Wednesday Links: Playing What If With Jeremy Lin And Omer Asik

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 19: Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets speaks to the media as he is introduced during a press conference at Toyota Center on July 19, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Lin has signed a three year $25 million dollar contract with the Houston Rockets. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

At the end of this off-season, the Rockets have built themselves with an intriguing roster that is likely to be exciting but unlikely to win too many games. At the very least, however, Daryl Morey has found a pair of building blocks, a legitimate center and a play-making point guard. With a pair of 3 year, $25 million offer sheets, Morey played the restricted free agency game and won, netting the team Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik without giving up a thing as compensation.

Today, we're going to play what if? What if the Knicks and Bulls had matched the offer sheets on Lin and Asik? The results would not have been pretty.

Who the heck plays point guard? Aaron Brooks? Gone off to Sacramento by the time New York made a decision. Ramon Sessions? Already in Charlotte. With Ray Felton headed to New York only after the Knicks had decided not to match the Rockets offer, he would likely be the best option in free agency, though the Rockets could have decided to simply go with Shaun Livingston.

And center? Oh man would that get interesting. With no Sam Dalembert on the market to sign like last year, the Rockets would have no choice but to roll with Patrick Patterson at the pivot, with Greg Smith and Josh Harrellson fighting to back him up. Having Shaun Livingston at starting point guard would not be good, but running out on opening night with Patrick Patterson at center would be an unmitigated disaster.

Presumably the squad would sign as many of the top free agents to short term deals because of the necessity to reach the salary floor, so help might be on the way in the form of Carl Landry and Carlos Delfino, but there is no substitute for having a legitimate 7-footer in the middle. The team would likely be the worst defensive squad in the league, and it wouldn't be close. Add in the mediocre offense, and this team would be an abomination.

Barring a major trade, this would have been the full-on tank job many were hoping for. The scariest part of all was how close this bare bones roster was very close to coming to fruition. If a couple of high level executives on the Bulls and Knicks made the decisions everyone expected them to make, the Rockets would be looking at a team of historically bad proportions.

Before the jump, I just wanted to make a note of the tragic passing of Tim Allen, who passed away on Monday night. Tim wrote for our sister blog, Canishoopus, and will be missed. Keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers, and please don't speculate on the details until they're available.

Jump for your links!

Rockets Stuff

Five-Year-Old Knicks Fan Devastated By Jeremy Lin's Departure Gets To Video-Chat With Jeremy Lin
Deadspin's Erik Malinowski has the heartwarming story of Jeremy Lin's taking the time out of his day to talk to a heartbroken five-year-old.

Rotating Rockets: We Asked For Change, So Let's Deal With It - The Dream Shake
I'm sure you've seen this if you're a regular on TDS. If not, go read this now.

Seven Teams With Intriguing Offseasons | The Point Forward
Zach Lowe continues with his offseason evaluations for SI, with the Rockets making an appearance on this list.

Around The League

Power Rankings: Nets, Wolves Make Summer Moves | NBA.com
Man, imagine where the Rockets would be without Lin or Asik. Oh wait, I already did.

James Harden Says He's 100 Percent Sure He's Staying In OKC. Kind Of. - CBSSports.com
I find it very difficult to believe that Harden will be anywhere except for Oklahoma City in a year.

DeJuan Blair Still On The Trade Block - CBSSports.com
I did hear that the Rockets were looking for a power forward.

Russell Westbrook, The Lawless Sovereign | Hardwood Paroxysm
There's something about this post from Aaron McGuire that I just absolutely love.

Should Raptors Fans Be Worried About Jonas Valanciunas? | Ball Don't Lie
Eric Freeman writes about Jonas Valanciunas' struggles in these Olympics. Rockets fans are cheering along with all their schadenfreude might.

Olympics

2012 Olympic Basketball Quarterfinal Preview - ESPN
Marc Stein previews the eight teams in the Olympic men's basketball quarterfinals. Spoiler Alert: The US is probably going to win.

USA Basketball Opens London Olympics Knockout Round Vs. Australia - CBSSports.com
Ben Golliver has a closer look at the United States' first matchup in the knockout round.

Rockets Video Of The Day

(via dmattucc)

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