8 Reasons the Houston Rockets Must Move Kyle Lowry to Let Goran Dragic Shine
At a time when players without contracts are looking for a new home, the players whose deals are set in stone seem more intent on moving. From Dwight Howard to Joe Johnson, the trade talks are endless.
We can now enter up-and-coming point guard Kyle Lowry into the conversation of key players on the move.
Lowry made waves towards the end of May, claiming that he had no desire to continue playing for head coach Kevin McHale. In Lowry's own words, “If things aren’t addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved."
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Lowry's wish may be granted:
The Rockets "badly" want to retain Dragic, source said, and have been trying to move Kyle Lowry to give him the starting PG job he wants.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 1, 2012
While we could debate whether or not the deal will get done, the most important question to ask is whether or not the Rockets should pull the trigger. With Goran Dragic's emergence as a prized point guard and teams likely to attempt to name him their starter, the answer is simple.
Get the job done and ship Kyle Lowry out. Here are eight reasons why.
8. If You're Going to Rebuild, Break It All Down
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Houston Rockets are looking to move a trio of players. How high profile could this trade be? At first glance, many would contest that the players are the best individuals on the Rockets roster.
Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola have all been made available, as the Rockets have made the decision to turn to their youth. This comes on the heels of their drafting shooting guard Jeremy Lamb out of Connecticut and combo guards Royce White of Iowa State and Terrence Jones of Kentucky.
Considering they did not draft a point guard, one has to imagine the Rockets want Dragic. Which, of course, they do.
7. Don't Pull an Orlando
The Houston Rockets cannot make Kevin McHale the next Stan Van Gundy.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
When it comes right down to it, a great system will trump great players every day of the week. For that reason and that reason alone, the Houston Rockets cannot pull an Orlando and place point guard Kyle Lowry's value above that of head coach Kevin McHale.
Even if Lowry is asking them to do so.
A high-profile decision was made in Orlando to fire head coach Stan Van Gundy, who had led the Magic to five consecutive playoff appearances and an NBA finals spot in 2009. General manager Otis Smith, who some would argue needed to go, would step down on the same day.
To avoid the image of a franchise that values a player more than their staff, which is a great way to push away potential coaches, the Rockets must stand their ground. If McHale is truly their guy, Kyle Lowry simply has to be dealt.
6. Better with Dragic
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Let's get this one off the bat: The Houston Rockets are a better team with Goran Dragic at the point.
This does not mean that Dragic is the better player, but the numbers don't lie.
The Yugoslavian had the Rockets on a 4-0 run with the postseason a likely destination. Upon Lowry's return, however, the Rockets lost six consecutive games and ended up falling short of the playoffs by just two games.
With an infusion of athletic youth who will likely push the tempo, Dragic's run-and-gun style simply works best. Most importantly, the veteran players who may have underperformed towards the beginning of the season seemed to have reacted well to Dragic's presence.
5. Playoff Experience
Goran Dragic scores 23 points in the fourth quarter.
While many view Goran Dragic as the latest hot commodity, his stock has been in high demand amongst general managers for roughly two years. Reason being, it was the 2010 Western Conference semifinals where Dragic made history.
Dragic scored 23 points in the fourth quarter of an eventual 14-point win. The fourth quarter began, however, with a one-point San Antonio lead.
Call it a fluke if you'd like, but history speaks volumes. Goran Dragic is playoff proven and itching for another chance at glory.
4. Steve Nash's Understudy
Before they were opponents, they were teacher and student.
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With Steve Nash drawing as much attention as any free agent available, it's fair to look back at the great history of his 16-year career. For the Houston Rockets, a specific two-and-a-half years stand out the most.
From 2009 to February of 2011, Steve Nash was the mentor of the player we're talking about today: Goran Dragic. While Dragic is much bigger and plays with more of a score-first mentality, the Nash-like qualities are easy to notice.
Dragic is excellent on the pick-and-roll and dominant off of the penetration dribble. Although he prefers to score, he's always looking to create in one way or another and keeps every defender and teammate on their toes.
While this is hardly an attempt to discredit Kyle Lowry, Dragic's limitless upside must be realized somewhere. It would behoove Houston to allow that to be with them.
3. Don't Make It Public If You Won't Make It Happen
Kyle Lowry was nearly a part of an attempt to bring Dwight Howard to Houston.
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The Houston Rockets would place themselves in a terrible situation if they don't trade Kyle Lowry. After all, the point guard not only requested a trade, but the team has shopped him around.
Sources say Houston has an offer of Lowry, the #14 and #16 picks for TyrekeEvans and the #5 pick on the table. Up to Sacramento to decide.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 26, 2012
Should the Rockets hold on to Lowry, we all know what will happen next.
Trade rumors will dominate the headlines, while Dragic and Lowry embark on a heated battle for the starting spot. I'm not quite sure who would win that battle, but I do know this: The Rockets would lose the faith of at least one player.
2. Establish a Core Now
The Houston Rockets drafted three potential starters in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft, as Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones could start at the 2, 3 and 4. What we must not forget, however, is that these are rookies with no NBA experience.
Bringing them into the proper situation is the most important thing for general manager Daryl Morey to do.
To make that work, the Rockets must have their point guard position set in stone. One man must have the job as he leads the Rockets into the future. Should a battle for the position, and, more importantly, a battle in the media occur, these rookies may never adjust in the proper manner.
Don't forget that White and Jones both had character questions. Do you really want to place them in a poor situation?
1. Dragic Won't Sign on to Be a Reserve
Goran Dragic knows it's his time to shine.
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If you know the NBA, you know that the league has become point guard driven. With all 30 teams looking to free agency for improvements in one place or another, that leaves the top point guards available as the top targets on most free agency big boards.
As a result, a player like Goran Dragic is likely to have high value and equal expectations. He'll be brought in with a respectable deal and the probability of becoming the starter. Due to this fact, Houston is taking one giant step backwards if they offer Dragic another year as the reserve to a player of his own age.
If the Rockets want Dragic in Houston, they must make him the starter. They must also know that Kyle Lowry won't play backup.