A few weeks ago, I wrote a post where I offered up some proposition wagers for the degenerates in the crowd who like to bet on really obscure things. (Yes, I am gazing into the mirror right now.) One of them was "Total Trades Made Before Deadline: OVER/UNDER 1 1/2"
At the time, I cautiously took the OVER with the following rationale:
We all know Daryl Morey's track record when it comes to tinkering with his team. He's like the fantasy football owner from hell, the guy who flips his entire roster before Week 8 every year. We also know that he's not enamored of the roster as currently constructed, otherwise why would he have tried to flip nearly half of his eight-man rotation for Pau Gasol before the season began?
I'm going to play a cautious OVER on this one, thinking that we'll get one deal where the Rockets get roped in as third-team "lubricant" and another minor deal to get over the number. If a blockbuster presents itself, then we'll get there easily because one big trade will set off a bunch of small aftershock deals. Bottom line, there are certain things you just don't want to have the UNDER on -- Dennis Rodman piercings, Allen Iverson tattoos, Daryl Morey trades. Immutable laws. Besides, the only way Daryl Morey can distract himself from...
It was looking bleak for a while, but today, much like a Texas Tech OVER bet during the Mike Leach Era, the inevitable happened and the OVER ticket on Rocket trades got cashed as Morey executed the following moves:
-- Traded point guard Jonny Flynn and center/suit model/mall rat Hasheem Thabeet along with a second round pick to Portland for center Marcus Camby.
-- Traded center Jordan Hill to the Lakers for point guard/Rocket scourge Derek Fisher and a top-20 protected first round pick that was originally the Mavs.
Assuming the Rockets don't buy out Fisher, then what they essentially got for purposes of the remainder of this season was an aging rim protector in Camby, and in Fisher a point guard with a pulse (and I'm being very kind here) to eat up a few minutes while Kyle Lowry recovers from an infection that will knock him out for the next few weeks.
In the big picture, they also got a first-round pick to use in some future draft when the Mavericks have one of the ten best records in basketball. More likely, the pick will probably be used in some other trade for some other middling piece of another "ninth place in the West" season next year.
Yeah, stop if you've heard this before -- the Rockets made a trade where they dumped some useless "assets" and were able to ever so slightly upgrade one position while positioning themselves to make a big move down the road
that will never, ever fucking happen.
The general consensus has been that Daryl Morey's trades have, by and large, been wins for the Rockets. Most of the time they have been. To use a baseball analogy, Daryl Morey has had a bunch of base hits, but can't hit the home run. (To be fair, he had a solid triple down the line back in December with the Pau Gasol trade, but the umpire David Stern decided to reverse the call.)
Thanks to the shot-blocking and rebounding ability of the aging Camby (Aging? Hell, he's beyond aging. He's aged) and the intoxicating mystery of using another first-round pick, this sequence of trades is yet another collective base hit (although the thought of Fisher wearing a Rockets uniform makes it more like a base hit where the throw to first base hits you in the nuts as you're running down the base line).
But honestly, it's beyond the point now where you can even give the Rockets grades on trades in terms of what they mean on the court. Every Rockets trade is graded on how well it sets them up to make some magical bigger and better cure-all trade down the road. What a helpless, awful, miserable place our team has brought us.
So now we do what we do after every other trade the last four years.
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Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.