On Tuesday, the Knicks announced that they would not match the Rockets’ offer to Lin, sending him back to Houston. And after a week of summer league, Alexander still wants that blockbuster deal, but no longer considers it as crucial to the team’s long-term outlook.
“I thought it was more important two months ago than today,” Alexander said of the pursuit of a trade for a franchise star. “After you watch Jeremy Lamb play, and you watch Terrence Jones play and (Donatas) Motiejunas play and Royce White play, and (Chandler) Parsons is really good, we add Jeremy Lin and it (the major trade) is important, but it’s not as ultra-important as I thought it was. “
There’s always the chance of doublespeak. But if sincere, the sentiment is cause for celebration.
Multiple reports are confirming that the New York Knicks have declined to match the offer sheet agreed to by Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets. Translation: Linsanity is now coming [back] to Houston.
On the other side of the river, Houston’s rookies continued their impressive run in summer league play, posting collectively gaudy totals: Terrence Jones led the way with 24 points and 12 boards, Donatas Motiejunas had 20 and 12, Jeremy Lamb posted 23 and 6, and Royce White finished with 6-12-8.
There’s little more to say about Lamb that hasn’t already said – it feels as if he’s playing the game in slow motion at times. Never seems to be rushed by anything, but somehow always gets open, can always shake off his man (I recall one particularly effortless crossover) and is able to explode when he needs to. I’m really looking forward to seeing him play in the NBA, hopefully for us.
Although the Suns are prohibited from trading Scola until next July 1 (and can never trade him to Houston), depending on where his salary comes in at they just acquired a very attractive future trading piece. Even as he ages a durable, productive and cheap power forward is the kind of trade chip the Suns have lacked in recent years when frankly there has not been much of interest to entice trading partners.
This was a rather curious move. As we can infer from the Rockets’ decision, there isn’t a market for Scola. The types of asset from which the Suns would benefit–young players and draft picks–were what the Rockets themselves had pursued and obviously, after that search turned dry, they chose the route of amnesty. Only contenders would have interest in the 32 year old and contenders don’t have desirable pieces with which they’re willing to part. The best case for Phoenix would be nabbing a late first rounder from someone near the top, but even then, they’d have to swallow quite a bit in undesirable deals for a match.
Not so unlike the Rockets’ addition of Sam Dalembert last summer, this is a peculiar move for a team that has made nothing but that type since its glory days early last decade. After breaking up the league’s most potent offense over financial concerns and eventually allowing Amare Stoudemire to walk, the Suns quickly squandered that money ‘saved’ by inking the likes of Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick to offensive deals. They then held on to Steve Nash while he still held value.
The moves for Goran Dragic and Eric Gordon (the latter not coming to fruition) signaled steps in the right direction. But adding the 32-year-old Scola pushes Phoenix towards the middle doing nothing in the way of providing a foundation for the future. As we in Houston know, mediocrity can be painful and difficult to reroute from. Luckily, with their decisions this summer, and the ones still pending, the Rockets seem to be headed clearly either up or down. It looks like Phoenix might be placing a bid for Houston’s resident 14 spot.