The Houston Rockets struck out on the services of Jimmy Butler but what’s the next step? It’s time to bring most of the band with tweaks. Let’s examine.
Houston Rockets fans — Day 1 of free agency is complete and we’re all walking out of that day with a bitter, awful taste in our mouths. We thought that the Houston Rockets were going to strike it big in free agency and they’d be able to sign the guys that they wanted.
However, yesterday’s happenings were quite the contrary, while players were cashing in on their new contracts, the Houston Rockets were on the sidelines watching all of the happenings like a fan, not a participant.
It’s partly to blame that the Houston Rockets cap situation is not too flexible this offseason and the only way they would’ve been able to make deals is if they trade away some of their most valuable assets.
Butler ultimately decided to sign with the Miami Heat. Although there was a meeting scheduled with the Houston Rockets early this week, he shafted the team at the altar and canceled the rest of his offseason visits to ink a deal.
This goes to show that Butler considered being a part of the Houston Rockets but it wasn’t his first choice. The Houston Rockets were ready to negotiate with Butler for a deal but with the way this is shaking out, they didn’t even have a seat at the table after all. Only the Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers did.
Butler made the best decision he could for him and his family but I have to add one caveat to that notion.
It is terrific players are cashing in on record multi-million dollar contracts but has watered-down the aspect of winning a championship? Back in the days of the NBA’s infancy, winning a ring was the only way to achieve validation for the hard work that was put into the craft.
The ring exuded greatness.
Those were the days when players weren’t getting paid much and it truly was their side gig behind their primary line of work, whatever that may be. When the season was over, they’d just get back to their day jobs.
The NBA was a break away from their everyday life and they got the opportunity to do what they love with a passion.
This new game of dribbling a leather-bound circular object while trying to sink it through a peach basket was a new concept in sports.
But things evolve — they cut the bottom of the peach basket so a guy wouldn’t have to get a ladder to grab each missed shot and the modern evolution of our game that we love so much was born.
Mega TV deals, advertisements and globalization have all helped the NBA thrive as it has today but for some players, the windfall of cash has forsaken what their predecessors held near and dear — playing the game they love and being the ultimate competitors.
Butler made his decision but I couldn’t help but think about this as this story was dominating the headlines.
But anyway, enough of my diatribe, it’s time to talk about what this team needs to do this offseason.
What should they do?
The Houston Rockets should look at bringing most of the band back to the fold. It may be an awkward feeling for the aforementioned three players but they’ll bounce back. It would just suck for me to be mentioned in a swath of rumors and then come to find out that I’m still on the team.
So that starting five must return. There are still second-tier free agents out there but none of them are worth busting this team up for. ABSOLUTELY NONE.
They need to re-sign Austin Rivers — he was an incredible fit last season after acquiring him
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midseason — and they certainly could look at adding JaVale McGee and/or Kevon Looney. They can use their split their mid-level exception on some of those guys and the money won’t necessarily count toward the cap.
Then they should be able to add another guard and forward to the mix at a minimum salary to fill out the roster. Although they’ll do their due diligence, I’m sure they’re considering re-signing Iman Shumpert as I don’t think he’ll be that expensive and there aren’t teams kicking down the door for his services like earlier in his career.
The Golden State Warriors — even with D’Angelo Russell — are going to be nowhere close to where they were. They were the only hurdle to Houston Rockets nabbing a ring and I think things are still wide-open unless the Los Angeles Lakers somehow are able to sign Kawhi Leonard, to which the entire NBA will cede their aspirations immediately to the Purple and Gold.
They were so close and I think they should bring these guys back and try again.
So that’s my two cents — what’s your stand? Feel free to comment in the section below.
Let’s go Houston Rockets.