Trading Teams For Superstars Is Not As Smart As It Sounds

If you’re an NBA general manager not employed by the Oklahoma City Thunder or Miami Heat, it seems that the trendiest thing you could possibly do at the moment is make every player on your roster available in a very public (and very desperate) attempt at acquiring Chris Paul, Deron Williams, or Dwight Howard. (Or, if you’re a voracious halfwit, might as well make a run at two!) Asking why a front office would employ this not so covert strategy isn’t a cool or popular question to pose, and it would probably make those within earshot lose a tiny bit of respect for you as a basketball fan/human being. These are superstars we’re talking about! And they’re available! Real life superstars!

In case you didn’t know, a superstar creates visibility for a franchise, which creates interest, which greatly increases the likelihood of increasing said organization’s monetary value. But looking at this through the lens of basketball sensibility, putting all your chips in for one player might not be the smartest team building technique. Read More »

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ESPN: Houston Rockets inform Hornets they are prepared to trade for Chris Paul with no assurance of an extension

There is also a small handful of teams that has informed the Hornets they are prepared to trade for Paul with no assurance that they can keep him beyond this season. That list, sources say, includes the Rockets, Boston Celtics and defending champion Dallas Mavericks.

Each of those teams would be gambling that Paul would be won over by his new surroundings and either elect to play out the final season of his current contract valued at $17.8 million in 2012-13 or opt out of his contract on July 1, 2012, and sign a new deal. Pauls 2011-12 salary is listed at $16.4 million.

via Chris Paul of New Orleans Hornets could be traded before season, sources say – ESPN.

Read the rest of the article.  There are nuggets.  Many, but far too much to be quoted.  I wrote last week of the dream scenario landing Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.  Acquiring Paul would be the first domino.

The good news from the above is that Morey indeed is willing to go all in for Paul, even without a guarantee that he stays.  The other good news is that apparently, other clubs in the race are hesitant to part with key assets without said guarantee – the Clippers are unwilling to move Gordon; the Lakers seem to be holding onto Bynum for a Howard trade.

The sources cite the Rockets, Celtics, and Mavericks as the three teams willing to go broke for Paul without an extension.  That begs the question whether Rondo is seen as more desirable than whatever Houston is offering.

I’ll preface with this: I don’t think we get it done.  We just don’t have that blue-chip prospect around which to center a deal.  I commend the effort and bravery, but like last year, I don’t think we get this done.

My thoughts: I spoke with many of you on Twitter roughly seven minutes ago about this news.  For the most part, most of you are in agreeance: go broke or go home.  To those of you seemingly against this rumored offer, I must ask: to what exactly are you holding onto?  As it stands, this team is embedded in the cruel clutches of mediocrity.  Kyle Lowry and the like are nice players and men for whom I have the utmost respect….but these aren’t game-changers.  As it stands, the Rockets are looking at perpetual 8th-seed irrelevance.  The sole truth of the NBA hardwood might just be the necessity of a superstar.

You trade for Paul and give yourself a chance.  If he leaves, so be it.  You’ve lost nothing irreplaceable.  You begin a complete rebuilding.  But you gave yourself a chance.

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Paying respect where it is due

If you missed it last night, Bob Costas sums up the Houston Texans’ improbable run rather beautifully:

http://youtu.be/fEuRef3aFwk

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Should The Rockets Use Their Amnesty Option On Luis Scola?

The new CBA’s Amnesty provision is a blessing for general managers, ironic torture for owners, an escape route for players, and really, really fun for anyone who enjoys speculating the future plans of millionaire professional athletes. It’s viewed as a get out of jail free card by most, but not every franchise is crippled by a terrible contract, so there’s no chance of a situation presenting itself where all 30 teams choose to exercise their right to axe an overpaid player on December 9th. But there’s also, reportedly, no expiration date, presenting a very interesting situation for those teams who don’t have the time right now to fill their cap space up with crummy replacements just to reach the higher minimum salary floor. In doing so, teams would be clawing themselves out of quicksand by kicking their legs and flailing their arms instead of using the new provision for what it was meant to be, an overhanging tree branch. Read More »

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From the Ninetyfourums: implications of a 66-game season

Reader Favian Pua writes:

In those 42 games, the Rockets played 30 away from the confines of the Toyota Center, going 12-18 (.400). So when the team’s 18-23 (.439) road record from the previous season is factored into the equation, the Rockets seem to be at par. However, the true litmus test is the team’s record on the second night of back-to-backs. The Rockets only went 7-14 (.333), a legitimate concern that is overlooked.

Houston relies heavily on scoring, posting 106.7 points per game, the second highest clip given 0 days rest only behind the Knicks. Take into the consideration their seventh-fastest pace and this is a team that tries to outscore their opponents to win. Much easier said than done when on the road, as the defense has to play a bigger role. I’m looking at you, Luis Scola.

Click here for the entire story.

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