Monday, July 6, 2009

David Lee, Nate Robinson, and Houston Rockets Possibility

Again, here are my four big points for the Knicks off-season in order of importance:
1) Trade Curry
2) Maximize Lee
3) Trade Jeffries
4) Acquire PG

These should always be kept in mind while considering any trades. Now onto the rumors circulating around David Lee and Nate Robinson.

The publicly known teams after Lee are Portland and Oklahoma City. The teams after Robinson are Lakers, Magic, Bulls, Kings and Blazers. Lee's price around the league has started to revacillate. At first he seemed to be a $10 million guarantee, but now that Portland is the only team seriously pursuing him, his price may drop. In the end I see his first year being worth around $8.5 million (within $500,000). Nate's value is unknown in the rumor mill. I see him signing at around $5.5 million (within $500,000).

Portland is an excellent trading partner for the Knicks. They have three expiring contracts including Darius Miles' $9 million. They are also pursuing Andre Miller, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are looking to shed Jerryd Bayless. Finally, they are interested in both Knick restricted free agents. The only obstacle would be to send Curry to Portland. Management has stepped up under McMillian and Pritchard and I doubt they would take Curry's egregious contract, especially when they will be looking to resign Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge. Then again Curry's contract will only have one year left and may make him a valuable asset in a sign and trade (similar to how they were hoping to use Raef LaFrentz this year).

I don't see what LA can offer NY for Nate. It would have to be a direct signing, but the Lakers are in no position to offer money with the stranglehold they are in. The Magic have some flexibility in signing Nate, but again they are not in a position to sign and trade which would make it a strict signing. Chicago has some pieces in Brad Miller, Jerome James, and Tim Thomas. But Miller has become a major component of the Bulls, the Knicks despise James, and I am not sure if the Knicks are allowed to reacquire Tim Thomas yet.

That leaves the Kings who have a favorable situation. The team has Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdul-Rahim with hefty expiring contracts; these will be great options to shop out Eddy Curry. The Kings just drafted Tyreke Evans and acquired Sergio Rodriguez, so they have a guard of interest. Again, if a deal would have gone down between NY and Sacramento it would have happened before or during the draft. The Kings knew the Knicks wanted Rubio. The Kings weren't going to select Rubio. And the Kings had interest in Nate Robinson. If the deal were to happen, it would have occurred a long time ago.

Finally, there haven't been any rumors in a while, but a New York-Houston trade would workout perfectly. Based on the values of David Lee and Nate Robinson above, this will be a reasonable trade between the two teams. (Bolded players are key components while italized players are other possibile parts).

New York

David Lee ($8.5 M)
Nate Robinson($5.5 M)
Eddy Curry ($10.5 M)
Wilson Chandler
Jared Jeffries



Tracy McGrady ($23.2 M)
Brian Cook
Brent Barry
Jermaine Taylor
Sergio Llull
Chase Budinger

The Rockets have lost two of their three main components to last year and are on the verge of losing their final piece. Houston has already addressed the Artest loss with Trevor Ariza. Gortat seems to be headed to Dallas, so Houston will have to resort to a Plan B free agent or the team can trade for David Lee who put up great numbers all year long (not solely in the playoffs like Gortat). Lee would be an up and coming replacement for Yao, while Robinson would serve as a not playoff cursed downgrade for McGrady. The Knicks should also not shy away from including Wilson Chandler. While the Rockets could trade some of their second round picks or expiring contracts.
The Trade would leave Houston rejuvenated with a new nucleus and in perfect position to swoop in and sign a low price free agent such as Allen Iverson (he would be at a great discount compared to what they would be paying McGrady) while the Knicks would be a buyout away from an absoulutely perfect position for next summer's free agency.

As of now this is what Houston looks like:
PG: Aaron Brooks / Kyle Lowry / Sergio Llull
SG: Tracy McGrady / Brent Barry / Jermaine Taylor
SF: Trevor Ariza /Shane Battier/ James White / Chase Budinger
PF: Carl Landry / Brian Cook / Chuck Hayes
C: Luis Scola / Joey Dorsey

After the trade Houston could look like this:
PG: Aaron Brooks / Kyle Lowry
SG: Nate Robinson / Shane Battier / (Allen Iverson or Anthony Parker)
SF: Trevor Ariza / Wilson Chandler / James White
PF: David Lee / Carl Landry / Chuck Hayes
C: Luis Scola / Eddy Curry / Joey Dorsey

Houston would have depth that could compete with almost any team in the West; plus the team could convert to a fast paced offense like in New York or Golden State and become a legitiamte playoff contender. Everybody except for Eddy Curry can run the floor making the style ideal for this possible roster. Phoenix proved that a team can remain atop of the West with a fast paced offense and great depth. Houston would be in fine position to walk in similar footsteps.

1 comment:

  1. Ok possibilities but Tracy shows sign of a 110% improvement and even if he is a bust he'll be a 20 mil off the rockets so what can they do w the guy? Houston will likely just wait till his contracts up, if he's good maybe sign him if not eh. Plus Tracy is houstons only and I mean ONLY hope for any sort of play off push, he made it to the playoffs w a worse supporting cast so w a great surrounding team of vets and potential all stars ( landry,brooks,ariza) houston will keep him, how else would they put asses in seats? Of course that's best case scenario, worst is he crumbles ( I hope doesn't I'm a tmac fan and I wish him the best) and his contract frees up cap space in 10-11,