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2012 NBA Offseason: Houston Rockets

Draft Grades, Offseason Needs, Free Agents

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Houston Rockets (Last Year: 34-32)

Live 2012 NBA Draft Grades:

12. Jeremy Lamb, G, Connecticut: C- Grade
First off, it has to be disappointing that the Rockets were unable to leverage all their picks into a bigger asset. I'm just not excited about Lamb's potential in the NBA. He's been described as having a "sleepy" game, which I'm surprised didn't scare more teams off .... I'm kinda surprised Houston didn't take John Henson or Tyler Zeller here since the team needs some size. However, the Rockets do have two more picks left.

16. Royce White, F, Iowa State: B Grade
I was surprised Houston passed on Tyler Zeller at No. 12 and ditto here. However, Royce White is a unique talent due to his point forward abilities and could be a special player in the NBA. Houston did just draft a tweener forward last year in Marcus Morris, so I'm not sure where White fits in.

18. Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky: C- Grade
Great value here for Terrence Jones, but he is yet another combo forward for the Rockets, and they just drafted Royce White. Daryl Morey loves collecting assets and that's what he did with his first three first-round picks. This seems like a fantasy collection more than trying to build a true basketball team. Isiah Thomas loves this theory.

*** 2012 NBA Offseason Needs and Free Agents listed below this comment box. ***

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Sanjana 01-02-2014 02:42 am (total posts: 1)
1     2

Yeah I saw those earlier. If those are his new shoes then just wow. But for 25 Mill I\'d wear some swim shoes with tube socks so I can\'t judge.Either LA blows out Boston or the game will be clseor than we think. But losing Kendrick is a huge setback defensively. I\'m not sold on Sheed holding it down but we\'ll see.
Pelicans fan(wish we were the alligators -4-) 06-22-2013 11:26 am (total posts: 2)
5     9

Also here's how a member of the big 3 can help Houston pursue trades bosh to Houston for Asik and a 1st you think "that takes up more cap space!!!!!!!" However there is something called the amnesty clause.they use it on Bosh,he signs to a big deal in Charolette,and Houston attracts Paul and Howard by the lure of James Harden.
Pelicans fan 06-18-2013 10:35 pm (total posts: 2)
4     7

I think Houston should keep Parsons,sign CP3 then possibly trade Lin(or with D12 & Asik).for role players maybe Dalembert.also if CP3 and D12 don't go 2 Houston then go for Smoove
dg 06-29-2012 12:49 pm (total posts: 1)
31     12

rockets philosophy has always been best player available regardless of position, take the best player and figure it out later... i love it. Don't forget still free agency to trade players as well
ADU314 06-29-2012 07:49 am (total posts: 1)
15     16

Wow don't the Rockets already have Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris..
WhiteMike 06-28-2012 09:13 pm (total posts: 1)
34     15

Is it football season yet????

rochen1 12-15-2011 12:19 pm (total posts: 1)
22     29

I agree with the Walter's opinion -- don't get the Rockets' picks this year.

This may be a season when you just have to trust management.... GO ROCKETS!!
BJ 06-28-2011 10:37 am (total posts: 1)
37     40

if the rockets are willing to give up a lot to get dwight howard they have the pieces. a mixture of veterans (scola) and young players should give the magic something to think about. the rockets would be guaranteed a deal if they were willing to also accept one of the two bad contracts as well (arenas/turk). pairing kevin martin with dwight howard would be interesting. esp, if the rockets get to keep motiejunas (would could provide the offense for dwight's defense). they could be the new twin towers of Texas.
mprofetta 06-24-2011 11:33 am (total posts: 1)
38     41

I guess you can never have enough undersized PFs. I'm sure that there are some trades on the horizon in Houston, but this team really seems directionless.
Samarth Sulhan 06-24-2011 12:58 am (total posts: 1)
68     111

the rockets are obviously on the brisk of a trade (most likely shipping scola out) and morris could play the 3 while donatas goes between the 4 and 5...

if history has ever taught us anything, it's to never question daryl morey
adam 06-23-2011 09:47 pm (total posts: 1)
41     34

watch as the rockets make a run at dwight howard. they have so many assets now. kevin martin, flynn/lowry/dragic, luis scola, and motiejunas for howard?
Walter 06-21-2011 05:05 pm (total posts: 1)
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First comment... we're going to have comment boards like this all over the site soon. We're still working out the kinks, so this is not the finished product.

2011-12 Season Summary:
For the third straight season, the Houston Rockets finished with a winning record yet missed out on the postseason. That pretty much speaks to the type of team that general manager Daryl Morey has built since losing Yao Ming to injury: one with a lot of quality talent but no real star player who can help carry this team to the playoffs.

Morey has acquired a ton of assets over the past couple years in the likes of young, highly-regarded players coming out of college. Guys like Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee, Chandler Parsons, Chase Budinger, and Patrick Patterson have become important parts of the rotation. However, this year, Morey finally gave up some of the dead weight that hasn't panned out: Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn, Jordan Hill, and Terrence Williams.

Thabeet and Flynn were dealt to Portland for Marcus Camby, who added some needed size in the frontcourt to pair with Luis Scola even though Camby brought a similar presence to the floor that free agent acquisition Samuel Dalembert did. Scola was his usual self though his rebounding numbers did dip, partially because he was forced to play more minutes out of position at center. Patterson made some decent improvements during his second season in the league while 2011 lottery pick Marcus Morris couldn't crack Kevin McHale's rotation and only appeared in 17 games.

Perhaps the biggest emergence for the Rockets was the talented one-two punch at point guard. Both Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic had career years though Lowry's season was hampered a bit by injuries. Despite a solid season, Lowry expressed an unhappiness with McHale even saying that he wasn't sure the two could co-exist together in the future.

Houston also had a solid rotation on the wing with Kevin Martin and Courtney Lee sharing the shooting guard position and Chandler Parsons and Chase Budinger splitting time at small forward. Martin only appeared in 40 games though due to injury, which was a big loss since he was the team's top scoring threat. Parsons was a pleasant surprise going from second-round pick to starter and being one of the steals of the 2011 NBA Draft.

2012-13 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Luis Scola/Greg Smith/Jon Brockman

PF: Patrick Patterson/Marcus Morris/Jon Leuer

SF: Chandler Parsons

SG: Kevin Martin/*Courtney Lee/Shaun Livingston

PG: Kyle Lowry

NBA Free Agents:

*SG-Courtney Lee (RFA)

PG-Goran Dragic (UFA)

C-Marcus Camby (UFA)

PG-Earl Boykins (UFA)

F-Diamon Simpson (UFA)

Offseason Transactions:

The Rockets acquire the 18th pick in 2012 NBA Draft from the Timberwolves for G/F Chase Budinger and the rights to Lior Eliyahu.

The Rockets acquire the 12th pick in 2012 NBA Draft, G Shaun Livingston, PF Jon Leuer, F/C Jon Brockman from the Bucks for the 14th pick and C Samuel Dalembert.

2012-13 Team Salary: Approximately $38.4 million

NBA Offseason Needs:

1. Star Power: Since Yao Ming's injury problems, the Rockets have lacked any sort of true star talent. They have a ton of cap space to work with this offseason as well as some tradable assets in young players and a pair of first-round picks (14th and 16th overall.) While building depth is great, it hasn't gotten the team to the postseason. Acquiring a star whether via trade or free agency is a move Houston should actively pursue this summer.

2. Center: With Camby a free agent and the team holding an option on the final year of Dalembert's contract, the Rockets will be looking for a center this offseason, preferrably one who can score on the block. It's unlikely Houston will find an immediate fix with one of its first-round picks, so the team will have to look for an answer via free agency or trade.

3. Point Guard Dilemma: The Rockets have a bit of dilemma at point guard. Lowry is unhappy with McHale and might demand a trade if a coaching change is not made or the two cannot reconcile whatever differences they may have.

On the other hand, Dragic is an unrestricted free agent and could be coveted by a team looking for a starting point guard. Do the Rockets pay up to keep Dragic and trade Lowry, or find peace with Lowry and let Dragic walk? It's hard to see how both guys will be on the roster at the start of next season.

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