New Kids On The Block – While everyone was busy ogling Thomas Robinson at practice yesterday, the Rockets sneakily signed Timothy Ohlbrecht to a multi-year deal. Here’s a quick run-down of the German big man from the team’s official site:
Ohlbrecht (6-11, 255, Germany) has averaged 13.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.63 blocks in 32 games (29 starts) with Rio Grande Valley this season. He was also named a 2013 NBA D-League All-Star, registering 12 points (6-9 FG) and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Prospects in a 139-125 win over the Futures squad. At the time of his signing, Ohlbrecht led the D-League in field goal percentage (.605, 164-271 FG) and stood 13th in the league in blocks per game (1.63).
A member of the German National Team, Ohlbrecht has also competed internationally with Bayer Leverkusen (Germany-BBL, 2005-06), Brose Baskets Bamberg (Germany-BBL, 2006-09), Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany-BBL, 2009-11) and Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany-BBL, 2011-12).
After the break: let the ogling continue. [read more…]
As it turns out, the Houston Rockets rely on three point shooting. With 28.7 threes attempted per game, the Rockets shoot more from downtown than any team in the league except the New York Knicks (29 per game). The Rockets score 29.8% of their points from behind the arc. They even tied the NBA record for most three pointers made in a game (23, against Golden State on Feb. 5th, 2013). We know how much they live by the three, but how much do they die by the three?
At some point while writing this post, I forgot that Carlos Delfino’s contract was, rather than an expiring, nonguaranteed next season. My premise had been that the team would not re-sign him, opting to save future flexibility. That’s incorrect.
As the contract becomes nonguaranteed next season, the decision isn’t even whether to re-sign Delfino. It’s whether or not they should waive him.
It’s unlikely that the Dwight Howard and Josh Smith situations will be resolved by June 30. While Weiner points out that several teams would have cap space by July to absorb Delfino in a trade in the event that Houston suddenly needed the space (ie: if Howard suddenly became available), that contingency seems quite risky. My bet is that, like the move to amnesty Scola, Houston will waive Delfino, keeping their options as open as possible. They’ll then look to replace his production from other sources, once the dust settles.
The point here is not that $3million is too much. It’s that the Rockets will want to maintain maximum flexibility during the summer months.
Clutchfans’ David Weiner today released his ‘Houston Rockets Salary Cap Update’, a bi-annual state-of-finances report on the Houston Rockets.
Among the interesting nuggets was this:
Deciding which player(s) to take in the 2013 NBA Draft will not be the only key decision the Rockets have to make this June. As mentioned above, they have until June 30 to waive Delfino before his $3 million salary for next season becomes fully guaranteed.
The non-guaranteed nature of Delfino’s salary makes him an attractive trade asset on draft day for teams looking to dump salary. The acquiring team could immediately waive Delfino and avoid paying him anything, making him sort of like a “super expiring” contract. However, given the Rockets’ desire to maximize cap room, it would take a fairly significant offer for Houston to pull the trigger on a salary dump trade at this point.
The Frightening Question – This weekend, The Painted Area asked the question that a lot of fans don’t want to face– “What If Thomas Robinson Just Isn’t That Good?” My answer to that question comes in two parts, but first, an excerpt:
Overall, Robinson rates a fairly dismal 23rd among rookies in PER (10.9) and 26th in EWA (basically PER taking total minutes into account), despite being one of the older, more-experienced rookies taken in the lottery. What’s more, when I open up my trusted copy of Pro Basketball Prospectus by ESPN’s Kevin Pelton, I find that the translated stats from Robinson’s junior season projected his production as an NBA rookie pretty much dead on – with very good rebounder and very inefficient scorer being the two headlines. (Though it is worth noting that Robinson’s stats from his sophomore season, when he played far fewer minutes, give him a more favorable projection.)
The post also points out that T-Rob has had 10.8% of his shots blocked this year (although DeMarcus Cousins has also had about 10% of his blocked, and no one doubts that he’s an NBA talent). Anyways, if Robinson isn’t good, that means two things. One, it means that the Rockets just squandered a hard-working guy in Patrick Patterson. That’s obvious. Two, it means that a large percentage of talent evaluators across the league were just plain wrong. [read more…]