Monday, October 29, 2012

Are the Rockets Done Dealing?

James Harden is the newest Rocket, but he might not be the only star headed to Houston.

      Are the Houston Rockets done dealing? In a short answer: No. During Harden's introductory press conference, General Manager Daryl Morey said he viewed Harden as a "foundational player" who he could pair in a flashy backcourt with Jeremy Lin. Morey hopes that this summer's acquisitions could be enough to corral another big-name star in Houston. What other big names could the Rockets possibly go after? Here are a few players I think could be headed to "Space City."

Paul Millsap

Overview: Sure, Millsap isn't a marquee name, but I think building a core of one or two All Stars and players with potential -- similar to what the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies are doing -- can give a franchise a good shot at having long-term success. One of the reasons why I think Millsap fits in Houston is because he is a solid power forward on both sides of the court. He can score, rebound and play defense well. The Jazz might be more willing to let Millsap go, rather than star center Al Jefferson, because young phenom Derrick Favors is waiting in the wings. Favors's playing time will only escalate in Utah, so the Jazz could ponder offers for Millsap. For Houston, they have a bevy of power forwards, but not one that is a legitimate starter. Patrick Patterson is tabbed as the current starter, but I don't think he's shown enough to take command of his position. The Rockets also have rookies Royce White and Terrence Jones, two hybrid forwards, who could be used as trade bait.

The Deal:
Utah receives Patrick Patterson, Terrence Jones, Greg Smith, Shaun Livingston and a second-round draft pick.
Houston receives Paul Millsap.

Tyreke Evans

Overview: Tyreke Evans may not be a natural small forward, but he and James Harden could become a dynamic duo. Evans is a slasher and creator, meanwhile Harden is a shooter and facilitator. Their games could work well together if they developed good chemistry. The Kings have stated that they don't plan to re-sign Evans before the Halloween deadline, so why shouldn't the Rockets try to swoop in and nab him before he becomes a free agent? Marcus Morris is a hybrid forward and while he didn't perform very well during his rookie season in Houston, reuniting in Sacramento with former Kansas Jayhawk teammate Thomas Robinson could help him out psychologically in the long run.

Could Evans be on the move soon?
The Deal:
Sacramento receives Chandler Parsons, Marcus Morris, Daequan Cook and one future first-round draft pick.
Houston receives Tyreke Evans.

Andrew Bynum

Overview: This is when Houston GM Daryl Morey literally puts all of his eggs into a basket. Any deal for Bynum would probably have to happen after the season, because Philadelphia just acquired the 7" big man and there is probably no shot he would get traded mid-season. For Houston to get Bynum out of Philadelphia, he would have to underperform and have an injury-plagued season in which he couldn't put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Then, Houston would have to try trading several pieces to acquire the All Star center. This deal is a long shot, but because of the bold moves Morey has made this offseason, I wouldn't be suprised to see Bynum in a Rockets jersey next season.

The Deal:
Philadelphia receives Omer Asik, Carlos Delfino, Patrick Patterson, Royce White, Cole Aldrich and future first-round draft picks.
Houston receives Andrew Bynum.

      Is Houston a contender? No. Is Houston a playoff team? Probably not yet. However, Houston is back to relevance and that's something that cannot be overlooked. The Rockets aren't anywhere near where they want to be as an organization, but they should not be slighted by the public. Houston may have overpaid for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik, but they are no joke. General Manager Daryl Morey is determined to make them a playoff contender for the first time since the "Big 3" of Tracy McGrady, Ron Artest and Yao Ming. Watch out NBA fans, the Rockets are set for liftoff.

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