Viewing the Rockets through the lens of the Texans

The Texans fired their GM, Brian Gaine, yesterday. As a franchise, the Texans are kind of a joke. They’ve managed to embarrass the city on national television numerous times and don’t have much to show for their history. They also somehow fell ass backwards into a franchise quarterback and have done next to nothing to protect him.

I had been optimistic about Gaine heading into this offseason after he nabbed Keke Coutee and Justin Reid in the previous draft despite not having first or second round picks. But this year’s offseason had been absolutely baffling, to say the least. I don’t profess to be anything more than a casual football fan, but intelligent people I trust have described the players the Texans selected with their top picks this year as projects. They also did next to nothing with the hordes of cap space they had been sitting on. The entire strategy of passiveness completely flies in the face of established philosophy among smart front offices in 2019. A superstar quarterback on a rookie-scale contract is the greatest inefficiency sports. When you have one, you load up at other spots, like the Rams and Eagles did, until you have to pay him. The Texans have operated almost as if this was a completely foreign concept.

This brings to mind the Rockets who may have gotten burned by being too aggressive. If the assumption is that a Chris Paul trade was predicated on the agreement that the team would then resign him, then trading for Chris Paul gave the Rockets two solid shots at the title. (They were right there after Game 5 last year, and should have handled things after Kevin Durant went down this year.) Barring an unlikely trade, they’re now stuck with a franchise-killing contract for the remainder of James Harden’s prime. To be sure, Paul can still be very useful, but that $40 million is a painful use of money.

Even if knowing what he does now about how it would play out, would Daryl Morey do it again if he had the chance? I think he would. Paul gave Houston a legitimate chance when there wouldn’t have been one otherwise. I personally don’t even think the Rockets would have gotten past the Utah Jazz last season without Paul, seeing how they needed Paul to take over in the series clincher.

Sometimes you just get burnt. It doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

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