“Strong to the mouth”

Not exactly new news:

The New Jersey Nets have traded Terrence Williams to the Houston Rockets in a three-way deal that will land them Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic and a pair of first-round draft picks.

Let me first say, I love this trade. And not just for its potential impact on the Rockets but also, for personal reasons.

Second, I have not finished the entirety of what I want to write about it, but do not want to delay, any further, posting something on the Rockets’ recent move. Thus my thoughts in bullet point fashion in advance of a real piece of writing.

  • The Rockets acquire Terrence Williams, New Jersey’s 2009 1st round pick and 11th overall, and his salary obligations for their 2012 1st round draft pick, lottery protected (lottery protection means that if the pick happens to be in the top 14, the Rockets would defer giving up the pick until a later date).

T-Will’s salary obligations:

  • 2010/11 – $2,214,480 (prorated)
  • 2011/12 – $2,369,040
  • 2012/13 – $3,143,716 (Team Option)

Les Alexander is demonstrating his faith in Daryl Morey and a commitment to winning (trying to, at least):

  • The Rockets are above the Luxury Tax threshold and are thus paying a dollar for dollar fine for T-Will’s incoming salary.
  • Alexander would not be willing to do so without good reason.
  • The Rockets’ pick in 2012 would most likely have been a cheaper slot on the rookie wage scale as that scale is determined by draft pick order.
  • Thus, Terrence Williams 2009 11th slot likely costs more than anything after the 14th slot in the 2012 draft.
  • This, of course, depends on the new collective bargaining agreement that will be in effect (hopefully in time for next season).

I am frustrated that this move was not made this past summer, when the same conditions presented themselves:

  • Team A wants to clear cap space to make room to acquire superstar(s).
  • Team A is willing to deal troubled former 1st round pick at discount.
  • Team B has need to acquire offensive spark and can afford risk involved in character issues.
  • Team B acquires troubled, yet talented, player from Team A for a relatively inconsequential future draft pick.
  • You can plug in New Jersey and Miami into Team A and Houston and Minnesota into Team B.
  • I would rather have a former number 2 overall pick (Michael Beasley) than a number 11.

I am still happy the Rockets acquired T-Will, however:

  • Minny gave up a 2nd round future pick for a player with a higher ceiling.
  • Houston gave up a 1st rounder for a player with a lower ceiling.

This is how I envision it happened:

  • The Rockets front office was sitting next to the Timberwolves front office in homeroom and happened to look over the Timberwolves front office shoulder. An innocent glance was caught of some summer reading homework. Not a complete glance, as it were, and just by accident, probably.
  • The Timberwolves turned in their summer homework and received a once prodigiously productive prospect. The Rockets followed suit, turning in their homework and receiving their own misfit.
  • The Timberwolves got an A+. Hopefully, so too will the Rockets.

Shane Battier’s days in the “Mustard and Ketchup” appear numbered.

Where does Budinger fit going forward?

Terrence Williams, as I will explain later, is not a bad person by any stretch.

  • Read this article written a year or so ago, for some character background.
  • Actual T-Will quote: “We’d do stuff like come up to you in the cafeteria, knock your sandwich out of your hand and say, ‘You’ve gotta come strong to your mouth!’”
  • Now you are privy to one of my friends’ inside jokes over the past year: “Gotta come strong to the mouth.”
  • I am happy to share it; use it prodigiously.

More coming, oh so soon…

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