Welcome, Connor Winn; Red94 resident capologist

Thanks again to all who responded to the call: your interest is appreciated.

Without further ado, I’m excited to welcome the newest contributor to Red94, Connor Winn.  Henceforth, Connor will serve as our resident capologist, edifying you on those matters so critical to discourse, yet so horrifically taxing upon the mind.

For further acquaintance, here’s a self-written bio:

Connor Winn has lived in Houston most of his life. He graduated Memorial High School in 2002 and graduated Wake Forest University in 2006. In 2003 he played a pick up game with a then high school senior named Chris Paul, whom he claims to have gotten past (while dribbling) but cannot provide any witnesses for substantiation. He did, however, play on several intramural championship teams in the realms of football, soccer and softball, barely missing out in basketball, a loose definition of barely.

Mr. Winn got a job in Houston working in real estate development in early 2007 where he learned the backroom wonders of financial analysis and fell in love with Excel. After the real estate markets tanked, Mr. Winn moved to Washington DC where he thought a Political Science degree might be worth something; it wasn’t. After a year of internships and part time work, he moved back to Texas.  Recently, Mr. Winn earned a contract analyst position with an offshore E&P company in Houston.

Mr. Winn enjoys playing, watching and reading basketball. The maturation of his sports fandom coincided with the rise of Clutch City. He is addicted to golf; he sucks at golf. He plays fantasy sports, and continues to watch Seinfeld. Mad Men is his favorite contemporary show. (He supposes that he is your typical 20-something.)

Having tended to formalities, we need to get down to business, in light of today’s monumental news.  In his first contribution to Red94, Mr. Winn has addressed the issue of ‘Melo to the Rockets.  What ensues are his words:

Hello.

Certain things boggle my mind.  Women for example, do it quite often – What’s not to like about a short, stocky, bald man who is unemployed and lives with his parents?* Daryl Morey does it too, for a myriad of reasons, beginning with the idea that I know he is thinking multiple steps ahead of me with his proprietary metrics and army of dorks. Well, you know what Daryl? I won my 12 team, fantasy football league last year (I am not completely sure that fits, but as you do not know me, I had to offer credentials).

Melo would bring star power, but at what cost?

One important facet of trading for Carmelo Anthony is his trade kicker. As noted by shamsports.com, Anthony has a trade kicker of the lesser value of 5% of his contract or $1 million (in this case, 5% is equal to $857,462, so that is our figure). That 5% on top of his original salary of $17,149,243 cheerfully arrives at an $18,006,705 cap hit. The Rockets do not, of course, have to send outgoing contracts equal to that value as the rules state they must be within 125% plus $100,000 dollars of the incoming salary, or at a minimum $14,325,364 for Melo alone.

The Nuggets’ asking price might presumably start with Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill and the Knicks draft picks, Houston’s most attractive attainable assets. This is where faith in the Morey system allows me to sleep at night. Morey has consistently proven his ability to acquire talents such as those via draft gems (Hayes, Brooks, Landry, etc.) or downright mean trades (Lowry, Hill, picks). I know we get attached to players like Carl Landry when a second round pick contributes mightily to the team with jaw dropping athleticism and a deft touch. But we should rest easy for two reasons: 1) There is no evidence that Morey will stop delivering, and 2) LeBron James is only the most recent, though easily most egregious, example of the lack of reciprocal loyalty in the modern era (not hatin’, just sayin’).

Budinger and Hill are appealing precisely because their potential far outweigh their cost, i.e. they are cheap. Combined they make $3,450,391, leaving a $10,874,973 hole to fill (just for Carmelo). If we add the expiring contract of Shane Battier ($7,354,400 and my personal favorite Rocket – just so you know that this is hard for me too), we are still $3,520,573 short.

The Nuggets could opt to take back Jared Jeffries’ $6,883,800 expiring contract as well. This would leave them room to foist Chris Anderson’s $4,533,300 contract on the Rockets. Houston would thus lose all the depth at wing so meticulously built (perhaps, precisely for a trade such as this) and take a 32 year old back-up power forward whose sole attribute is his athleticism and whose contract runs through 2014?…In the words of Tom Arnold, “How about a courtesy flush?”

Et tu, Rahat?

Last Spring the Rockets were on the verge of trading for Amare Stoudemire, and now Carmelo Anthony is linked to the Clutch City? I know that the Rockets haven’t pursued Melo outright, but the sheer juxtaposition of such names with this franchise does not exactly evoke feelings of the Heart of a Champion. Those feelings are centered on obsequious fasting during Ramadan and Vernon Maxwell (02:30), not Stop Snitchin’ and certainly not punching and running (00:40).

*If you don’t like Seinfeld then one or two scenarios will play out: a) you won’t understand some of my references – just type them into Google and you’ll be better for it just like my former roommate; b) you may not enjoy my humor in general.

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