I just want the team to acknowledge that we ARE in rebuild mode, or should be anyway. There isn't a single trade out there that would make us true contenders. We need to be looking towards the team 2-4 years from now instead of doing this "win now" business that has gotten us to this point. We have a star, but that is only a starting point. Who is to say that he will resign with Houston once his deal is up? If I'm him and my contract is up and the best player I have next to me is Trevor Ariza, I might start to look to other clubs.
Per Sirius XMRadio NBA Radio: "We're ready made to add another star level player" --Daryl Morey
Well, thanks for that tidbit, Daryl. Given the new cap space, so is just about every single team in the league.
Daryl has always acted in the best long term interest of the team--until recently. Trading James Harden while his value is high would be the best move. Everyone says, "you can't get fair value for a star". Which I agree with when the star is an actual star and not an NBA celebrity--there is a difference.
Would you rather be the Knicks, be saddled with Carmelo, and know that you will have to endure the rest of his career before having another shot at being relevant? On the flipside, Denver is on the cusp of being quite good. Gallo, Barton, Harris, a trio of centers, Mudiay, and Jakarr Sampson give them a nice, young core plus Faried and Chandler are nice players. Add to that the #6, #14, and #18 picks in this draft and I would say their future is much brighter than NY's. Yet, all anyone will say is, "you can't get equal value for a star".
Would you rather be the Lakers or Orlando? Orlando has a great core of young talent: Oladipo, Peyton, Gordon, Hezonja, and Dedmon plus some other guys that may break out. If they let that group develop I think it's going to be really, really good. Oh, and they have the #10 pick in the upcoming draft which gives them a chance to draft a center to develop. Once they move Hezonja to SF and get a better defensive center I think they will be running all over the league.
On the other hand, you've got LA. Yes, Kobe had them handcuffed, but they are nowhere close to being anything good. They will remain lottery bound for the foreseeable future. Eventually, they will get desperate and sign a sub-star to a max deal and we in Houston can all sit back and enjoy their misery.
How about Cleveland? Does anyone think they aren't trading Kevin Love this Summer? The only good thing about the trade that brought him in was they got to get rid of the embarrassment that was the Anthony Bennett draft pick.
Meanwhile, Minny has Wiggins, LaVine, Dieng, Towns, Tyus Jones, Muhammed, and Payne to build on. It's tough to compare with Cleveland since they have LBJ/Irving and are about to be in game 7 of the Finals. Still....Kevin Love...the invisible man. Imagine if they had just kept Wiggins (who is set to break out next year) and could roll over the East with Irving/Wiggins doing most of the work and LBJ backing them up for years to come.
Heck, I think the reason people say you can't get good value for stars has more to do with bad GM's than anything else. Golden State has lead that charge (until recently)...they traded Chris Webber for 3 1st rounders. They drafted Todd Fuller, Vince Carter, and Chris Mihm (technically, he was traded pre-draft for Larry Hughes...this one is sort of weird and I might be mis-reading it...either way, they blew it). Whoops.
When they drafted Fuller, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Jermaine O'Neal were still on the board. Obviously, they traded Carter (for Antawn Jamison). Whoops... (It was Anfernee Hardaway they traded to get the Webber pick in the first place...just sayin'). Basically, they turned Anfernee Hardaway into 2 bad years of Todd Fuller While whiffing on Hardaway himself, Webber, Carter, Bryant, and Nash.
My point, which I feel I have hammered home pretty hard here, is the end-all statement that you don't get fair value in trade for a star is only true when you are talking about an actual star or have an idiot for a GM. We all know I don't believe Harden will reach that level--which means I believe we will win the trade and have a better future without him than with him.
Morey will never make that trade because he knows he would lose his job. The PR backlash from fans would force Les to fire him--despite it being the right move. I also agree with Slick Shoes that once his contract is up there is a very good chance he walks leaving us with nothing but the thought of what could have been.