Goran Dragic vs. Kyle Lowry: Lowry tries to force the team’s hand

Lowry does not believe he and Goran Dragic, his successor as the starting point guard this season, will both return to the roster next season. Lowry was even less confident he and Rockets coach Kevin McHale can successfully coexist.

“I don’t think so,” Lowry, 26, said. “I honestly think it would be tough. Things have to be addressed. The situation would have to be addressed.

“If things aren’t addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved.”

The only surprise here is that he went public with the sentiments.

Lowry’s antics this past year have been extremely disappointing.  Longtime readers will recall that he was the first Rocket this blog really endorsed.  For his all-out hustle and on-court leadership, I turned a blind eye to his incessant whining about calls during games.  I ignored the battery charge because I don’t concern myself with players’ private lives.  When he didn’t get in the huddle, drawing McHale’s ire, I was disappointed but told myself it can happen – look at Dwyane Wade’s recent runin with his coach.  But this—to air dirty laundry—has really left a bitter taste.

Daryl Morey is notorious for not underselling.  What has likely happened—in my opinion—is that Lowry, hearing wind that no deal was imminent, decided to try and force the team’s hand.  If anything, this might have even decreased the likelihood of a deal.

Other than possibly his value, nothing has changed.  The Rockets will not trade him just because of a spat.  Far worse marriages have endured and people can learn to get along.  Still, as has been the case since the season ended, the Rockets will only deal Lowry for one of two reasons: a) if they get a deal which they think will improve their team or b) if they feel he has to be moved to retain Dragic.

They will not deal Lowry just to deal him – they will not sell from a position of distress.


The Rockets will have to make a cost evaluation.  Goran Dragic is going to get overpaid.  He’s a stock right now at its absolute highest price.  While he might be worth closer to $7mill, he could be offered $10mill/year.  Daryl Morey will have to determine the impact of that market disparity on his team.  Kyle Lowry at less than $6mill/year remains one of the best bargains in basketball.  Is an overpaid Dragic + Lowry’s return in a trade better overall than Lowry alone?  I’ve maintained that the answer is ‘yes.’

After the news, in concert with the Lakers’ exit from the playoffs, many pointed to Pau Gasol as a natural target.  I don’t think it’s worth it.  Gasol made sense last year because of the synergistic value with Nene – it didn’t hurt to overpay because of their combined production.  But Gasol alone?  I would pass.  An acquisition of that sort would do really nothing to position the team long term and would only perpetuate more mediocrity, albeit at a slightly higher level.


A final note: while this revelation won’t be the cause, I do think Lowry, due to simple logistics (minutes and dollars), will at some point be out.  On the heels of the Aaron Brooks fiasco one year ago, the revolving door is a troubling trend.  It’s not reflective of any failure of management – as teams sort to find the right core, this sort of thing happens.

But, it’s important to stay cognizant of that point.  The Rockets are still “finding their core.”  There is no reason to get over-excited about any group of players.  Three years ago, it was Brooks, Landry and friends that were the team’s future.  Last year, Lowry, Kevin Martin and co. were seen as the foundation.  Each group has or will move on.  As the season ended, the Rockets’ television broadcast heralded the great experience this year’s group had gained, despite the epic collapse.  Some here bought the line.  That so-called “experience” means nothing sans continuity.

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