Apr 8, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones (6) celebrates during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets: An Underwhelming Offseason

After an underwhelming, to say the least, offseason from the Houston Rockets, we look into what they’ve got in store for the 2014-15 season. They came out of the gate with a chance to land Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, LeBron James, or Chris Bosh.

They also had a chance to keep Chandler Parsons for another year at $964,000; instead, in an effort to clear enough cap space to try to lure any of the aforementioned All-Stars, the team decided not to exercise Parsons’ team option.

By doing so, Parsons became a restricted free-agent and almost immediately got an offer, which the Rockets had a chance to match, from the Dallas Mavericks.

On July 13, the three-year, $46 million dollar offer sheet was signed by the Mavericks and the small forward.

After a 2013-14 season of failing to meet expectations, the Houston Rockets will face the 2014-15 season with a lesser team and similar expectations. Let’s try to look ahead at the team’s hopes and chances at contention.

1. Western Conference:

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record about this subject but it has to be clear, the Western Conference is and will continue to be a nightmare in the NBA, a conference that has brought 10 of the last 14 NBA champions.

The Rockets play in the West and their goal should be to keep their window open as wide as they can instead of as long as they can. They clearly failed to do so during the 2014 offseason by losing out on the summer’s top free agents and letting Parsons go.

2. Expectations:

The Rockets were somewhat of a true contender once the 2013-14 season came along. Should they expect something close for the upcoming season?

They should.

Even though their coming into the season with a much lesser team than last year, their fans are (and will be as long as Dwight Howard and James Harden stay with the team) expecting a lot from them.

By missing out on Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony, and leaving money on the table by not matching Chandler Parsons’ Mavericks offer sheet, Daryl Morey has replaced Sam Presti in the NBA’s hottest hot seat.

The Rockets fans might understand if the team gets ousted by a buzzer-beating three pointer from scoring extraordinaire Damian Lillard. But they won’t understand nor forgive is the failure to keep a young and talented core by letting Parsons go.

The Houston Rockets might’ve just “Oklahoma-City-ed” their window.

3. Money v. Starting Lineup:

The Rockets are already spending upwards of $52 million over the course of the 2014-15 season. That being said they could’ve made the money work to have any of the next starting lineups.

(Note: For the following scenarios to be possible, the Houston Rockets would have had to take Parson’s team option at $964,000.)

a) OMG.

  • C: Dwight Howard ($21.4 million)
  • PF:  Chris Bosh ($22 million)
  • SF: Chandler Parsons ($964,000)
  • SG: James Harden ($14.6 million)
  • PG: Patrick Beverly ($915,000)
  • Total: $59.8 million.
Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (25) shoots the ball during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (25) shoots the ball during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

b) OMG 2.0

  • C: Dwight Howard ($21.4 million)
  • PF: Terrence Jones ($1.6 million)
  • SF: Carmelo Anthony ($24 million)
  • SG: James Harden ($14.6 million)
  • PG: Patrick Beverly ($915,000)
  • Total: $62.5 million.

b) OMFG.

  • C: Dwight Howard ($21.4 million)
  • PF: LeBron James ($20.6 million)
  • SF: Chandler Parsons ($964,000)
  • SG: James Harden ($14.6 million)
  • PG: Patrick Beverly ($915,000)
  • Total: $58.4 million

Instead, they came out with this starting lineup:

  • C: Dwight Howard ($21.4 million)
  • PF: Terrence Jones ($1.6 million)
  • SF: Trevor Ariza ($8.5 million)
  • SG: James Harden ($14.6 million)
  • PG: Patrick Beverly ($915,000)
  • Total: $47 million

Ouch.

4. Prediction:

The Rockets will get ousted in the Western Conference semis.

Sure, the Western Conference is up for grabs. Regardless, the Houston Rockets were the 23rd team in OPPG during the 2013-14 season. With Ariza coming onboard their defense might have taken a tiny step forwards (let’s face it, Chandler Parsons was not the greatest defensive player either). It still doesn’t seem enough to take on the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trailblazers, or Dallas Mavericks.

Sorry, the Houston Rockets are not your 2014 NBA offseason champions.

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Tags: 2014 NBA Free Agency Houston Rockets

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