With training camp on the horizon, ESPN ranked the projection of every NBA team over the next three seasons.
ESPN used a 100 point scale and analyzed the following factors in creating their decision: Players, Management, Money, Market, and Draft.
In the Players department, Houston was ranked second behind the Warriors thanks to James Harden’s miraculous season and the trading of Chris Paul. They highlighted the fact that Chris Paul needs to be extended next summer in order for the team to maintain its position as the second-best team player-wise.
In terms of management, the team was placed behind Boston, San Antonio, and Golden State. With the Tilman Fertitta era just beginning, the ranking might be slightly lower. Perhaps if there was no sale, the Rockets would be ranked ahead of at least Boston, but the current management has won three playoff series in the last three years.
For money, the team was ranked 25th, due in large part to James Harden’s supermax and Chris Paul’s upcoming free agency. Ryan Anderson also has a rather expensive contract at $20 million per year. It is very likely that the team will dip into the luxury tax in the next few years.
Market was ranked seventh-best among the league, as the trade bringing Chris Paul helps improves the teams’ chances at a championship. Also, with the absence of state taxes prevalent in Texas, it means that people are getting more value for their contract as they are employed in Texas.
The team is tied for seventeenth in terms of draft because of the trading of several of their future first-round picks. They do not have a first round pick in 2018 as they traded it in the package to get Chris Paul this offseason. They rank in the middle and it hurts their stock slightly. It is perhaps what puts Boston ahead of Houston.
What do you think of the Rockets’ placement? Should they be higher, lower, or are they just right? Speak your mind in the comments below.