What I mean by the title of this post is OKC vs MIA is also another way of saying the Draft vs Free Agency. OKC acquired all their primary players through the draft while Miami budgeted for big names in free agency. Both have to suffer through grueling seasons while these plans were developed and the end result has been finals appearances. I don't know about you, but I know trying to get to the playoffs is not my goal over the next few years. So which direction should we go for a championship? Find out after the jump.
The winner of the finals can determine the most ideal direction for the Rockets. After being eliminated in round 2 of the playoffs as the Sonics (Similar to the Rockets exit vs the Lakers a few years back), the Sonics/Thunder struggled to compete, losing coveted players (at the time) like Rashard Lewis to free agency. So they decided to blow up the roster, trading veteran Ray Allen for draft picks and eventually some future losing seasons. This losing eventually turned into #2 pick in the draft Kevin Durant, #4 pick in the draft Russell Westbrook, #3 pick James Harden, and Serge Ibaka in the mid teens. Though they suffered some losing seasons throughout, they developed a chemistry with each other and the coaching staff. After a few playoff bruises, they make the finals.
Assuming they win, the Rockets should follow suit. Amnesty Martin, trade Kyle Lowry and the 14th pick to Portland to move up in the draft, resign Dragic to a modest contract if he wants to be here, and draft our sg and center of the future. They can all grow with Kevin McHale at the helm because he's willing to play the young guys who work hard.
The Miami Heat were swept out of 2007 playoffs in the first round a year after winning their first championship. A year later they had trade Shaq and deal with an injured Dwyane Wade (He needed shoulder surgery after a game against the Rockets. Ironically, Shane Battier was involved in the play if im not mistaken). After a poor 2008 season they got the number 2 pick in the draft (Michael Beasley) and lost out on Derrick Rose.
Don Corleone Pat Riley decided, to heck with the lottery, I will make my own luck. Using his strengths as a motivator and speaker, he convinced top free agents to join together on South Beach. This in turn has led to two straight Finals appearances.
Assuming they win, the Rockets should follow suit. Now we wont be starting with the best player in the game, but I see a few pieces in free agency that could get us a running start. I would strongly recommend us going for James Harden and/or Serge Ibaka in free agency. I believe that the Thunder cant pay for both and both of them are stars in the making. Either one of them here along with some strong fiscal prudence could yield a player like Dwight Howard coming the following summer or Blake Griffin or even Bynum. Just trying to think big people. All it takes is one star in house for another to seek a trade there. Thats how the Shaq's of the world end up in Miami to begin with.
So what do you think? The draft or free agency?