up at the ‘5’ than Hasheem), but I stand by my assessment of his play from last season: he can be a force.  Is that likely?  Of course not.  If anything, it’s a stretch.  But for this cost, it’s worth the gamble, everyday.  Holding onto Shane provided nothing past sentimental value.

I feel similarly about the Dragic-Brooks deal.  With Aaron regressing this season, you landed a player on par with regard to talent, netted a draft pick, and saved yourself the headache of free agency this summer.  You basically traded AB for AB and bought yourself time.  (In fact, both of these deals can essentially be seen as such: buying time by trading assets set to diminish, and recouping value not superior, but preservative of original value; in essence, Morey slightly added to the war chest without hurting himself.)

I know there’s a level of frustration out there regarding these deals, but I don’t know what else you can do. Everyone wants the superstar or the panic deal, but instead just receives the “next summer” mantra.  How long can a consumer-base stay patient?

I don’t know what else Morey could have done, honestly.  They just didn’t have what it took to land a superstar, and were already dealt a sour hand with the Yao/McGrady mess.  To his credit, he has not panicked, but it’s difficult to see any light at the end of this tunnel.  To add insult to injury, it didn’t help matters that guys like Hill, Brooks, and Budinger all actually regressed this season…

I guess you could say though that the fan base really can’t get any more apathetic than it already is, so there’s little incentive for Morey to completely panic.

-Another thought: if going young, why not trade Martin and Scola as well?  Or was the point not necessarily to go young, but rather to just preserve value by adding youth?  Either way, it seems futile to keep Scola around on this squad.  My guess is that there just weren’t any good offers on that front.

Final note is on Battier, a guy who, every time I walked into that lockeroom, evoked the thought and dread of the day of his departure.  Shane, you will be missed, and there was so much more left of you I wanted to inquire.  Battier was the entire symbol of an era that now seems to be over and the figurehead of the most controversial trade in Rockets history.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

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