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Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets

Moderators: ken6199, TMU

4 Questions

Q1: Keep the GM
22
18%
Q1: Fire the GM
9
7%
Q2: Keep the coach
27
22%
Q2: Fire the coach
3
2%
Q3: Performed better than expected
2
2%
Q3: Performed as expected
13
11%
Q3: Performed worse than expected
14
11%
Q4: Rising Team
16
13%
Q4: Treadmill Team
5
4%
Q4: Waning Team
12
10%
 
Total votes: 123

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ElectricMayhem
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Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#1 » by ElectricMayhem » Sun May 30, 2021 4:37 am

I thought this would be a good idea to do for all of the eliminated teams. Each day I will post one team that did not make the playoffs and any playoff teams that were eliminated that day. Answer as many of the following questions as you'd like:

GM: Change or keep?
Coach: Change or keep?
Relative to expectations, how did they fare this year?
Rising, falling, or treadmill?
If you were in charge, what would you do this offseason?

Notes:
Players under contract next year:
John Wall ($44m)
Eric Gordon ($18m)
Christian Wood ($14m)
D.J. Augustin ($7m)
Danuel House ($4m)
Kevin Porter Jr. ($2m)
Jae'Sean Tate ($2m)
Kenyon Martin Jr. ($2m)

Team Options:
Avery Bradley ($6m)

Free Agents:
Kelly Olynyk
Dante Exum
D.J. Wilson
David Nwaba
Sterling Brown
Anthony Lamb
Armoni Brooks
At the end of the day, it's not about wins and losses. Teamwork, fair play, and good sportsmanship make champions of us all.

Go arbitrary assortment of athletes! Beat the other arbitrary assortment of athletes or my mood will suffer!
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#2 » by pacers33 » Sun May 30, 2021 4:39 am

they're owned by John Spano
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#3 » by Dr Aki » Sun May 30, 2021 4:39 am

those guys are all going to want extensions before they get any rookies to come good
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#4 » by LarsV8 » Sun May 30, 2021 4:49 am

None of this matters.

The only guy on the team part of the "future" is KPJ.

Everything else is just where the lottery balls hit for the next 4 years.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#5 » by ElectricMayhem » Sun May 30, 2021 4:54 am

GM: Rafael Stone entered into an impossible situation. He comes in and the star that the Houston solar system revolves around wants out. They end up taking a pretty trashy offer for Harden. Was a Philly offer nixed out of spite for Morey? Who knows? Was there something better out there? The team environment had gotten toxic so keeping Harden around wasn't a good option either. All I know is they didn't do well with a tough situation. That said, it's hard to put a guy in that position and fire him after a year. It just doesn't happen to GMs.

Coach: He took a team with little talent and lost a lot with them, which I guess he was supposed to do. Similar to the GM, he walked into a tough situation and while he didn't necessarily show much, he at least needs to be given the chance of a better situation.

Expectations: Post-Harden trade, everyone knew they'd be terrible and they were. I'm not sure I see them getting much better next year, though. They are saddled with the Wall contract and I don't see them as being a highly desired free agent destination due to their owner and current situation.

Offseason: Hope you keep your pick. A guy like Cunningham, Green, Mobley, or Suggs can really change the way this franchise is looked at. Keep accumulating young talent and lose more for at least another year.
At the end of the day, it's not about wins and losses. Teamwork, fair play, and good sportsmanship make champions of us all.

Go arbitrary assortment of athletes! Beat the other arbitrary assortment of athletes or my mood will suffer!
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#6 » by ElectricMayhem » Sun May 30, 2021 11:30 am

LarsV8 wrote:None of this matters.

The only guy on the team part of the "future" is KPJ.

Everything else is just where the lottery balls hit for the next 4 years.


Amazing how he just dropped in the Rockets' lap, too. Apparently, Cleveland didn't need young talent at their stage.
At the end of the day, it's not about wins and losses. Teamwork, fair play, and good sportsmanship make champions of us all.

Go arbitrary assortment of athletes! Beat the other arbitrary assortment of athletes or my mood will suffer!
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#7 » by MagicBagley18 » Sun May 30, 2021 12:04 pm

Post Mortem-DOA

keep Silas
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#8 » by Marcus » Thu Jun 24, 2021 12:55 am

ElectricMayhem wrote:
LarsV8 wrote:None of this matters.

The only guy on the team part of the "future" is KPJ.

Everything else is just where the lottery balls hit for the next 4 years.


Amazing how he just dropped in the Rockets' lap, too. Apparently, Cleveland didn't need young talent at their stage.


just hoping it's finally clicked for him that his talent and this opportunity are wayyyyyy too important to make any additional poor decisions off the court cause the kid has game and is in a pretty ideal situation to individually flourish right now.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#9 » by Ballerhogger » Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:44 am

I like Porter jr . I think they will draft Mobley or Cade.. obliviously in complete rebuild mode
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#10 » by BostonCouchGM » Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:22 am

*Keep the G.M.
*Keep the HC
*As expected
*Rising
*do backflips because the best player in the draft (Green) is likely ours. KPJ is a bonafide lead ball handler in this league in the Mitchell and Booker type mold so we're set there. He has the talent and if he's got the work ethic and drive he could be a max player. Wood is a legit 4/5 I can build around too. I use the second 1st rounder on Hyland who is a lottery talent and insurance in case KPJ is a knucklehead. He provides shooting and bench scoring either way. With the third 1st round pick I take Sims so I can move Wood to the 4 though I have a sneaking suspicion Sims will move up draft boards but maybe not due to his age and lack of production. I use some of the war chest to move off Wall, taking back overpaid but still serviceable vets that can help us win. Wall has to be moved at all costs and gone by Day 1. KPJ needs to be given the keys and not be looking over his shoulder. Gordon and any other vet gets moved too for outcasts unappreciated elsewhere.

KPJ-Hyland
Green
Tate
Wood
Sims

we're in business folks. Nobody runs the floor like us. We've got a great young core and well-defined roles for our role players. And armed with a seriously impressive war chest of picks well into the future, there aren't many teams set up better than the Rockets. Not sure there's any tbh. Lots of haters will be proven wrong who claimed they didn't do well in the Harden trade.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#11 » by dhsilv2 » Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:47 pm

Unless you fire the owner....
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#12 » by BK_2020 » Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:23 pm

On December 1, 2020 they had Harden and Russ Westbrook on supermax contracts and several years of first round picks mortgaged in their aging roster. It looked like they had nowhere to go but down. Now a half a year later they are looking at Jalen Green or Mobley as their center-piece for the next decade and potentially landing another top 5 pick in 2022 draft with their super-weak roster. By the time Eric Gordon and Wall expire, the Rockets will have a solid core of young players, tons of cap space, young role-players cheaply acquired and signed, and years of Brooklyn picks to look forward to. They really did well for themselves.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#13 » by HardenGoat » Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:31 am

GM did a fantastic job. Silas is a great coach. Probably get Green in the draft. KPJ was biggest steal of the year. Unfortunately they should tank another year but their future looks bright. Next year draft a 3-D wing. Coming from where they did in a year is pretty incredible.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#14 » by slicedbread2 » Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:55 am

They were very fortunate that the lotto gods smiled upon them and allowed them to keep their pick.

-Keep the coach. You could put Red Auerbach with this group and it'd be a train wreck. I'd give Silas at least 3-4 years before making a decision as you want to develop a sense of stability.
-This team performed about as poorly as you'd expect once Harden was gone and the talent limitations were clear as day and it quickly became a transition year of seeing who's worth keeping and who's gotta go.
-They could be a rising team b/c they were sky high and went rock bottom last year and as they say there's nowhere to go but up. It all depends on how they work things out.
-Stone has done well given the situation he was in thanks to the idiot owner who put him way behind the 8 ball especially knowing that the only 2nd round pick they'll have is the Warriors 24 2nd as all other 2nds are in the balance. They owe 2 1sts to OKC in 24+26 where if not conveyed they become 24+25 2nds and a 26 2nd+1M cash respectively. He did a nice job in the following deals:

-Flipping Robert Covington to Portland for 2 1sts. Sold high on him and proceeded to flip the 20 1st(Isaiah Stewart)+Ariza+27 2nd to Detroit in a S&T for Christian Wood and a heavily pro. Detroit 1st. Wood has done very well and it'll be interesting to see how things work out. I'd listen to offers on him b/c you never know who'd be willing to overpay.
-Flipped Russ for Wall and a heavily pro. WAS 1st(23). It was a cut your loss type of deal as Tillman screwed up royally in overestimating Russ's value. The 1sts from DET+WAS if they convey will be in the late teens or outside the lotto. Wall is a bad contract as he cannot stay healthy and it'll be interesting to see if he can do so as no team would be foolish enough to commit over 91M in cap space towards his deal. It's a cap killer and the Rockets are better off just eating the deal. If someone is interested in him and you can find some cap relief, take it.
-Managing to get a bunch of picks and cap relief for Harden. It was a lose lose situation and the owner was hellbent on not dealing with Morey so Stone had to use Philly as leverage to force Brooklyn to part with a bunch of assets. They got the cap relief they wanted plus a bunch of picks and swaps. Luckily Oladipo turned down a 2/45M ex. from them when it was clear he wasn't healthy and flipped him to Miami for cap relief and a chance to swap the Brooklyn 22 1st for the Miami 1st in 22(lotto pro. otherwise conveys to the worse of DEN/PHI 2nd)
-Flipping P.J. Tucker. Yes they had to take on D.J. Augustin's deal, but it's an expiring as the 3rd year is only guaranteed for $333,333. Plus they got the opportunity to swap their 2nd with MIL's 1st in 21+returned the 22 1st in exchange for a 23 unpro. 1st. 1st round picks have at least 4 years of team control whereas 2nds have only 3 years before becoming RFA's.
-Getting Kevin Porter Jr. for a top 55 pro. 2nd. Truthfully nobody wanted him due to his off-court problems and being a liability. IF KPJ can get his act together, he has a potentially long career in front of him. If it doesn't work out who cares you made the right move.

Don't throw away any assets to move the bad deals like Gordon and Wall. Just eat them. 22-23 is when all these deals will be off the books and if they can find a deal for Gordon who's far more movable, take it b/c they need to tank for another year or 2 in order to get more high end talent on this team.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#15 » by HardenGoat » Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:20 pm

Not taking Simmons and his contract was a low key brilliant move. He is the most overrated star in the league and I can’t see any team benefiting from a build around him as the cornerstone. You have to build around a ball handling scorer that is a threat from the outside in today’s league. Tillman would be wise to remove himself from basketball related decisions going forward. He dug a huge hole when he took over and pushed for the Westbrook trade. Cost them CP3 and their draft capital which by a stroke of luck didn’t convey this year. Rockets need to pray the economy around restaurants and gambling rebounds cause that’s the only way they will have the money to become an elite team in a couple years.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#16 » by CBA » Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:35 pm

They were fortunate the team they assembled to win post-Harden was awful and the coin flip odds to keep their pick landed in their favor. Barring more good fortune, it feels like the Rockets are cursed to be another team in the mold of the Kings/Wolves/Knicks cursed by poor management.

Tate, Wood and potentially KPJ are good, cheap pick ups though. Combine more of those moves with a steady vision and they can turn things around.

But I wouldn’t bet on it.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#17 » by gmoney411 » Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:43 pm

CBA wrote:They were fortunate the team they assembled to win post-Harden was awful and the coin flip odds to keep their pick landed in their favor. Barring more good fortune, it feels like the Rockets are cursed to be another team in the mold of the Kings/Wolves/Knicks cursed by poor management.

Tate, Wood and potentially KPJ are good, cheap pick ups though. Combine more of those moves with a steady vision and they can turn things around.

But I wouldn’t bet on it.


The challenge for the Rockets will come when they reach a point where they have to spend to stay competitive. Stone seems like a good GM so as long as Tilman doesn't force him to trade assets to shred salaries they should have a pretty good rebuild.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#18 » by ThatBoyNick » Sat Jun 26, 2021 11:36 pm

Hard to judge to GM when the owner is a meddling idiot, Stone does seem like a smart guy, but when you got the owner leaning in on the CP trade, the Harden trade, the WB trade... tough to know how much is him and how much isn’t. All 3 of those trades were disastrous (rumor is Stone was pretty involved in the WB/CP trade despite Morey being GM).


Players, staff, and entire NBA love Silas, impossible to judge him yet, seems like a nice guy who players enjoy which is a positive.

Performed - mixed bag, we should have been bad, but not the worst team in the league, but we were ravaged with injuries at the same time.

Trending treadmill or down, poorly ran organization will put out a poor product, hard to see the light with the owner standing in the way trying to get his shine.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#19 » by djsunyc » Sun Jun 27, 2021 1:08 am

ThatBoyNick wrote:Hard to judge to GM when the owner is a meddling idiot, Stone does seem like a smart guy, but when you got the owner leaning in on the CP trade, the Harden trade, the WB trade... tough to know how much is him and how much isn’t. All 3 of those trades were disastrous (rumor is Stone was pretty involved in the WB/CP trade despite Morey being GM).


Players, staff, and entire NBA love Silas, impossible to judge him yet, seems like a nice guy who players enjoy which is a positive.

Performed - mixed bag, we should have been bad, but not the worst team in the league, but we were ravaged with injuries at the same time.

Trending treadmill or down, poorly ran organization will put out a poor product, hard to see the light with the owner standing in the way trying to get his shine.


if cade is a legit superstar then none of that matters. each season starts anew and the hope is that the gm can overcome meddling ownership. the owner just needs to ante up the cash.
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Re: Post-Mortem: 2020-21 Houston Rockets 

Post#20 » by ThatBoyNick » Sun Jun 27, 2021 1:50 am

djsunyc wrote:if cade is a legit superstar then none of that matters. each season starts anew and the hope is that the gm can overcome meddling ownership. the owner just needs to ante up the cash.


Rockets pick 2nd, unlikely we get cade, and I have to disagree, a superstar doesn't fix ownership.

You said he justt has to ante up the cash, but why would he do that? He went insanely cheap and dismantled a team that won the franchise record of games. That took one of the GOAT teams to 7 games (and likely could have won without an injury). Harden is a top 5 healthy superstar, HOF, all-time great, we had a top GM, top coach, great CEO, none of it mattered with terrible ownership, it took just 2 off seasons to turn a 1st seed 65 win team to the worst team in the league.


You see it with all the perennial struggling teams, ownership is usually the source of their long-term demise. They can draft stars, they bolt when they get the chance because the owner controls everything, and when the owner sucks, the team does too.

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