Dragic Gone. Is It Time for Linsanity or Just Regular Old Crazy?
According to ESPN, Rockets point guard Goran Dragic has agreed to a deal with the Phoenix Suns worth $34 million over four seasons. The Rockets had reportedly realized last week that Dragic wanted much more than they were willing to offer and decided to pursue other options. Some reports suggest they were given the opportunity to match the Suns' offer, but declined.
In addition last week, the Rockets removed the restricted portion of guard Courtney Lee's free agency, allowing him to sign with any team, and the Rockets would not have a right to match in order for them to have enough money to pursue other restricted free agents like the Chicago Bulls' Omer Asik. This came on the heels of learning Dwight Howard, the one player the Rocket truly coveted, had eyes for only one team and it's not Houston.
Adding insult to injury, Steve Nash signed with the Lakers and the Nets re-signed Deron Williams to go with the recently acquired Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace. If the Nets land Howard, which is the one place he really wants to play, the stars are aligning in favor of a handful of teams in the NBA.
And just when you thought things hadn't gotten any weirder for the hometown team, the pursuit of Jeremy Lin, the same guy they waived in preseason last year, has begun in earnest.
Reportedly, they have offered him a deal with a seriously backloaded contract that could force the Knicks to pay a boatload in luxury tax if Lin signs the offer sheet and New York matches -- Lin is a restricted free agent.
Add all of this to a disgruntled point guard in Kyle Lowry, who must be grinning from ear to ear watching all this go down, a significant glut of power forwards on the roster -- particularly after taking two MORE in this year's draft -- and a guard in Kevin Martin, who seemed barely interested in suiting up last season.
What was supposed to be a magic offseason that led to the rebirth of a franchise has become one of epic failure thus far. The Rockets have been unable to lure anyone of significance to the team -- Eric Gordan turned the Rockets down in favor of the Suns (seriously) even though New Orleans is set to match his max offer -- and they have found no willing trade partners to help them reshape the roster and move them in the direction of actual improvement.
To say the wheels appear to be coming off is a mild understatement. In what should be the most important offseason of General Manager Daryl Morey's career, the team is swinging and missing at everything: balls in the dirt, fastballs across the middle of the plate, you name it.
Speaking of baseball, the Astros finally, mercifully put an end to their dysfunctional relationship with Carlos Lee and decided it was time to see if any of their prospects are worth keeping. One has to wonder if similar writing isn't on the wall for the Rockets as well. With players bailing on them and a passel of young talent waiting in the wings, this is likely the year to see what the team has. They will probably lose and lose big, but that ultimately leads to the high draft picks they tried and failed to acquire this year.
Either way, it's going to be a long and ugly offseason and, likely, season ahead.
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