Rockets’ rookies continue to roll

A reader, Sir Thursday, writes:

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.

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in from the editor

Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns writes:

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.

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in musings

Linsanity could be coming to Houston


With point guard Raymond Felton on his way to New York via a sign-and-trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, evidence is mounting that the Knicks will not match the Houston Rockets‘ offer sheet to Jeremy Lin.

Team sources say the Knicks are still deliberating whether they can pay Lin more than $25 million over three years, but one source within the Knicks organization tells ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that the Knicks will not match the offer.

A team source tells’s Ian Begley that the third year of the Rockets’ offer — worth $14.8 million — makes it unlikely the Knicks would match. If the Knicks were to match the offer, they would also be subject to a luxury tax in the third year, bringing their total out-of-pocket cost for Lin to approximately $30 million in 2014-2015.

After a curious roundabout in Vegas which ultimately resulted in the Rockets FedExing their offer sheet to the Knicks’ New York offices,  the Knicks will have until 11:59PM on Tuesday to decide whether they want to bring back last year’s sensation.

It’s a shocking turn of events with New York having been expected up to this point to match any offer to Lin.  After Houston restructured the deal, cutting out the fourth year and further stuffing the third, things became murky.  The acquisition of Felton late Saturday night threw everything into the air.

There is still is some possibility of the Knicks matching and opting to use Lin in chunks at the ‘2’, but for now, it appears that Linsanity is coming to Houston.

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in musings

Where we stand as the weekend commences

Here’s my interview (10 minute podcast) from Friday afternoon with ESPN Radio’s The Blitz where I explained where things stand with respect to the Houston Rockets’ pursuit of Dwight Howard.  Not much has changed since that point except that the Rockets altered the offer sheet  given to Jeremy Lin, removing the fourth year on the contract and further stuffing year three with salary.  The New Yorkers are reportedly upset by the maneuver but are still expected to match.

As I explained on The Blitz, if we are to see movement on the Howard front, it might not come until later next week when the situations with Lin and Omer Asik are resolved.  Until it is known whether those players’ respective teams intend to match the Rockets’ offer, the Rockets and Magic in turn cannot know how many of the toxic Magic contracts Houston has the ability to absorb.

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in essays

Houston Rockets amnesty forward Luis Scola

As Y! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted just hours ago, the Houston Rockets have used the collective bargaining agreement’s amnesty provision to cut forward Luis Scola.  The deal clears the roughly $20million owed to the Argentinian from the team’s books, though they will still be on the hook for the bill in real-life fiscal terms.

Those circumstances naturally lead to the speculation that a Dwight Howard deal very well could be imminent.  Per Woj, the Rockets plan to file the papers tomorrow (Friday.).  While Woj mentions in his story on the move that no deal is imminent, it would seem to make little sense for the Rockets to commit to such an obligation sans some belief that a deal could get done.  To my knowledge, there would serve no explicit benefit to cutting Scola now as opposed to waiting things out until later.

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in musings

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