It’s not the easiest time to be Patrick Beverley. After the Rockets traded Jeremy Lin and a first round pick to the Lakers for what seemed like nothing but cap space, and let Chandler Parsons go to the Dallas Mavericks in an attempt to bring Chris Bosh over from Miami, things seemed under control in Houston.
The team was making a push for a star power forward who they thought could push them over the top in the loaded Western Conference. It was only after the team whiffed on Bosh did we see that a backup plan wasn’t exactly in place, as they scrambled to pick up Trevor Ariza (on a much more affordable deal than Parsons’ contract) and not much else, getting Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson to add to the end of the bench.
The trade is understandable; by trading Lin and letting Parsons sign an offer sheet with Dallas, the Rockets would have had just enough cap space to sign Bosh to a big deal. If they timed it right, they could have signed Bosh and matched Dallas’ offer using Parsons’ Bird rights.
Instead, it all crumbled away, as Houston traded away a productive point guard for nothing. Jeremy Lin isn’t a great player. Far from it, in fact, as he has several glaring flaws that helped Kevin McHale make the decision to have Lin come off of the bench instead of with the starting five last season.
Patrick Beverley was the perfect compliment to Lin, having strengths where Lin had weaknesses and vice versa. The problem here is that now, without Lin in the fold and nobody to replace his production, the Rockets will need to get more out of Beverley.
I don’t know how much more you can get out of him, considering that he is a defensive oriented player who shot a very poor 41.1 percent from the field last season despite the defensive focus being on James Harden and Dwight Howard, and he couldn’t seem to stay on the court, as he had injury after injury keeping him sidelined.
Without Lin or Parsons, the Rockets are either going to need Beverley to further develop his offensive game or rely even more on Harden and Howard to produce offense which, as the Spurs showed us, is not likely to be successful in the stacked Western Conference.
The Rockets sent Lin and his 4.4 Win Shares elsewhere and got nothing in return, and that could be a disaster since those 4.4 Win Shares could be the difference between fourth seed and missing the playoffs entirely in the West. Between that and Beverley having some major injury concerns, the Rockets could very well go the way of last year’s Phoenix Suns and miss the playoffs this year, despite winning close to 50 games.
To make matters worse, if the Rockets do indeed miss the playoffs, then the Lakers would reap the rewards of a lottery pick, courtesy of the Lin trade.
Houston can still make a move and help bolster their weak bench, but options on the free agent market aren’t very appealing and none can match the production Lin had last year. By shipping Lin out for nothing, the pressure has increased on everybody, but more so for Beverley.
The Rockets took a huge gamble and, should Beverley falter, it may have cost them dearly.