First, please follow @rahathuq on Twitter.  As you know, my previous account (@redninetyfour) has been compromised, thus the lack of updates during this, the most important week of the NBA calendar.  I’ll roll with @rahathuq indefinitely unless something is resolved with the real account.  Please retweet to other Rockets fanatics.

Now, to the real topic: as I write this, the Rockets are awaiting word on whether the Chicago Bulls will match their offer for Omer Asik, a maneuver which, regardless of your opinion on Asik, has to at least be recognized as ingenius on the part of Daryl Morey.  By structuring the contract in what is essentially a 5-5-15 format, Morey has created a poison pill which will be tough to swallow in the face of the league’s new luxury tax regulations.  (The Rockets also hope to offer New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin a similar contract.)  This is not the first time we’ve seen such “creative financing” from the Morey regime as the Samuel Dalembert contract which was just traded away (in addition to Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola’s deals) featured a partially guaranteed final year that provided immediate relief to an acquiring team.  Whatever you may think of the Rockets, you have to agree – they keep things interesting on the books.

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in columns

Analyzing the Omer Asik offer sheet

Right now, the tallest player on Houston’s roster is a 6’10”, 23-year-old jump shooter who, in 46 career games as a second round draft pick, has yet to grab more than nine rebounds in a single night’s work. His name is Jon Leuer and he came aboard as one of the three requisite “throw in” pieces the Rockets acquired when they ambitiously traded for the #12 pick in last Thursday night’s NBA draft.

With Daryl Morey far from finished in an offseason journey to treat his basketball team like a giant ball of clay, there’s a likely chance Leuer never wears a Rockets uniform in any meaningful way.

In order to heighten the significance of that last statement, let me repeat it: the tallest guy on the team is 6’10”. He was selected in the second round and is not very good. Also, there’s a good chance he may not even be on the team on opening night.

If you’ve been drooling over superstar acquisition rumors for the past few months, right now it’s time to focus on filling in a very real weakness this team has heading into next season: size. [read more…]

in essays

I took these yesterday at the player introduction presser at Toyota Center.  My apologies again on the quality – I need to just stick with the flipcam until I figure things out.

Initial thought–especially if you’ve read his Grantland interview–is that Royce White is going to be gold for those of us in the media.  We haven’t had much of a quote machine since Chuck Hayes and Shane Battier left.  (View some of my old Hayes videos from two years ago to see how good he was for me on game day.)

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We spoke to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and Houston Rockets Director of Scouting Arturas Karnisovas after the draft tonight.  Below are those videos.  We also spoke to Houston Rockets draftee Royce White via phone – the audio of that conversation can be accessed by clicking the link below.

The laughter during Morey’s answer to my first question was due to the fact that earlier in the presser, Morey had mentioned that the team had made another trade which he could not announce due to league regulations.  As we learned, the alluded deal was the purchase of a second round pick.

My sincerest apologies for the formatting on these: this was the first time I used my Iphone to record (I used a flipcam in years past) and stupidly recorded horizontally.  After rotating the clips in imovie….well, you see the finished products…

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Lamb is a 6’4 guard out of Connecticut.

White is a 6’8 forward from Iowa State.

Jones is a 6’9 forward from Kentucky.

It was a bad day for me personally as my Twitter account was either hacked or suspended for some reason.  Thus, as you probably noticed, no live tweeting of the draft.  Why today of all days?

As you all know, I know nothing about any of these players but the guys here in the media room were pretty happy with Lamb and White and puzzled–to put it lightly–by the Jones pick.  As I write this, many believe Jones could possibly be dealt.

This was a shock, to say the least.  I was pretty confident that whatever happened, the team would not be picking three times.  With Motiejunas already coming over, things didn’t add up financially.  One of these guys could still get dumped, but for now, it looks like the Rockets will be keeping all three rookies.

All of the buzz leading up to tonight, even on a national level, was of the Rockets potentially acquiring either Dwight Howard, some other star, or moving up into the draft.  Any of those things are easier said than done, but those scenarios had become the expectation.  To that end, this outcome might seem a bit disappointing.

Still, it’s early, as other moves could be made or these players could pan out to something.  We will see.

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in musings

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