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.)
From a basketball standpoint, after allowing time to let things sink in, I overall feel pretty good. Not just for myself, but I think for everyone, Thursday night’s disappointment was more within the context of the expectations that had been built leading up until the event. If not Dwight, it seemed imminent that some stepping stone move would be made to change course. When that didn’t happen, perspective became skewed. Make no mistake though, the Rockets came away with some very good players who I think will really help them going forward. I’m still not so sure about Terrence Jones, but I’m getting extremely excited about seeing Jeremy Lamb and Royce White in Rocket red.
Tonight starts free agency and the Rockets will make their move, their first pitch expected to go to Bulls defensive specialist Omer Asik. It’s a signing I would applaud. The team currently sits at around $55million of salary and thus, to be able to offer Asik more than the MLE, will need to make some move to unload Kevin Martin or Luis Scola. ESPN reported today that Houston is aggressively pursuing deals to jettison the latter.
As I’ve said all along, perhaps for two years now, I don’t care if the Rockets don’t get a star. That’s the goal, but I understand it’s easier said than done. All I really ask for is that they pick a direction. No more of this ‘rebuild while staying competitive’ BS no matter how much they think it entitles them to plaudits. They must pick a direction and go forward with that course. Save for Camby, unload all of the aging vets and roll the dice with the young guys. Even if they’re horrible, that’s an outcome I can live with. What I can’t tolerate for another year is heavy minutes for 30-somethings while lottery picks rot away on the bench. The young talent must play if it is to develop.