The Rockets were ambitious entering free agency, shooting for stars like Carmelo Anthony in hopes of adding a third piece alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden that would immediately vault them to the level of title-contenders.
Not only did they strike out with Anthony, but Houston ended up losing three key rotation players in the process.
Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik were each traded away in a move to dump salary in case Anthony were to decide to come, and Chandler Parsons was allowed to leave in restricted free agency after the Rockets chose not to match the lucrative offer he received from the Mavericks.
Kevin McHale was once a general manager, so he understands the reasons that the front office made these moves as well as anyone. But that doesn’t mean that he has to like it, especially in his current role as head coach.
“Well, I mean, hey I understand kind of why we did it,” McHale said. “I know they’re talking about flexibility. I like Chandler. He’s a big part of what we did and what we do. I’m going to miss having him, but that’s part of the business I guess. We got to replace not only Chandler, but we have to replace (Omer) Asik and we have to replace Jeremy (Lin) so we have a lot of work to do.
“We’ll see who we get. We have to sign players. We’re just going to keep grinding away. And we’re going to go out and play. I like Trevor. I think he can help us. He shot the 3-ball well last year. We’re going to need him to do that again. Defense. Leadership. We need some experience.”
And from Adam Wexler of CSNHouston.com:
When asked if he thought, as general manager Daryl Morey said recently, the Rockets would be a better team come playoff time this season than they were last season, he simply said, “We’ll find out.”
The Rockets did add Trevor Ariza, a more-than-solid two-way player who should help the defense while fitting into Houston’s uptempo offensive style. And, there are still lower-level guys out there in free agency who might be of additional assistance as Houston looks to shore up its roster.
You can’t blame the Rockets for taking chances and trying to go in another direction, because after all, they didn’t get Howard and Harden to lose first round matchups in the playoffs. But at the moment, there’s no arguing that Houston failed miserably this summer, and have only gotten worse.