Ep. 82: Rockets Offseason Preview

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) and Forrest Walker (@DUNOTS) discuss:

-The Rockets are about to get expensive
-How Houston can bring their own free agents back (Paul, Capela, Ariza, etc..)
-What is Daryl Morey's "new math"?
-Can the Rockets find a taker for Ryan Anderson?
-Can the Rockets land LeBron James or Paul George in free agency and how is that possible?

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2018 Houston Rockets Offseason Preview

By Salman Ali on June 5, 2018

There has never been a boring offseason for the Houston Rockets in the Daryl Morey era, and this one should be no different. With several key players becoming free agents (unrestricted or otherwise), the Rockets have a lot of tough decisions to make. The roster looks to get really expensive, but new owner Tilman Fertitta claims he's willing to pay a heavy luxury tax bill if the team is good enough. With Houston coming off a 65 win season and a tough seven-game Western Conference Finals with the defending champion Golden State Warriors, this team surely fits the bill.

Report: Rockets exploring options with Ryan Anderson

By Matthew Cardenas on June 11, 2018

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Kelly Iko of USA Today has reported that the Rockets are currently exploring trade options for forward Ryan Anderson, who is owed nearly $42 million over the next two seasons. A buyout is also in play if a trade is unable to happen. Anderson signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Rockets in 2016 but fell out of the rotation during the playoffs this season.

The desire to trade Anderson recently has not been a secret. Players such as LeBron James and Paul George are on the Rockets radar this off-season. Moving Anderson (more so his contract) is the domino that needs to fall in order to sign one of two star free agents. It frees up cap space and honestly a contract that has value starting to diminish.

Trading Anderson would be the best case scenario for the Rockets. Even then, draft picks and possibly another player would be involved in that deal. If a buyout occurs, Daryl Morey and co. will still owe him a portion of the contract. It is clear they would prefer to have nothing to do with the contract once some sort of move is made.

Anderson can still produce for a team in today's NBA. His three-point shooting as a big is a necessity in today's style of play. Although a liability on the defensive end, the right team could make it work. The Rockets figured out quickly that P.J. Tucker was more valuable to the lineup due to both his three-point shooting and excellent defensive play. The "Tuckwagon" unit with Tucker at center became a go-to lineup this season that let the Rockets go super-small ball.

The fact it is June 11th and this report is already surfacing shows how aggressive Daryl Morey wants to be in the market this summer. It will be tough to move Anderson's contract and hopefully land another star player, but it is hard to doubt Daryl Morey at this point. James Harden and Chris Paul had the Rockets one win away from the NBA Finals this past season. Adding James or George would surely make this 65-win team even deadlier.

Report: Houston will be aggressive in trying to acquire Paul George

By Salman Ali on June 6, 2018

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Houston Rockets "will be very aggressive in trying to see if there's a way to get [Paul George]."
The Rockets were linked in several rumors to acquire the star forward from Indiana via trade last summer before he was ultimately traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the Rockets look to be in pretty good shape if they simply bring the team back, general manager Daryl Morey plans to "look at all the major names" that should be on the market this year.
According to Wojnarowski, Houston will face stiff competition from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers should they find a feasible way to acquire George.

The Rockets are coming off a 65 win season and 7 game Western Conference Finals series with the Golden State Warriors, but the opportunity to add a star swingman like Paul George is worth exploring. George averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 2.0 SPG on 55.9% True Shooting. He's also an All-NBA level defender and excellent 3-PT shooter (career 37.6%) which would make him a superb fit in Houston should the Rockets find a pathway towards acquiring him.

It is worth noting that Kelly Iko of USA Today Sports was the first to report of Houston's interest in acquiring Paul George.

Ep. 81: Colangelo Burner Talk. Rockets Season in Review, + Offseason Preview

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) and Forrest Walker (@DUNOTS) discuss:

-Bryan Colangelo's burner accounts (first 21:45 minutes)
-Rockets season in review
-Thoughts on the Warriors series and the Rockets/Warriors rivalry moving forward
-Brief offseason lookahead

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Rockets 92, Warriors 101 - Insurmountable

By Forrest Walker on December 18, 2017

The Houston Rockets have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Golden State Warriors came back from an 11-point lead on the road at halftime in a game 7, something that has been effectively impossible historically. The Rockets chipped in some history of their own, missing 27 three point attempts in a row, the largest streak of this nature in playoffs history. It was agonizing, heartbreaking, miserable and inconclusive. The season is over, and the Rockets are now left wondering what, exactly, they could have done differently. The worst part for them is that the answer really might be "nothing."

Ep. 80: Game 7 Preview

Salman Ali (@RedNationHoops) previews Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals and discusses Chris Paul's hamstring injury.

Listen to The Red Nation Hoops Podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher.