One look at the ESPN depth charts show that the Rockets roster requires much addressing. What do the Rockets need? Require? Lust? WANT!
Wanted: ELITE BIG->Shoots the Mid-range at a Good Clip. Can play Center/PF.
Wanted: SG BACKUP-> Spot up shooter. Handles the ball. Defends well. Lots of energy.
Wanted: SF BACKUP->Spot up shooter. Handles the Ball. Defends EXTREMELY well. Rebounds EXTREMELY well.
ELITE BIG CANDIDATAS
10 Rebounds Per Game. Takes 4-5 shots per game making OVER 45% of them. (Data collected from the last 3 years)*
That's 4 and 10 every game. Elton Brand is a $2mill veteran player. He's a FA! Jason Smith is a PF forced to play Center because the team has both Anthony Davis AND Ryan Anderson taking up all the PF minutes. And it's not Brook Lopez isn't given loads of playtime either. His contract expires the NEXT YEAR. So if rockets give them Aaron Brooks/TJ, the Pelicans might return Jason Smith and a 2nd round pick. It's a decent 1 year rental of a potentially good PF.
The combination of Jason Smith/Elton Brand might be able to defeat 90% of the PFs in the west. Might. And if it doesn't work, it's at most a 1 year rental. Guess who has an early termination option in 2015? Kevin Love. If the T-wolves have a bad 2013 season, they might be willing to trade Klove in an asset grab. Which brings us to the next acquisition...
There is no SG in the 2013 Free Agency better than Martell Webster. Okay, OJ Mayo but Mayo is insane and has Harden Envy. Webster is above average in EVERY shooting category when compared to small forwards. He is ALOT above average when compared to SGs. Aside from steals, blocks and rebounds he improved in every CATEGORY when asked to play major minutes.
But that's not why the Rockets need him. It's because the T-wolves need him.
Flip Saunders: “We want to get some guys who can make Ricky better,” Saunders said. “If you have guys who can stretch the floor and create more openings for him to penetrate and find those guys, he’s going to be a better player. I don’t know if you can win in the NBA if you don’t shoot threes.”**
That's Webster. If they want Webster, well, they might give up Kevin Love. In any case, good SGs are in high demand. Grabbing Webster for less than 9 million dollars would be a complete steal. But worth 9 million very easily. If not more. He is 26 years old!
The direction of the league is to go smaller at power forward. So having a very capable versatile small forward is a huge advantage. Luckily, the Rockets have one of the youngest, most productive, and superbly versatile players in Parsons. In order to play Parsons at the 4 to combat the likes of Carmelo or Lebron, another Rocket must replace Parsons' enormous contributions at the 3. He must outrebound, outshoot, out-hustle, out fast break, and out assist his POSITION.
The best SF in this year's free agency is Dorell Wright. No acquisition is more important than grabbing Wright because the man is a starter. He has played SG, SF, and PF. He is adequate in all 3. In the last 3 years, he's attempted at least 7-8 three-pters with a clip of over 37%. His rebounds are slightly below average but like Parsons, he's been tasked with the most important jobs. He is only 27 years old!
Both Martell and Wright are key multi-positional small forwards with strengths in shooting and versatility, respectively.
The most important part of their acquisition is their ability to play shooting guard, a key trade piece in any Kevin Love negotiation.
Their just isn't enough good spacing Power Forwards in the league. Long range plan is and have always been KEVIN LOVE. His ETO is in 2015. A bad 2013 season for the T-wolves could very well mean a Kevin Love Sweepstakes in 2014.
PS. Earlier Versions of this post had Brandon Bass instead of Jason Smith. I also stole this idea of a Plan B from John P. Also, there's too much noise for Morey to bank on the Howard trade. I feel this is a reasonable approximation of his brain. Grab a shooting guard in this year's draft to trade with the Timberwolves in 2014.
After all, 2015 is when the Band breaks up. A 2014 Kevin Love Arrival would be right on schedule for a 2014 Championship Run.
Go fuckin' Rockets.