Again, tanking revisited

So many thoughts right now.  So many thoughts.  I don’t even know where to begin, from losing Chuck Hayes, to New Orleans actually wanting this deal, to Rockets fans actually thinking we were giving up too much.  So many thoughts, and this comes at the most inopportune of times as I actually have another final exam in less than 24 hours.  But I promise you, at the drop of a bell at noon this Wednesday, I will type like no man has ever typed before, recounting the strange, curious events of last week.  If anyone still cares at this point.

Where do the Houston Rockets even go from here?  Their free agency blueprints are destroyed and they’re stuck with an unhappy Kevin Martin.  (I think Luis Scola will be fine.)  Like that, they went from mere moments away from the league’s best frontcourt to hoping Hasheem Thabeet has a pulse.

Here’s the biggest problem – they have no chance to be good.  National observers won’t understand this, but losing Chuck Hayes was a crippling blow.  A week ago, I thought the team, as it stood, had a shot at the 8th seed.  Now, with Hayes gone, that chance is gone.  But at the same time, because of Luis Scola and Kevin Martin (and Kyle Lowry), there’s virtually zero chance this team is absolutely awful.  Does owner Les Alexander understand this?

Now, moreso than ever, its time to tank.  Les, its time to tank.  The Gasol manuever was a valiant effort that would have set this team up for a hope at contention.  Barring some miraculous contingency plan, there’s no other move Daryl Morey can make to recreate that effect.  Why?  Because the Gasol deal was as much about landing Nene as it was about Gasol.  Gasol alone didn’t do you much.

It’s time to tank.  Holding onto Kevin Martin and Luis Scola now makes absolutely zero sense.  It’s counterproductive.  It hurts the franchise.

The argument before against tanking was that if the team could make the playoffs this year, based off their success, with ample cap room, they could lure a free agent in ’12 with a dream supporting case.  That won’t happen now.  With Dwight, CP3, and Deron all looking to have things settled soon with impending moves, there likely won’t be any ’12 free agent class.  Moreso, even if there is, with the loss of Hayes, with no interior defense, the team won’t even make the playoffs.  They’ll win 30 games, the worst possible result in basketball.  If you’re not winning 55, you better be winning 20.

Maybe Daryl Morey has some Plan B that I don’t know about.  I wouldn’t put it past him.  If that’s the case, we’ll see what unfolds.  But if there’s nothing out there, no other move to go all in, this team absolutely must trade Kevin Martin and Luis Scola and race to the bottom.

The Houston Rockets must tank.  Going forward, every single game that Kevin Martin and Luis Scola help win, hurts this franchise.  It ruins their draft position, in the best draft in years, and with absolutely no cause.  A few extra wins here and there, on the strength of guys who won’t even be around when the team is again ready to compete, can be the difference between multiple draft slots.

I can’t understand what is Les’ objection.  Is it fan apathy?  Is he somehow worried that people in Houston won’t care about his team?  Newsflash: outside of the diehards reading the blogs, no one in Houston cares about this team.  It’s the sad truth.  Winning 30 games instead of 15 won’t change that.  The casual sports fan won’t even know.  A race to the bottom at least brings a bluechip young talent to electrify the base.

There are those who think tanking is a risk.  That you could pick the wrong guy and there’s no guarantee of success.  Sorry, but when Daryl Morey turns dust into gold with every mid and late first round draft pick he’s had, I kind of trust him to not **** up a top-5 selection.  Based on Patrick Patterson leading all rookies in efficiency last year and looking like Antonio Davis reincarnated, I’m fairly confident whoever we drafted would end up an All-Star.

Maybe Morey and the gang have another plan to get us back into the elite.  But if they don’t, I can only hope that Les listens and allows them to sell off aging vets.  It’s the best thing for this franchise.  There’s nothing worse than ‘hanging on’ when there’s nothing left to hang onto.

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