Grading Ever NBA Team’s Offseason- Houston Rockets

Posted: 08/27/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Key Additions: Jeremy Lin (FA), Omer Asik (FA), Jeremy Lamb (draft), Royce White (draft), Terrence Jones (draft), Shaun Livingston (trade), Jon Brockman (trade), Toney Douglas (trade), Gary Forbes (trade), JaJuan Johnson (trade), E’Twaun Moore (trade), Sean Williams (trade), Carlos Delfino (FA)

Key Losses: Kyle Lowry (trade), Goran Dragic (FA), Marcus Camby (FA), Chase Budinger (trade), Samuel Dalembert (trade), Courtney Lee (trade), Luis Scola (amnesty)

Grade: D

I’m not ready to give the Rockets an F for their offseason, but it was atrocious. They are a mess. Granted, they are a young team, but they are still a mess. From the beginning of the offseason, it was clear that they were going to do all they could to trade for Dwight Howard. They dealt three big contributors, Lowry, Budinger and Dalembert (all starters), for 1st round draft picks. They made an offer to the Magic before the draft based mostly on picks, Chandler Parsons, and Marcus Morris. I believe that’s a better deal than the one that the Magic ended up getting, but they declined. I actually liked the Rockets draft. With their three first round picks, they drafted three exciting players with tremendous upside. Jeremy Lamb is a prolific scorer and talent who was supposed to go top 10 before last season, but a poor year in college and the deep draft contributed in his draft fall. Lamb had a great summer league showing, putting up great numbers. In fact, one fan showed a poster saying “Lamb-Sanity,” a play on Lin-Sanity, as both players are named Jeremy. More on Lin later. Royce White could be a tremendous all around player. But he has huge question marks. Terrence Jones is a solid power forward, who compares to Josh Smith. So this was a good overall draft by the Rockets. Next, the Rockets signed Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to large contracts. I understand why they want Lin (mainly for the fans), but I think that both of the point guards they lost (Lowry, Dragic) are better than Lin. Asik was a major overpay. He scores about 4 points per game. Enough said. The offseason went downhill from there for one reason: They weren’t able to trade for Howard. After they amnestied Scola and traded Lee for a bunch of scraps (granted, young scraps), their atrocious offseason was over.
In summary, the Rockets traded or lost in FA 7 of their 9 best players from last season (Kevin Martin and arguably Parsons are in their top 9). I expect Martin to be traded, too. They lost 7 valuable players and gained 0 proven players (unless you count fewer than 20 games of “Lin-Sanity” as proven).

I couldn’t give them an F, because they do have a lot of players I like, including the three draft picks and Parsons. Another player to watch out for is Donatas Motiejunas. I think he could steal the starting center job sooner rather than later.

Last year starting lineup:
PG: Lowry
SG: Martin
SF: Parsons
PF: Scola
C: Dalembert

This year projected starting lineup:
PG: Lin
SG: Martin
SF: Parsons
PF: Patrick Patterson
C: Asik

Projected roster (usual active 12 in bold):
PG: Jeremy Lin, Shaun Livingston, Courtney Forston
SG: Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, Toney Douglas, Gary Forbes
SF: Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones, Carlos Delfino, Diamon Simpson
PF: Patrick Patterson, Royce White, Marcus Morris, JuJuan Johnson, Jon Brockman
C: Omer Asik, Donatas Motiejunas, Greg Smith, Sean Williams

Projected minutes:
PG: Lin (31), Livingston (7), Douglas (7), Martin (3)
SG: Martin (25), Lamb (20), Delfino (3)
SF: Parsons (28), Jones (14), Delfino (6)
PF: Patterson (26), White (16), Jones (6)
C: Asik (24), D-Mo (24)

Projected minutes for each player:
Lin: 31
Martin: 28
Parsons: 28
Patterson: 26
Asik: 24
D-Mo: 24
Lamb: 20
Jones: 20
White: 16
Delfino: 9
Livingston: 7
Douglas: 7

Each player’s stats from last season:
Lin: 14.5 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.5 steals per game (35 games, injured rest of season)
Martin: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists per game (40 games, injured rest of season)
Parsons: 9.5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.2 steals per game
Patterson: 8 points, 4.5 rebounds per game
Asik: 3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1  block per game
Delfino: 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals per game (54 games, injured rest of season)
Livingston: 5.5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists per game
Douglas: 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists per game (38 games, DNP coaches decision rest of season)

Each player’s strengths:
Lin: transition, up tempo, passing, driving
Martin: 3 point shooting, scoring, leadership
Parsons: youth, rebounding, scoring
Patterson: youth, rebounding, low post shooting
Asik: defense, rebounding
D-Mo: rebounding, scoring, post-shooting
Lamb: 3 point shooting, scoring off the bench, youth
Jones: all-around, scoring, rebounding, defense
White: passing, rebounding, scoring, defense
Delfino: 3 point shooting, scoring off the bench, leadership
Livingston: floor general, leadership, depth
Douglas: 3 point shooting, scoring off the bench, depth

  1. philabundant says:

    As with many young teams, I think there is a pretty wide range of outcomes for the Rockets. They are unlikely to win much this year, but it will be interesting to see if they are gelling by year’s end.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s