Something I have been thinking about ever since it was rumored that the Rockets were in the running for Deron Williams before he was moved to New Jersey is that getting the Texas native in a Rockets uniform is the beginning of Daryl Morey's master plan.
The hardest thing to accept in this scenario, of course, would be the parting with a budding star player in Kyle Lowry. No deal for Deron would likely go down without Lowry being the centerpiece for a deal along with others and draft considerations. Which brings up the big question; would you be willing to make a trade for Deron Williams if it meant having to let go of a guy like Lowry who may or may not have yet peaked and works for a lot cheaper?
I'll take a look at both sides of the argument after the jump.
I know that the first reaction of all Rockets fans is panic whenever someone brings up trading away their favorite player. I've been around and around with many readers and writers here about Kevin Martin and still have arguments with people about the Carl Landry trade. It's normal to have reservations about a deal when it includes a guy whose jersey you may own. But, to understand Daryl Morey's brain, you really have to get into that moneyball type of thinking.
What is the one thing a guy like Daryl Morey would want to do? The answer is to trade an asset when they have reached their peak value. This would be one Kyle Lowry in this case. Many will argue that he hasn't reached his peak and I won't argue back because I don't know where he can go from here. He's still young and is relatively cheap for the next couple of years.
But the one thing that Morey messed up on was waiting about a half season too long before he traded Aaron Brooks. Yeah, he got Goran Dragic out of him. Cool. But he might have gotten a lot more had he packaged him up with others before the season had started and his value decreased. This is why I don't believe he will do the same with Lowry.
As for Deron Williams, we all know what he can do. Yes, he will cost a whole hell of a lot more cash per year than Kyle, but one thing that he has that Lowry doesn't have is star power. Deron Williams is much more likely to draw the interest of a big time free agent (like, say...Dwight Howard?) to Houston than Kyle is. That can't be argued.
Of course, I don't do this deal without Williams signing an extension before the deal is finalized. But unlike the other guys who have provided a list of teams where he would gladly go to, there is no reason to believe Williams wouldn't accept playing in Houston. The giant tattoo on his arm of the state of Texas that reads "Texas Made" underneath it leads me to believe he would be just fine with playing here for awhile. And, unlike New Jersey, making a conscious effort to constantly improve the team.
As to what it would cost to get him here, Dave over on ClutchFans had a great write-up about it here. Remember that the Knicks pick that is owed to Houston is becoming increasingly valuable due to their implosion that shows no signs of slowing down. The Nets have also shown serious interest in Luis Scola in the past and the Rockets certainly have attractive young talent to move.
So is this Daryl Morey's vision for how to rebuild the Rockets without tanking for a season or two? It's a risk to trade for Deron Williams with the hopes that it would also attract a big fish like Dwight Howard to Houston, but if D-Will comes with an extension, it's a risk I'd be willing to take. Because even if he can't get Dwight here, I'm willing to bet he can get another star guy to make the commitment to Rockets red soon thereafter.
I love Kyle Lowry, but no star player out there is itching to come to Houston and play ball with him.