We all know the analysis. John Hollinger says the Rockets win 30 games. 5th in division standings. 15th in Western Conference. Atrocious.
But what happens to these 'rankings' when we put Harden into the mix.
First, let's get the probability of Harden signing with the Rockets.
1. We've got arguable the best draft picks for 2013.
If you're too lazy to click the link, let me spell it out for you. We've got picks from dallas and toronto with toronto being the best pick. Toronto's pick is juicy. It's the juiciest one there is. Top 3 protected for 2013! Top 2 protected for 2014! Heck, throw in Mavericks' top 20 protected in the mix just to sweeten the pot.
Presti has to understand how juicy that toronto pick is.
2. Not only does Presti get a good pick, he can grab Kevin Martin on an expiring contract, whose production is yet on a right side of 30.
There will be no dropoff after losing Harden. (at least not initially). Of course, Presti won't renew Martin's contract.
3. Just to sweeten the pot, we can grab Perkins' awful contract off their hands. It's obvious that Perkin's is crappy. We need a backup C. Perkin's 8 million dollar contract for 2013 and 2013 is easily absorbable.
4. Harden's a good enough pick to throw in Terrence Jones. Rookies are 3 year projects ppl. Let's make some moves.
So here's the thing. Will Harden sign with the Rockets?
If the line up becomes:
Lin, Harden, Parsons, Motiejunas, Asik...we've got some serious win potential. Remember our division is weak.
|c-San Antonio Spurs||50||16||.758||–||28–5||22–11||12–4|
|New Orleans Hornets|
It looks strong. But Memphis just changed owners. Spurs are older than god. Mavericks is in full tank mode. Hornets have Anthony Davis but their team is garbage + they wasted their pick on Austin Rivers.
The only teams here with good organizations are the Mavs and the Spurs. Their one year away from full rebuild mode as well.
This is the year to win the division. We are 3 moves away from being a fully capable team.
We need Harden. We need a backup center to keep asik fresh. We need a great power forward.
This can all be accomplished with ONE trade to OKC.
Winning division would go a long way to keep Harden happy.
For the naysayers on Harden's ability---well, every single advanced metric has Harden doing well. You can say he shies from the spotlight. He doesn't start and he waffled during the playoffs. All rookies do that (anyone without 4 years in the league are rookies to me). Plus, this team doesnt work without Asik being a dominant force. That gamble with Asik is exactly the same gamble with Harden. Only Harden has played major minutes.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Morey and the Rockets. I was sad that Orlando Magic decided to shoot their faces off by not trading Howard to us--but if we lose out on Harden, that means, Morey should go home.
Harden or bust, folks. It's the last chance for relevance.
That's how i see it.