- Created on Saturday, 07 July 2012 12:40
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
For the Houston Rockets, a team that has been on the verge of a playoff berth the last couple seasons, it would seem that not much is necessary in the way of change. However, change appears to be the only constant for the team.
General manager Daryl Morey was pretty busy prior to the draft in an attempt to create a trade offer for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. A trade never happened (possibly because Howard said he’d never resign with the Rockets) and the Rockets had three first round draft picks.
Samuel Dalembert and Chase Budinger became the first two players to leave the team as part of Morey’s pre-draft dealings. With the draft the team added Jeremy Lamb (UConn), Royce White (Iowa State), and Terrence Jones (Kentucky).
Typically a team does not like to be forced to put young players into the rotation before they are ready, but Houston may find they have no option with all the departures that have happened and still could.
Kyle Lowry made his displeasure with head coach Kevin McHale well known. Rather than risk there being any dysfunction on the team going forward the team went ahead and traded him to the Toronto Raptors for Gary Forbes (a young, but little used guard/forward) and a future first round pick.
That could have opened the door for Houston to resign Goran Dragic who had proved to be valuable when Lowry went down with an illness late in the season. Dragic opted to go back to Phoenix (who just lost Steve Nash) instead.
The losses could very well continue. Kevin Martin has said that he will not resign with the team. While he does have injury issues, when healthy he is a scoring threat teams have to recognize and deal with.
Marcus Camby came in late in the season and provided the team with some much needed depth and experience as well as a solid defensive presence. He did well enough to make sure that a number of teams would be interested in him this off-season.
If that wasn’t enough, the team will probably lose Courtney Lee as well. Early last week they withdrew their qualifying offer making him an unrestricted free agent. With the Bulls, Pacers, Wizards, Mavericks, and Clippers reported to be interested in him it would be a surprise to see him return to Houston.
On the plus side, the team has tried to add a couple players. Omer Asik from the Bulls is a 7-foot center that has not played much in his career averaging just 13 minutes per game in 148 games. New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has signed a four-year, $28.8 million offer sheet from Houston, but the Knicks have pledged to match it.
If all that change was not enough for fans, there have been rumors that the team has been shopping around popular forward Luis Scola as well. That makes four players that are gone from last season’s roster and possibly four more that could still leave.
The question for Houston next season will not be if they will make the playoffs; fans will be too busy trying to figure out who they are.