The NBA Draft is tomorrow, sadly, I will be in class during it but I will be sure to have my computer on with whatever stream of the draft I can find. This is the first time in a long time that I have been excited for this Rockets team, which may shock many of you. The whispers of deals with Sacramento, Golden State, Toronto, and Orlando all have me thinking potential. The deal with Minnesota to off-load our pogo-stick ginger for the 18th pick was impressive in and of itself. A bench player and former 2nd round pick was flipped for the 18.
Because rumors have been flying around the last thread got super congested and I figured we should try a new thread for the day before the draft. Let’s recap what we know so far about tomorrow:
1.) The Rockets have acquired the 18th pick from Minnesota.
2.) The Rockets are engaged in discussions for two top 10 picks, primarily Sacramento, Golden State, and Toronto for use in a Dwight Howard trade or their own personal consumption (Either result is good for this franchise)
3.) Kyle Lowry is on the trading block.
4.) All picks are currently in play.
5.) The endgame is most likely Dwight Howard with plan B of Josh Smith and a large Deron Williams offer.
6.) The Howard camp has engaged in scare tactics to attempt to gain some leverage lost when he opted in last season. It has failed.
7.) The Williams camp seems hesitant to consider Houston but only Houston as currently constructed.
Update: 10:46 AM EST
Chad Ford confirms the Rockets are actively talking with the Cavaliers regarding the 4th pick in the draft.
Follow after the jump for a quick look at the financial situation in Houston, courtesy of Tisbee, and updates with fresh rumors will find their way above the jump as reports roll in.
Update: 3:30 PM EST
Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Rockets have traded Samuel Dalembert to Milwaukee as part of a package deal including Dalembert, the 14th pick, and a future second rounder for Jon Leuer, John Brockman, and Shaun Livingston along with the 12th pick.
It’s certainly exciting knowing that all of this is going on in the open. I feel like Daryl Morey knows his seat has warmed up because of Leslie Alexander’s expectations. He’s firing on all cylinders and, according to the rumor mill, burning up the phone lines. If Houston gets to the draft and drafts 14, 16, and 18 it will show a great deal of egg on Daryl’s face and a great deal of disappointment in many fans after such a furious lead up. Kevin McHale will even be disappointed as he has voiced he is interested in veterans rather than rookies. That concern really boils down to a minute crunch and you can’t blame the man for acknowledging that.
The financial situation in Houston is a little more unique. For that, we defer to Tisbee who posted a comprehensive break down of what we’re looking at for the Rockets:
Assuming all the high salaries are traded off to get picks for Dwight, the Rockets are left with:
Lee's Cap hold,$5.6mil
6 Cap Holds to get to 12 players,@ $2.7mil
That's @ $31.4mil.
The Cap is $58.4mil.
While the Max to a player not on a Max is $14.5mil,Williams is coming off of $16mil+ and the CBA allows players making more than the Max the ability to not take a pay cut. So let's assume Williams will take $16.5mil to start. No problem,right?
The above listing assumes the Rockets DON'T take on any contracts and traded away Martin,Scola,Dalembert,Lowry,Patterson,Morris and any Firsts AND didn't sign Dragic,letting him walk.(Remember a sign-n-trade for another player adds salary.)
Add just Turkoglu and the Rockets are sitting at $42.8mil,leaving just $16mil for Williams and no Cap room to fill out other 5 roster spots,just the MLE,vet mins and rookie deals.(Even buying a Late First cuts almost a mil from what they could offer Williams.)
The only way the Rockets can sign Williams to FA is by letting Dragic walk,and that's gonna take ginormous balls to do w/out having Williams agree to a deal.
Note: This was before the Bud trade, Tisbee later mentioned it changes things around for Houston in a big way. ESPN has Larry Coon, we have Tisbee.
So, faithful readers, prepare for another day of fast and furious rumors. We’ll keep this post updated throughout the day with any breaking news or rumors.