Ok gang, I've been wanting to post something for awhile, but I've been a bit sidetracked the past few weeks with work and all. Anyways, this offseason has basically treated the Rockets like a group of guys who are forced to stand outside of a night club waiting for all the hot chicks (Chicago, Miami, New York, Atlanta) got the top free agents, and some of the gorgeous cuties had massive breakups (Toronto, Cleveland, Phoenix). We had to fight to keep Kyle Lowry from heading to the Cavs (4years/24mil is pretty fair, except in the eyes of Aaron Brooks, whose definitely going to cash in next July). We also had tons of speculation about Scola, but I have no problem with the 5year/47mil he's getting to remain Yao Ming's sidekick down low.
And yet, through all of it...I still think we had a successful offseason. Why is that? Let me break it down in 3 points.
1.) Teams with gobs of cap space did not steal Scola or Lowry. That's right. Once the "Fab 5" free agents all decided on their location, teams like New Jersey, Chicago and New York were left looking for guys who were good enough to overpay. Scola and Lowry fit that billing because they're both talented, blue-collar guys who on the right team would be the "enforcers" next to stars (oooo put Lowry next to a dynamic scorer like Amare Stoudemire, or Luis next to Brook Lopez). We kept two of our 4 "lunchpail guys" (With Shane Battier, and Chuck Hayes the other guys in that conversation). You need stars to win titles, but you also need role players who can fit in with your stars to win titles too.
2.) Patrick Patterson looks like a great pick, and the young guys look really good. I loved this move from the minute we made it. Carl Landry II was the initial dubbing, yet PP is looking like a guy who could play some SF out there as well as inside at the 4 spot. We got another versatile lunchpail guy who I look forward to seeing develop into a quality NBA player. He may never be a star, but he will definitely be someone who's going to be a player in this league. As for Hill, Jermaine Taylor and Chase Budinger, I'm impressed with their play from last year, and I can't wait to see what they do this fall. Jordan Hill may not be putting up huge offensive stats, but when you can get offense from Yao, Kevin Martin, Brooks, Scola, Ariza, Budinger and Lowry, I don't think that Hill's struggles with scoring in the Summer League are a tell-tale sign we ditch him.
3.) We didn't make the knee-jerk trade for some overpriced big man. I will openly admit that I wanted Al Jefferson like the next guy. I'll admit that I've had fantasies of stealing David West from New Orleans. Yet, we did not make a move to get any big guy. Tyson Chandler would have been nice, but he makes starters money and will stunt the growth of Jordan Hill and Patterson. Brad Miller would be a nice addition as long as the money (and years) are right. Yao, AB and Shane are all free agents in 2011, so making sure you're not in salary cap hell would be great.
So while this isn't an A++ of an offseason, I'd give us a solid B for staying the course, keeping the core together, and actually, well you know, developing our young talented assets. Other teams have done better and more to improve, but self-improvement is always the thing that shocks people the most. Houston is in great position to get back to the 2009 success we had.