Rockets Retro: The Young Nucleus

Barring a major trade, the Houston Rockets will enter the season with an impressive collection of young talent.  Jeremy Lin, Jeremy Lamb, Omer Asik, Chandler Parsons, Donatas Motiejunas, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris, Royce White, and Terrence Jones are all under 26 years old and all carry some degree of promise as a player in this league.  The situation brings to mind the last time the franchise had a similar makeup: 2002, the year Les Alexander infamously dubbed his squad “one of the great teams ever assembled.”

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Demographics

A thread this morning in the discussion forum brought to mind a topic I’ve pondered for some time: how exactly are the demographics of Rockets fans composed?  The question holds significance because, as we can infer from the Jeremy Lin signing, business implications do hold bearing on personnel decisions.

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Trying to preview the regular season

Before beginning my annual process of circling three Rockets games from the future to which I’m most looking forward to viewing, a few roadblocks had to be broken down. And by a few, I really mean one gigantic brick wall of uncertainty standing in the way of a clear opinion: the roster.

Thus far, Houston’s offseason has been one of personnel fluidity—rumors, hopes, disappointment, and excitement, all wrapped in about a two month span. However, this past week a lot of the day dreams changed when Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, and Terrence Jones signed their first NBA contracts. As far as I know, players signed to rookie deals aren’t allowed to be traded for 30 days upon putting ink to paper on their first contracts, meaning those three are now off the table in any Dwight Howard/Superstar X trade possibility for the time being, giving Houston’s 2012-13 roster a clearer outline. (Once again, for the time being.) Taking this into account then including the team’s two major free agent acquisitions—Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik—a temporarily suitable roster can now be made. [read more…]






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Goran Dragic vs. Kyle Lowry: Epilogue

Back in March, when I started this series, it seemed unfathomable that neither player would be employed by the Houston Rockets come July.  That is now where we stand.  Both Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic, each deemed future All-Stars and considered franchise cornerstones at some point, have moved on.  What seemed a decision between these two ended in Linsanity.

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Criticisms of Asik deal are unwarranted

Except in the die-hard Internet refuges, all month, I’ve seen and heard nothing but mockery for the Rockets’ pursuit and eventual signing of center Omer Asik.  The criticism is a bit difficult to understand.  Had they had Magic center Dwight Howard already in the fold, I do think Rockets management would have opted to spend Asik’s money elsewhere or hoped the Bulls would match.  But that one of the game’s best players would make Asik’s skillset redundant doesn’t mean this was cash ill-spent.  With it looking more unlikely that Howard lands in Houston, this bird-in-hand was well worth his $8million/year pricetag and at just 26, should be a major building block for the team going forward.

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