[Wojnarowski] Rockets make everyone available

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has made his entire roster and future draft picks available in trade talks, a dramatic initiative with hopes of reshaping the team into a championship contender, league sources told ESPN.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/26847098/rockets-making-cp3-others-available

I tweeted about this story throughout the day, but have some more thoughts better suited for longform:

  • I wrote very early in the offseason for Forbes that Houston needs to look to trade Clint Capela. My stance on that has not changed and I’m relieved that Morey is of the same belief. The Rockets got less production from a player making $15 million than the Warriors did from one making near the minimum. That simply cannot happen. You cannot waste limited resources. There are many thinkers right now on the internet who are subscribing to the belief that aside from sheer dominant big men (Embid), the smartest course is to go with bargains on the minimum and invest all resources on talented perimeter players.
  • I’ve been writing extensively about Chris Paul as well. I do not think there is a trade to be had that will improve this team. Thus, I do not think he will be traded. The most realistic scenario would seem to be one where Houston deals him for two smaller parts with shorter contracts, possibly both being less useful than Paul himself in the immediate future. Something like Paul to Miami for Goran Dragic and say James Johnson. But there’s no evidence that Pat Riley is interested in blowing up his cap sheet for the next three seasons.
  • Some of you disagree, as you expressed to me, but the wording of the Woj report regarding Harden is noteworthy. Woj stated that “[t]he possibility of trading All-NBA guard James Harden is believed to be extremely limited[,]” an inclusion so gratuitous it must have been made with some intent. This of course does not by any means mean the Rockets are shopping Harden. But if he were completely off limits, as one would have believed, that fact either would have been stated, or at the very least, willfully committed.
  • The question of whether the Paul trade was a mistake is a fascinating one which we’ll be debating for years. It really was a five year deal that gave Houston two legitimate shots at the championship and torpedoed their finances, most likely, over the long run. If given the choice again, would Morey do it? I think so. But I don’t think he expected Paul to decline as rapidly as he has. I think he expected that Paul probably would have looked the way he did last year against Golden State in year three of the deal, not in year one.

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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