Rockets – Raptors Talk

2010 March 1
by rahat huq

In anticipation of tonight’s game with the Raptors, I had a brief chat with Sam Holako of Raptors Republic.

Sam: Darryl Morey: best GM in the league?

Rahat: Obviously I’m biased, so my opinion there doesn’t hold much weight, but I think most people around the league have certainly taken notice.  What Morey needs now in his resume is real success.  The team obviously exceeded expectations last season and prior to the trade, this year, but for him to really cement his standing, he needs a real title run to show that his approach isn’t just conducive to overachievement – it can bring championships.

Sam: How do you see Martin and Jeffries fitting into this team?

Rahat: Jeffries just looks like a Houston Rocket – the activity and energy on the defensive end, always rotating, making deflections, drawing charges.  Unfortunately, he also fits the bill for Rockets teams of past years on the offensive side in that he has no abilities.  Martin is one of the most efficient scorers in our league and he kind of symbolizes the first major step towards what perhaps might be a vision to build an “offensive machine” – a drastic shift away from the defensive philosophy of years past.  But he attacks the basket and draws fouls and it looks like, with the Lowry trade last year, that might be one of the main skills that the Rockets are building upon.

Sam: Do you seirously think you guys have any chance of landing Bosh? What’s Plan B when you don’t land him?

Rahat: I think there could be a chance given his ties to the state of Texas and the solid lineup we have built to (theoretically) fit around him.  He fits this offense perfectly with his ability to operate from the high post.  I think there might be some appeal to a guy like Bosh to coming to a situation where he would not only be the undisputed first option, but also have sufficient help around him.  That’s pretty unique and I’m not sure many other teams can offer that appeal.  Plan B would likely be Stoudemire or simply holding on until the deadline to see who might become available via trade.  But I do think they will be very aggressive in free agency in gathering from what Daryl Morey has said.

Sam: I’m sure you guys must be a stinging from getting thumped by the Raptors the last time out; what do you have to do to win this game?

Rahat: I would really be shocked if we won this game.  Not enough emphasis has been placed on the loss of Kyle Lowry, a guy who statistically speaking has been the team’s most impactful player this season.  What are your thoughts on Chris Bosh’s status?  Do you feel he will return to the Raptors or is he leaning towards leaving?

Sam: Chris Bosh will be a Toronto Raptor come the start of next season. This is his team, and he has expressed the desire to be the man on his team. Very few situations will afford him that desire without being in a worse situation than the Raptors are currently in. I could see him being lured by the thought of playing with LeBron and/or Wade, but that is a basketball decision you can’t blame him for making. Short of that scenario actually being possible, he will stay in Toronto.

Rahat: I think that most observers would agree that Bosh is probably the most gifted power forward in our game today.  However, the knock on him seems to be an alleged lack of killer instinct.  In our last meeting, I didn’t get to assess this element of his nature as the outcome was pretty quickly decided.  Is this a guy who wants to take the last shot?  Do you think he can be the best player on a championship team or is he more of a second fiddle?

Sam: Bosh is one of those misunderstood players across the league. For the most part, people label him ’soft’ or ‘lacking killer instinct’ because he doesn’t talk a lot of trash. He just goes about his business. He realized that we was underweight this summer, and gained 15lbs of muscle in the summer. As a result, he is having a career year. In all fairness, he hasn’t been given the last shot enough times to take a position one way or another. Chris is a very efficient scorer, and is a matchup nightmare for almost every single power forward in the league. He can take anyone off the dribble and get to the line seemingly at will. This year, Turkoglu is is getting all the last shot attempts, for some reason, and not doing much with it. I’m of the opinion that he is a solid clutch performer. If by second fiddle you mean a Scottie Pippen type player, I think Bosh would excel in that roll if teamed up with an elite wing (Joe Johnson, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James). You can almost liken him to Duncan, who would not have won most of those titles had Ginobli and Parker not been the main guys offensively while Tim anchored the post play. Bosh can fill a similar role.

Rahat: I apologize for this being so Bosh-centric, but for the blogger for a team that is likely out of the playoff picture, I have to give my readers some compelling content.  Here’s a hypothetical: Chris Bosh has threatened to sign outright with the New York Knicks if the Raptors do not facilitate a sign and trade to the Rockets.  To make the numbers work, the Rockets would have to send $13million (125% of the the 16.75million) in salaries to the Raptors.  Now naturally, any team would probably prefer a clean start over having to pay garbage contracts.  What do you think it would take to be included in a deal for Raptors management to agree?  [Among the Rockets’ assets are the expiring contracts of Shane Battier and Jared Jeffries, a resigned Luis Scola (of international acclaim), Chase Budinger, 2 New York Knicks draft picks, Jordan Hill, and Aaron Brooks.

Sam: The assets coming back would be quite significant for the Rockets. Scola, Battier, Ariza, Landry (before he got traded) and some picks (1st & 2nd rounders) would have to be included. There was actually a lot of talk by Raptor fans about a deal with Houston that had these parts mentioned as must haves every in every single scenario.
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  • rahat_huq
    thanks guys. expect a full write-up on bosh tomorrow morning.
  • jason b.
    excellent post.
  • paolojackson
    Great interview Rahat. Definitely have a new fan to your blog here.
  • thirdcoastborn
    Jared Jeffries,Shane Battier, Jermaine Taylor, Renaldo Hill,and maybe a first round pick for Bosh
  • I really enjoy posted interviews like this. I'm not quite sure I feel about Bosh. It would be wonderful to have him, hope we can give Ariza away no matter what happens! I'm a huge fan of your blog and I show it to everyone who thinks they are a Houston Rockets fan!
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