Sunday, September 03, 2006

Is H-Town an attractive place for free agents?

A recent topic on RealGM brought up an interesting question: are free agents attracted to Houston? Is this a team a free agent would want to go to?

E Wizzle (the moderator of the Rockets board, and, of course, a tremendous poster) summed it all up, as usual, clearly and precisely, and, once again, correctly.

You're only as good as last season to a lot of people and FA's are among them. There are really two groups of players that take paycuts. The veterans looking for a good chance at a ring or young guys who want a favorable situation in which to make a splash, hopefully leading to a bigger contract down the road. Houston didn't offer either of those two scenarios last season and as the result, lost the two groups that would most likely take a paycut to come here. But on the bright side, all it takes is one great season to reverse that.

I would want to add one thing to that -- besides championships teams or teams that'll play young players, a third team that would be attractive to free agents would be a team that is fun to play for. That would be created with the advent of teams like the Suns, with their run-and-gun style, and teams after them like the Mavs and Sonics (who have copied them with varying degrees of success).

Houston, as he said, doesn't fit into either of the first two categories, and they certainly aren't a run-and-gun team (in fact, they're polar opposites to the Suns and Mavs). About the only thing going for them is Yao and T-Mac (especially Yao). When you play with those two, it's only a matter of making the open shots they're going to give to you.

However, as E Wizzle said again, one season of 50-55 wins, and they're back in the the good books of the free agents.

While I'm talking about free agents, I sincerely hope that Vassilis Spanoulis does not become a Swift. Obviously, they are two very, very different players, completely different, actually, but the Swift debacle is still on everyone's minds. Maybe we should played him more, but the word raw instantly reminds me of him, and I involuntarily shiver.