I've decided that I am done whining about the possibility of Kevin McHale becoming the next Rockets head coach. Even though we are now hearing that Dwane Casey, my preferred pick, is back in the running. With either, it is obvious from listening to Daryl talk on the radio that we are about to go into a full rebuilding and "going young" mode. Which, in my opinion, is about two full seasons past due. Which means any guy with the number "3" at the beginning of his age needs to be dealt, regardless of how big a mancrush some Rockets fans may have on him. Also, it is time to sell high on a certain "efficient" two guard who plays defense worse than Seamus on Family Guy would. Something that I know has been an unpopular notion around here. More after the jump...
Let's be honest here...is Kevin Martin the guy that can take you to the top? No. And if he can go towards getting you a guy who can, you move him. I know all the stat heads are going to throw a bunch of numbers at me about his proficiency and high shooting percentages. But the guy disappears in the clutch worse than Tracy McGrady ever did. In the 4th quarter the past season and a half, Speed Racer has been a ghost. And it has happened too many times for it to just be a coincidence.
I'm not going to name a specific player the Rockets should set their targets on for a possible Martin trade because Daryl usually surprises us with some guy out of left field. But there are some good free agent big men who will be available once the market opens and perhaps a sign and trade could be worked out. And if Kevin Martin is the guy they want, you do that without hesitation.
I know you're all getting antsy and saying "But, Mike! Who's going to replace him!? Who would you then go out and get?!" It really isn't that difficult, to be honest. For the solution lies in house at the front of the bench in the person of Courtney Lee. This guy is too good to be sitting as much as he does. Did I mention that he also actually plays this thing called defense? With what you lose in the scoring from trading Martin you get back in balance of offense and defense with Courtney. Then, if you don't draft another two, how about finding out if Terrence Williams can play some minutes and prove he was worth giving up a first round pick for? He can play the two and three but his natural position was shooting guard while at Louisville. A new coach is likely to give him the opportunity to succeed, at least more so than Rick did.
Then you have Luis, who I love just as much as any other Rockets fan. But the emergence of Patrick Patterson combined with his age and contract makes him expendable. Especially if we're going into a rebuild. Moving his contract might be a little tougher, but I think there could be a suitor or two out there. Let Patterson then start and, if the rumors are true about him wanting to return to Houston, resign Carl Landry to compete for the job or back Patterson up. Even though that last part is probably a pipe dream, as I think Carl goes where he gets to start from day one. So the Jordan Hill experiment would continue at his natural position and if the Center position is addressed, Chuck Hayes will always be serviceable here when the team goes defensive.
As for said Center position, I'm not one of the Hasheem Thabeet hopefuls. I tried to be optimistic about it when the trade was made, but the guy doesn't even dominate in the D-League. I have no reason to believe he can even be good in the Association. He spends another year on the end of the bench and Rio Grande Valley until his contract expires at years end.
Resign Yao? Give me a break. How many times do you have to touch a stove that everyone keeps telling you is hot before you finally realize that they're right? CUT. THE. CORD.
I doubt we'll see another year of Chuck Hayes at the five for 82 games and the Jordan Hill to Center project died early last year. So this has to be addressed in free agency or trade. Marc Gasol is a pipe dream and I see Memphis breaking the bank to keep him around after the success they had this season. Nene has a player option that he is likely to exercise, regardless of how frustrated he was at the end of the season. Tyson Chandler certainly has boosted his stock and someone will overpay for him, like Mark Cuban. That leaves the most likely target to be the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan. After Chris Kaman's injury last year, Jordan proved he was ready to be a starter and being unrestricted, he could be had for around 5 years, $35 million. At only 23 years old, I'd be willing to give him a shot for that. After all, it's not my money. But reviews on him have been mixed to say the least. Samuel Dalembert is also another option, but many believe one of the teams that are closer to a title are going to be knocking him over with offers.
As for the Dwight Howard pipe dream (that word has come up a lot, huh?), that needs to be let go. I would be in favor of going for a one year rental of Howard if the team was closer than they are right now. But even with him, combined with what would have to be given up to get him, this team wouldn't be better than a 4-6 seed in the West. He wants to go to a flashy market and as we've learned the past couple seasons, NBA stars don't view Houston in that manor.
In the end, I am anxious to see what Daryl Morey can do without the McGrady and Yao albatross contracts hanging around his neck. For the first time since he took over, Daryl is playing with house money. I'm anxious to see what he does with it. Starting with Kevin Martin.