Free agency begins in a little more than 2 hours. The Rockets only have two players from the '09 roster that are free agents. Crazy Pills and Von Wafer. There is little doubt that in May, I wanted these guys back on the team next year. Sadly, in the weeks since the Game 7 loss to the Lakers... things have changed. Even worse, there has not been a lot of good news to share, either. Beginning with..........
There's the mystery about Yao and his cursed foot.
There's the mystery about Morey trying to trade up for a top 3 pick. And why.
There's the mystery about how much we can really spend on Von.
There's the mystery about how much we want to spend on Artest.
There's even a potential mystery as to whether any of Yao, McGrady or Artest even plays a game for the Rockets next year. That is scary, and it really limits the Rockets' immediate options in free agency. It's hard to construct a team around superstars when you are not even sure your supposed superstars will ever play for your team again. In a sad way, it would be easier to know that Yao will never play again or that McGrady will be traded. At least you have some level of certainty there. Alas, we can't make it easy on the resident boy genius GM we have.
So, as the games get ready to begin, here is what we do know about the Houston Rockets:
1. Rick Adelman will be the head coach. Yeah, in May I was hoping this might at least be up for debate, but that debate never materialized. Rest assured, Sleepy will be
napping on the bench when November gets here.
2. Daryl Morey is a genius. Do not forget this. No matter how bad the news about Yao may be... Morey was smart enough to leave himself options. Or, as Mike McD always advises - always leave yourself outs.
3. Carlos Boozer will not be a Houston Rocket. Nor will Mehmet Okur. Thank freakin' God. At least we still have the Jazz to laugh at. Or hate. Either one. But I really, really hate the Utah Jazz.
4. Tracy McGrady is still under contract for one more season (at $23M)....
5. ... Tracy McGrady is still a whiny bitch. Whether healthy or not.
6. The following players are still on the roster. And, presumably, healthy: Luis Scola, Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks, Carl Landry, Kyle Lowry, Brent Barry, Chuck Hayes, James White. I'm not sure about Joey Dorsey. He hasn't said much recently.
7. I'd have listed Brian Cook in the group in #6. Except that Brian Cook is more worthless than Alec Baldwin. Naturally, that means Cook is the fourth highest paid player on the team next year... behind T-Mac, Yao and Battier. For real. It's sad, but true.
8. Luis Scola is still the best value of any player in the NBA. He's still only making $3M a year (though his contract also expires next summer) and he's one of the most efficient players in the league. Behind Yao, there was no doubt who the Rockets' MVP was last year. It was Scola. He's a badass.
(Luis Landry to the rescue!!!)
9. Robert Horry is still available as a free agent. Just a thought, Mr. Morey.
10. At least we aren't the Utah Jazz.
So, you see... it's not all bad. And there are things we can build on. In Daryl Morey I trust.