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The Rockets Daily – October 29, 2013

The Die Is Cast – Marcus Camby and Reggie Williams have been cut. The opening night roster is set. Please secure all belongings and turn off your cellular devices. Thank you for flying with the Houston Rockets.

You Don’t Love DwightDanny Nowell loves Dwight. He may, in fact, be the first person I’ve ever read who said Dwight Howard was his favorite player. Nowell writes about it on Hoopspeak with a persuasive argument about how Howard has changed the game:

In fact, I would argue that no single player has done as much to usher in the current era of the space-and-shoot offense as Dwight has. LeBron and Erik Spoelstra can claim credit for making it work in pursuit of a championship, but Dwight was anchoring a 4-around-1 attack before Twitter existed. His Magic teams were built around his ability to suck defenses into the paint and find his teammates on the perimeter; the space Dwight created was large enough to make Hedo Turkoglu look like a franchise player. Howard, maligned by his critics for lacking a certain grace and finesse, is the brute force that ushered in this era of beautiful offense.

All That Power – The Rockets climbed all the way up to no. 5 in Marc Stein’s ESPN power rankings:

The sense I get from most well-wired observers is that the new Rockets, as well as they seem to be meshing already, aren’t going to be ready to contend for a title in Year 1 of the Dwight/Harden tag team. But Jeff Van Gundy, for one, is adamant that they can. Which has us re-evaluating.

If there’s anything that sets the Van Gundy brothers apart, it’s that they never seem to hold grudges against franchises or players with which they’ve parted ways.

John Schumann’s NBA.com rankings have the Rockets at no. 6, a leap from the no. 11 spot they occupied at the end of last season:

With a deadly pick-and-roll game, a commitment to space the floor and (now that he’s healthy) the best defensive anchor in the league, the Rockets are a tempting pick to come out of the West, especially if you believe that Daryl Morey will eventually swap Omer Asik for a power forward who can shoot and defend. Thirty-five percent of their preseason shots were threes, the highest rate in the league.

“Ouch” – That was Ed Davis’ reaction on Twitter to getting slapped with a $15,000 fine for hacking Donatas Motiejunas in last week’s preseason game between the Grizzlies and Rockets. Between Davis’ foul, Quincy Pondexter’s knee knock with Harden, the shoving match between Beverly, Howard and Gasol, and the flagrant called against Nowitzki during the Dallas game, it was an unusually violent preseason. Glad it’s over.

Denial?The Oklahoman offers a well-reasoned defense of the Harden trade from the OKC perspective. It begins thusly:

The Thunder did not want to trade James Harden.

And the Thunder did not trade the James Harden you see today.

As the one-year anniversary of the most controversial transaction in Oklahoma City’s NBA history came and went Sunday, those are the two most important things to remember.

I’m sure Daryl Morey would love for every team he has fleeced to believe that they won the deal, so I bet he loved that article.

Got any sweet links or suggestions? Email them to jeby901@gmail.com or message @EbyNews on Twitter.

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About the author: John Eby got on the Rockets bandwagon in 1994 and never got off. He is a public relations guy and recovering TV journalist living in South Carolina.

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Total comments: 7
  • Cooper says 12 months ago Westbrook was under valued then as well probably would have netted a little more but There wasn't much of a trade market outside of Houston at the time besides the wiz and they had wall/beal already and wanted some bigs.
  • 2016Champions says 12 months ago

    The Thunder should have traded Westbrook instead of Harden assuming they would get much better value in return for Westbrook. A great GM should acquire guys who are underrated for cheap, not the other way around.

  • Sir Thursday says 12 months ago

    I'm pretty certain if there was a do-over regarding NBA trades, the Thunder would have amnestied Kendrick Perkins and made any other minor moves necessary at the time to re-sign James Harden to the max contract allowed. It would have no doubt hamstrung the Thunder in making major roster moves going forwardbut it's not like they have anyway to date. I like to read the Thunder blog from time to time and Royce keeps saying the final grade for the trade result is not quite yet in, see what Steve Adams and Jeremy Lamb can add this season then for sure a final verdict can be rendured by the Thunder fans. Personally I believe the final verdict is already in, the Rockets easily won the trade especially when considering that D12 probably wouldn't be here if Harden was still in OKC no matter what Chandler Parsons says otherwise.

    Right yeah, but that's with the benefit of hindsight which is kind of my point. It's all very well saying that they made a mistake given what we know now, but I don't think it necessarily was given the information they had at the time.

    ST

  • Cooper says 12 months ago They have the protected Dallas pick left I think.
  • John P says 12 months ago

    doesnt OKC still have some unused first rounders left from the trade? I thought they got two or three of those for the upcoming years...i could be wrong though. If they do or did and used them poorly then I don't know how to evaluate the trade. If there ends up being players that OKC could have received in the draft or even trade market that could have equaled Harden's production or at least made up for some of his lost production while not killing them financially then the trade could be viewed as a wash. Again, it is all on how they used or could have used the draft picks. If they used them poorly, it doesn't mean the trade was unfair to them...only that they made some bonehead decisions with the picks they had.

    ...but considering in a 3 year period they got Durant, Harden, Westbrook , Ibaka and the guy who is now in Boston, they were due some busted draft picks.

    oh what could have been. They could have at least traded Harden for Howard or M Gasol or even Noah to pair with Durant and Westbrook. All would have been better than Martin for a rental and Lamb

  • rocketrick says 12 months ago

    I think there's a crucial distinction between "winning the deal" and "making the right move". The Rockets clearly came out best from the trade (and I don't think anyone in OKC believes otherwise), but that doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't a deal the Thunder should have made.

    ST

    I'm pretty certain if there was a do-over regarding NBA trades, the Thunder would have amnestied Kendrick Perkins and made any other minor moves necessary at the time to re-sign James Harden to the max contract allowed. It would have no doubt hamstrung the Thunder in making major roster moves going forwardbut it's not like they have anyway to date. I like to read the Thunder blog from time to time and Royce keeps saying the final grade for the trade result is not quite yet in, see what Steve Adams and Jeremy Lamb can add this season then for sure a final verdict can be rendured by the Thunder fans. Personally I believe the final verdict is already in, the Rockets easily won the trade especially when considering that D12 probably wouldn't be here if Harden was still in OKC no matter what Chandler Parsons says otherwise.

  • Sir Thursday says 12 months ago

    I think there's a crucial distinction between "winning the deal" and "making the right move". The Rockets clearly came out best from the trade (and I don't think anyone in OKC believes otherwise), but that doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't a deal the Thunder should have made.

    ST

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