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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 7/20/15

Rockets GM Daryl Morey is no stranger to risks and splashy moves, and Houston’s trade for Ty Lawson represents both. Lawson was arrested last week on suspicion of DUI, his second such arrest in six months. Still, he’s finished third in the NBA in assists per game each of the past two seasons, an accomplishment that comes amid the league’s golden age of point guards. Lawson will make more than $12.404MM this season, but coupled with Patrick Beverley‘s affordable new four-year deal for about $23MM total, Houston gained depth at a key position for a reasonable price.

It’s all part of an effort to win the franchise’s first championship in more than two decades, which prompts the question of the day: Are the Rockets legitimate title contenders now?

It wouldn’t be altogether difficult to support the argument that they were in the championship mix even before the Lawson deal, since they had the second seed in the Western Conference entering the playoffs last season and made it to the conference finals. However, the rest of the Western elite improved this summer. The Spurs landed LaMarcus Aldridge and David West. The Clippers snatched DeAndre Jordan back from the Mavs, signed Paul Pierce and lured Josh Smith away from the Rockets. The Thunder are poised to return to contention with a healthy Kevin Durant and a full season of Enes Kanter. The Warriors kept most of their 67-win championship team together. LeBron James and the Cavs loom even if Houston can escape the West.

Take to the comments section below with your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.

Of course, there will always be differing opinions. While we absolutely encourage lively discussion and debate, we do expect everyone to treat each other with respect. So, please refrain from inappropriate language, personal insults or attacks, as well as the other taboo types of discourse laid out in our site’s commenting policy.  Speaking of commenting, we’ve made it much easier to leave a comment here at Hoops Rumors.  Just put in your name, email address, and comment and submit it; there is no need to become a registered user.

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16 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 7/20/15

  1. Nate

    Rockets went far with out D-mo & bev. So with Lawson and bev healthy they have a chance to win it all . Jason terry and Pablo both 38 were the point guards .

    • Chuck Myron

      How strong a chance do you think they have? What % would you give them?

  2. Lawson, Beverley, Harden, McDaniels, Ariza, Dekker, Montiejunas, Jones, Harrell, Howard, and Terry (after his deal is complete). Short answer, yes…

    • Chuck Myron

      Would you say they’re the favorites?

      • Well, not the favorites, I’d still give that to the Thunder or the Warriors or the Cavs but yea they are a Top 5 team now. Oh an btw I forgot Thornton, Brewer, and Capela as well which gives Dekker and Harrell a year or two to develop…

        • Chuck Myron

          Don’t forget about the Spurs and Clippers. So many good teams out West! The Rockets look like a top-five team, but then I think about who I’d have to bump out of that group, and I start to wonder.

  3. Chris Crouse

    It’s a good trade for the Rockets considering what they gave up, but are we sure Lawson is that good?

    He’s starting caliber, but he’s not a plus defender and he needs to ball to impact the game. Not sure he moves the needle all that much for Houston.

  4. Michael

    Yes they are definitely title contenders. They were before the trade and they are even more so now. Lawson/Beverly will form a dynamic one two point guard combination. Lawson superior offense Beverly superior defense. They are prepared for injuries with their depth now, unlike last year. Lawson/Beverly/Terry, Harden/Terry/Thornton, Ariza/Brewer/Dekker, Jones/Dmo/Dekker, Howard/Dmo/Capela. That’s 12 deep if need be. Definite contenders

    • Chuck Myron

      Yeah, it seems like Houston’s depth is coming up a lot here. They have a ton of capable guys, that’s for sure! The challenge is when the rotations tighten in the playoffs. Who’s in the top eight in that rotation, and are they on par with the top eight on all the other teams?

      • Michael

        Yeah its all going to depend on matchups when the playoffs hit, as well as chemistry. I think they can run with anyone out west, but timing and who’s hot will have a lot to do with who represents the west in the finals

  5. On paper, without a doubt. I’d put them one step below the Warriors, Clippers, Spurs, and Cavaliers though due to potential maturity issues (Lawson and Howard together), and coaching (McHale’s often times underrated, but he’s shown a lot of flaws in the playoffs).

    The Rockets and the Thunder will fight for that four spot. The West is brutal.

  6. Z.....

    They’re still title contenders. It just depends on how they play in the postseason. They need to get easier baskets. They dont do the things they need to do, getting the ball inside, and then kicking it out to the perimeter. They just ask Harden to take the ball from 35 feet away and then break down the defense or run a pick and roll with him. It should be interesting to see how the touches end up working in the back court. Theoretically, they should be better

    • Dana Gauruder

      Agreed. They still have two franchise players, plus a healthy Beverly — along with the addition of Lawson — gives McHale better options in the backcourt.

  7. Mike

    They could have an interesting small-ball lineup with Lawson and Harden, then Beverley guarding the 1 & playing 2 or 3 on offense. Maybe they can hide Lawson and Harden on defense with Beverley guarding the point and Howard in the middle. The Rockets are really thin at the 4, so I can see them playing a lot of minutes with Ariza or Brewer there and 3 guards on the floor.

    I think they ultimately need some frontcourt depth, though. They’ll match up with the Warriors, and maybe the Thunder, but the Clippers and Spurs will be too big for them unless Howard can play 35 minutes or Capela can be more consistent off the bench. I don’t think Terrence Jones can play big enough on defense.

    • Chuck Myron

      That’s a good point about their interior depth on defense. I think they might prioritize a serviceable backup big man who can defend centers.

  8. Robert Garfinkle


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