I threw the Woj piece up on the front page yesterday for your personal edification, but didn’t get a chance to share my thoughts. So I’ll do that here. First, a more pressing matter.
I wrote last night that the Jeremy Lin situation was turning into a complete and utter disaster. Once more, I want to be clear: the disaster is the Knicks draft pick which is losing value with every day; it is not, as some have inferred, that we lost out on Lin.
What Jeremy Lin is doing right now is remarkable. Watching him closely last night, it is clear he belongs in this league. He’s a smart player with all of the athletic tools needed to succeed at his position. But he would not be having this same degree of success were he still with the Houston Rockets.
Right now, Lin is playing on a team with no other point guards. Even if he were to have beaten out Goran Dragic for the backup spot in Houston, he still would have been sharing minutes with Kyle Lowry. So when you fret over supposedly losing Lin’s current total production, you’re saying you’d prefer Lin over the aggregate of Lowry and Dragic. Jeremy Lin would not have been putting up 38 points on this team in just 20 minutes of opportunity.
If it’s just about losing out on a good player, I still disagree: I’m more than happy with Dragic and it made sense to prefer him at the time that decision was made. He was proven and he knew the system. Oh, I should also probably add that he’s been this team’s best player over this current road trip. If you want to argue that Lin is better than Dragic, that’s fine; but as I said above, Lin wouldn’t have been putting up the numbers, in Dragic’s place, with Lowry here, that have led many in this town to soil themselves and point the finger at Daryl Morey. If you think that’s the case, you don’t understand basic math. (And I don’t even have to address a per-minute value efficiency comparison between Dragic/Lin because these same reactionists wouldn’t have understood enough to bring it up.)
On to more important matters: according to Woj, the Rockets still desire Pau Gasol, but the Lakers want Kyle Lowry. Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen. Martin/Scola for Gasol isn’t happening either because the Lakers aren’t that dumb.
I found the December manifestation of the Gasol trade most intriguing because it involved the signing of Nuggets forward Nene. But just for Gasol? You have to think for a minute. Those arguing that Scola=Gasol on the basis of their per-game averages are embarrassing themselves and would be laughed out of any bar outside of Houston. The two players are not really even on the same planet and anyone whose watched a Lakers game in the Mike Brown era can understand why the Spanish center’s numbers are down – he’s getting used less than a condom in an adult film.
Would the Lakers consider a package of Martin/Scola/Dragic for Gasol? Would the Rockets be willing to make that offer? I’m not sure. As I said above, Dragic has been this team’s MVP over this recent stretch. That might be too much to give up.
The greater thematic issue though is the production–or lack of–from Martin and Scola. The Rockets have almost been winning in spite of these two starters for a greater stretch of the season. Even in games where Martin has poured in high numbers, can anyone really say he’s contributed more than Courtney Lee? With Patrick Patterson finding his jumpshot and returning to his old ways from last season, I think most would agree he’s surpassed Luis Scola.
The Rockets can easily replace Martin’s production, and have been doing so in second halves and games he’s missed, with Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee. They need to give more minutes to Patterson. In summation, they must search hard to unload and find value for their starting “power” forward and shooting guard. The longer they wait, the more depreciation occurs on each player’s respective value, especially in the case of the aging Scola.