It's officially the off-season for the Rockets. We have had a few posts up about where the Rockets go from here and we will have numerous others before and after the draft. Here is the order I see the Rockets issues in, not necessarily the order they'll be addressed in, just the order of importance:
1. Resign Artest and Wafer
2. Get a back up center for Yao. There are two option here: A. Young guy that has the potential to be a starter in the next 3 years or B. Get a relatively established back up that can come in and provide size, that can run with the second team and at least some modicum of offense
3. Address the Tracy McGrady situation, specifically making sure Tracy is doing every single thing in his power to be ready and at 100% as soon as he can. Now, does that mean I want McGrady back? I'm honestly not sure. McGrady is a good guy, he's not the evil that a lot of us (maybe even me) have depicted him as. No, he's not a hard worker, but maybe that can change with him seeing his teammates do something he never has. Sometimes it takes an event like this to get a guy like him going. If he doesn't, he's the most trade-able guy in the NBA with a huge contract that comes off in time for Lebron-a-palooza
4. Numbers 1 and 3 play into this: If Artest or/nor Wafer signs with the Rockets and McGrady is not ready/gets traded, huge holes are left at SG and SF. And that has to be addressed. We'll address 1-3 for sure in seperate posts and this one will be addressed in those
5. Negotiate : The Chinese Basketball Association needs to understand that Yao Ming is done with international basketball. His body cannot handle it and they are killing their cashcow /international basketball respect. I truly believe the Rockets have to negotiate this, and Daryl Morey will probably go learn Chinese to do it.
So, today let's discuss number 1. I don't expect everyone to agree with me on it, but I really, truly believe it's the correct scenario. Ron Artest is a Houston Rocket and needs to remain one. Too many people treat him like he's a number one option just because he was in Sacramento. He's not, he's a number 2 or 3 and he's getting paid like a 3 or 4 right now. Ron Artest at his current contract is an absolute steal in today's NBA and Daryl Morey knows this and traded for him for exaclty that reason. He plays both ends of the court and can do every basketball skill at least decently well. Artest is one of the few complete players left in the NBA and is worth every penny that he is getting.
Von Wafer on the other hand I don't know what to do with. He's the type of player you want to play with full emotion, but that you have to have playing both ends of the floor. He absolutely improved on that over the season and with a full off season and summer league I expect him to improve further. But how much do you give a guy that obviously has deficiencies and butted heads with his coach? The number is probably more than we'd like, but something that can be dealt with. I've been racking my brain and no team really has any cap space this season that Von Wafer would get an offer from that the Rockets wouldn't match, so that's not as much of a worry as I first thought.
There is a poll up for Artest but let's discuss both. What say you DreamShakers?