A) Those 'middling' Brooklyn players were acquired with 1st round picks and/or cap space that they no longer have. Just because someone isn't a superstar doesn't mean they can automatically be replaced with minimum salary players or late 2nd/undrafted rookies.
My point is that it is not hard to find players like Allen, Levert etc either as second round picks or get them in the free agency. Getting a late lottery/late playoff seed is the easiest thing to do in this league, particularly when half of the teams in the East are terrible.
nolang1 wrote:B) Oladipo is a borderline all-star.
He had one good year, since then he has been bad /injured. He is also going to go to the team that offers him the most money. I doubt the Rockets keep him.
nolang1 wrote:C) Name me a team that went 5+ years in a row exclusively drafting in the late 1st; even the difference between giving up the equivalent of 4 #24 picks versus 4 #30 picks is non-negligible, to say nothing of Kyrie being AWOL or the likelihood that Durant or Harden are healthy every year and still all-NBA players at 36.
It is not hard to have a good enough team to only give late 10s - early 20s picks. The deal makes sense only if the Rockets get high lottery picks.
nolang1 wrote:D) Simmons is like the 30th best player in the league and the Rockets' current roster was not a very good fit for him, so even if I charitably assume the Nets go on and 7-peat with the best record in the league each year, it's likely better for the Rockets to tank and get 4 extra firsts than to be the 9th or 10th seed in the West.
It is hard to place Simmons because his it on the Sixers is bad. But banking on him and his upside is a much better bet than these Nets picks. Current Rocket roster is irrelevant, Wall and Cousins are even more irrelevant for the Rockets future.