UPDATE AT 5:00PM: For those knocking Pau Gasol…this isn’t about that. He’s absolutely legit, a bonafide top-15 player in this league. He’s worth Kevin Martin and Luis Scola and then-some. But again, this isn’t about that. This is about the direction of this team. Can you build a title around Gasol in the next four years before he breaks down? Apparently Morey thinks so. I would prefer to go young but if Les Alexander won’t allow that, you can at least respect the effort here.
The news yesterday broke via Twitter that Chuck Hayes was likely out. This will be a different lockerroom next season. Hayes was a man who many, myself included, hoped would retire with this team. He was the type of player who, upon reflection, conjured memories of Thorpe, Elie, and other franchise icons. True heart, grit, his style of play personifying what this Rockets team came to be about these past few years. With the forward’s departure, this will be a new Rockets team going forward. The Jeff Van Gundy era is now officially over, with its last holdover headed for greener (?) pastures. Unless some monumental acquisition is made, this loss alone should sufficiently ensure a losing record next season, an outcome I all along have been hoping for, given the circumstances.
Per Marc Stein, the Kings have offered forward Chuck Hayes $20million over four years. The Rockets are not expected to extend an offer.
It’s a sad day but one that was inevitable. While Hayes is worth every penny, with the direction in which this team is now headed, it would not have been wise to match such a price tag.
Hayes was this team’s leader and one of the most underappreciated men in our league. This was a payday well deserved.
Unless some major move is made, this development ensures the Rockets will take a major step back. The club suffered its worst stretch of the season last year with Hayes sidelined due to injury.
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...]