Part 1 : If the Rockets want to rebuild what would be a likely course?
If you want to aim at 2014 and beyond what do you do? You create as much cap space as possible for next summer when a bumper crop of UFA's will be available and some teams will be selling their souls to get out of luxury tax hell. In addition you:
Ditch Martin (after he hopefully returns to his 2010-2011 season form) at the trade deadline as an expiring for major young talent ( signed long term) and/or draft picks.
You attempt to package Lowry and Scola and Dally and Bud/Morris and maybe the Dallas protected first round pick for a really bad contract or two and Drummond (that package would get most teams in the EC out of the lottery - except for the Bobcats of course).
So next year, after the trade deadline you have a lineup of:
Parsons/Bud or Morris
The 14th and 16th pick
OK, another lottery pick here we come. But you have:
- $20+ million in cap space to make a serious all star addition in 2013.
- You have whatever you gathered from dealing Martin.
- You have the 14th and 16 picks from this years draft.
- You make the lottery so you postpone the first round pick going to Brooklyn for another year.
In Drummond and D-Mo you have the 2 highest potential rookies next year ( Davis is heading for 8 all star games so he does not count). Parsons showed that he is/will be an elite defender in the NBA and averaged 9.5/4.8/2.1 as a rookie without an off season. D-Mo will be a match up night mare at the PF spot. And he has all of those intangibles. Drummond has Howard or better physical attributes. Yes, intangibles are certainly at play there.
If Parsons and D-MO and Drummond progress quickly you are competitive after OKC has to shed players because of the luxury tax. Risky - hell yes. But it could work. Downside? Lottery hell.
Shear speculation but I find it interesting.