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Houston Rockets Off Season To Do List : Part 2

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Last week (or has it been longer?) I mentioned 5 off season items that the Rockets need to address.  Number 1 was Ron Artest/Von Wafer, and that will likely take the entire summer (possibly shorter in Wafer's case).  Number 2 was back up center, and since I have not had the time to really research the Rockets draft pick buying options yet (I have done the free agent/trade ones) we're going to skip to number 3 today.  I'll put my thoughts up here, but I really want to hear from you on how you think it should/will go down:

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

That's what I wrote before and I still feel the same way.  Tracy McGrady is a good guy and despite not always knowing how to show he cares, by all accounts, at the very least, does care.  With freakish athletic ability the league has rarely seen, the guy has never had to work out hard in his life until the last 2 years and honestly, I'm not sure he knows how.  I liken it to me in high school, I made As and brought a book home exactly once the entire time and graduated in 3 years.  I arrived at The University of Texas a cocky 17 year old jackass.  I promptly realized I didn't know anything about anything and what was worse; I had no idea how to fix it.  It took almost failing out of school to realize I needed help and to find out how to obtain it.  I took a study class and then actually attended class (a novel concept I know) and finished with a 3.7 GPA in my major, not too shabby for a guy that had to beg to stay for the fun.  So, in that rambling answer I swear I have a point Billy Madison principal:  Tracy McGrady likely doesn't know how to do what he needs to do and also doesn't know how to ask for it. 

While his knee surgery came at an inopportune time and the announcement at even a worse time, I don't doubt that the surgery was necessary.  As Daryl Morey has said, on more than one occasion, you don't have micro-fracture surgery (and a doctor doesn't perform it) if you don't absolutely need it.  I for one am going to give McGrady a break on this.  The guy saw a problem, he knew his knee wasn't healthy and went around until a doctor finally realized what he was talking about.  Lots of jokes were tossed around here and other places about doctor shopping.  And I'm sorry but, as much as we joked, no doctor would prescribe the most invasive knee surgery possible without it being the only option.  And what's even worse is his shoulder wasn't completely fine either.  On Friday he informed fans through his blog that he had more shoulder surgery. 

In that same blog post, McGrady spoke of his plan to be ready by training camp.  Training camp will start around the beginning of October and while that is a very fast time frame to recover from such a serious surgery, it was done on a much smaller skill than what Kidd/Stodemire/Hill had done.  This means that October could be enough time for cartilage to grow back and for McGrady to have workout time to regain strength.  The real question is:  Will Tracy McGrady finally dedicate himself to weight lifting?  By all accounts, and I mean all of them, he’s the last guy to arrive and the first guy to leave.  There is no argument to this; every media member that has ever talked about it has stated the same.  I have no reason to not believe their accounts or that it came from first hand knowledge or out of the mouths of McGrady’s teammates.  That said, a healthy Tracy McGrady can do exactly that and it was always a joke around the locker room so no harm was done.  Maybe he left so he could get some sleep, I don’t know what the reason was, and I really don’t care.  The important thing is that this precedent is no longer his modus operandi and that McGrady can become one with the free weights, and from the lack of lift he had, maybe toss some Yoga in too. 

That gets us to the question we have at hand.  Let’s pretend for a moment that McGrady is ready to go by Rockets training camp.  Let’s pretend that he can pass a physical.  What are the other possible variables?  The Rockets could buy their way into the draft.  Previously we’ve mostly thought of this as a move to get a back up center.   What if it is, as Tom predicted, to get a guy like Sam Young?  And what if the Rockets have already resigned Von Wafer who, because of his little tantrum, had no other solid offers and they got him cheaply?  The Rockets would then have 2 shooting guards and 2 small forwards.    I for one would then look to trade McGrady for a starting center that wouldn’t have their feelings hurt if they were a backup and some draft picks (yes it’s ill informed, but Chris Kaman comes to mind).  What would you do?

Let’s try another scenario:  McGrady is ready.  The Rockets lost out to a high bidder for Wafer and bought into the draft for a backup center.  This addresses every problem but the SG area.  So what would you do?  Do you keep McGrady?  Still package him for another SG or two?  Maybe some SF help, maybe some draft picks?

Dream Shakers, what say you?

As an aside, either this week (hopefully) or next I will begin a series with other blogs around the blogosphere about some possible trades that could help the Rockets.  I want some serious ideas on what to ask for.  The first will be with Blazers Edge who are trying something similiar with Blog a Bull with a favorite of ours in Kirk Hinrich.  So, specifically what do you want ,and what would you give to get it, from the Blazers.  And for the future, what about other teams?