Southwest Notes: Rockets, Kawhi, Grizzlies, Pelicans

While Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has deservedly received much of the praise for shaping Houston’s roster into a title contender, Morey credit his star guard James Harden for his ability as a recruiter and a pitchman, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com.

“James was everything,” Morey said in discussing the Rockets’ roster building and the addition of Chris Paul. “Not only is he a great player on the floor, but he’s someone who’s just focused on winning and is willing to do anything to make it happen, whether it be meet with people, call them, text them, whatever is required. He makes my job easy.”

As MacMahon details, Harden and Paul were both instrumental in convincing P.J. Tucker to sign with the Rockets last summer. The veteran forward turned down a larger offer from the Raptors in order to join Harden and Paul in Houston, and he showed on Wednesday night how valuable he can be for the Rockets. Tucker, who scored 20 points in his first game with the team last October, hadn’t reached that mark again until he poured in 22 against Golden State in Game 2.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

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15 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Rockets, Kawhi, Grizzlies, Pelicans

  1. Dionis

    Something tells me Houston might pull this off. I ultimately predicted Lebron to go to Houston but that’s only if they Rockets lose to the Warriors. Not saying it will happen but seems like the Rockets are keying in on attacking Curry’s lack of defense and Chris and James can break him down. If the formula is to attack Curry and make him work on defense the Rockets have a chance, Durant can get his and Thompson can go ice cold sometimes.

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    • Clark K

      Is that something the fact when they started playing their basketball the Warriors didn’t have a chance? Warriors got destroyed in every area last night, if they keep playing like that series is done in 5.

      Regarding Lebron unless they win the title he’s leaving, Celtics are destroying them without Irving and Hayward. He’s going to either 76ers, Lakers or Rockets with Lakers the least likely

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      • Z-A

        Rockets are the least likely. James would have to Opt-In. He likes that 1+1, wherever he goes it’ll be a 1+1. You have to assume the Cavs want to take Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon. Or that they find a 3rd team that wants either player.

        As far as for Kawhi. What do the Cavs have to offer besides the #8 overall pick? The trade is George Hill + #8 for Kawhi. If they had landed the #1 overall pick, maybe. But if the Spurs are looking for a slam-dunk offer, Kawhi is staying and signing the super-max. Which I also think is the main reason he goes no where and mends fences. As a Sixers fan, I don’t want to give up anything beyond #10, RoCo, and Bayless. Injured, disgruntled, quit on a playoff team – and he needs a new contract extension.

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        • I give no fox

          LeBron James cannot sign another 1+1 deal. He has already stated he is signing full max deal next go round. The reason is the CBA rules. The “over 38” rule states a team cannot sign players to a max 4 or 5 year deals when they would turn 38 during the contract. Any contract that covers a players age 38 season and beyond get “added” to the prior years. Let’s say 20 million is the max and the player has one season over 38 on a 5 year deal. That would mean his salary would count an additional 5 mil per year for the first four years, and thus go over the max. Lebron is signing a max deal this year because he has to. The rule used to be 36, but was updated in the latest cba

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          • I give no fox

            Let me clarify, of course he could sign another 1+1 deal, but he has said he wants to break the mold for older players and prove that you can still get 200+ million. Maybe he is just talking, but sounds like he is taking a full max deal this year because he can’t after this season

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            • Z-A

              So he’s restricted to 4 year deal no matter what? Wheres Luke? Contracts and cap and CBA are his thing. He turns 34 during this upcoming season.

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                • I give no fox

                  I’m not sure how they calculate it if you turn the age in season. But from the articles I read, it made it seem like this was the year that he would lock in the max deal. But only the Cavs can offer 5. So maybe he can do a 1+1 with a new team and then sign 4 year max with them after. But I’m pretty sure the signing team wouldn’t get bird rights at that point so it may be moot

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              • Dionis

                Anyone who pays Lebron a max is absolutely out of their mind. He’s my favorite player ever but no way, Lebron carries a lot of baggage. He’s ball dominant,hard to coach, anywhere he goes teammates would have to adjust to playing with him instead of the other way around. Quite honestly Lebron should have 1 loss on his resume which was 07, the rest were lost because he wants to do everything on the court.

                2007- Spurs were too good

                2011- The Heat were running the offense with Wade and Lebron was absolutely lost so the Mavericks just went zone on him and he couldn’t respond and made the Heat look stagnant.

                2014- Spurs picked him apart and put on the best display of basketball I’ve ever seen. They exposed his ball dominant ways resulting in Wade and Bosh not being involved enough.

                2015- Up 2-1 in Cleveland and although he had gaudy stats all series he missed a ton of makeable shots over Iguodala trying to force the issue. He could have easily gone off the ball and trusted Blatt’s offense but he wanted to take matters into his own hands and the Warriors pounced on him.

                2017- Same, Lebron dominating the ball while Kyrie was left standing around and the rest of team was non-existent.

                Lebron would 7-1 by now but the dude wants to win his way and his way only. No other coach would allow this man to dominate the ball to rack up points and assists.

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              • Luke Adams

                LeBron can sign for five years (with Cleveland) or four years (with anyone else) this year without the over-38 rule coming into play.

                If he were to opt into the final year of his current contract in order to be traded, he could still sign a four-year contract in 2019 and avoid having the over-38 rule being an issue. But he could NOT sign a five-year max contract at that point.

                Basically if at any point in the coming years, he signs a contract that runs into the 2023/24 season, the over-38 rule would apply and there’d be cap-related roadblocks.

                I may write a post specifically about this soon, since it’s an interesting CBA wrinkle.

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  2. Z-A I do agree with you about Kawhi, it is not worthy if it needs to loose assets like Dario or Fultz, if it is for a pick & some other non valuable player ok. But I do think Kawhi is good but never at an elite level, nowhere near a top 10 player in the league & after this years antics, wouldn’t give up much for him. Anyway he would be 3rd star behind BS & JE, because he is not better than what they will be in a year or two, he has peaked, they aren’t close to their full potential, scary how good they are. Philly is so exciting just now… & I do like Boston since the 80’s, always like them, but you have to admit the quality that Philly has got, awesome.

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    • Are you F’ing serious? You want Kawahi Leonard, a top 4 player, for the 10th Pick and Jared freaking Bayless???

      Im sorry, i just can’t

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    • NOPelicanFangirl696969

      Id give fultz up in a heart beat for kawhi are you ok..?

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    • NOPelicanFangirl696969

      Even funnier you say hes not top 10 lmao bro you on some serious stuff dude

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  3. ldfanatic

    Fairly certain. PJ had 20+ in a game against the Jazz last week.

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