Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
Jeremy Lin (Restricted Free Agency)
Omer Asik (Restricted Free Agency)
Carlos Delfino (Free Agency)
Toney Douglas (Trade with New York Knicks)
Donatas Motiejunas (2011 Draft Pick)
Jeremy Lamb (2012 Draft Pick)
Royce White (2012 Draft Pick)
Terrence Jones (2012 Draft Pick)
The Rockets made out like bandits this summer, largely due to the use of the “poison pill” contract offer. Morey doled one out to Lin and Asik, giving each player $25.1 million over three years, with a majority of the money coming in the third season.
Because New York and Chicago declined to match the offers to Lin and Asik, respectively, Houston now has two legitimate up-and-comers who are likely to play key roles this season.
Lin is an interesting case, as he has only 25 games as a starter and two seasons in the NBA under his belt. He’s one of the most popular players in the league, a phenomenon known as Linsanity, and came from seemingly nowhere to bring the Knicks back to relevance last year.
If he’s anywhere near as skilled as he proved he could be during that short stretch, the Rockets have an absolute steal on their hands with this young Taiwanese-American star.
Meanwhile, Asik is the first legitimate center on the Rockets roster since Yao Ming patrolled the paint. He’s a tough defender, wily rebounder and decent shot-blocker, but he’s offensively inept and cannot be relied on to produce points.
There’s now a plethora of rookies on the roster, as Morey ended up having to keep the No. 12, 16 and 18 overall picks, rather than packaging them in a deal involving Dwight Howard.
Lamb was selected first out of UConn and projects to be the second-string SG, behind the only serviceable veteran left on the roster—Kevin Martin.
White went next, and he’s certainly got a lot of baggage to go with his incredible upside. If he weren’t diagnosed with a crippling anxiety disorder and a fear of flying (he’s taking a bus to as many games as possible), the Iowa State product would have been a top-10 pick. He’s yet to do much in the preseason, but has potential to join the rotation at the forward spots.
Finally, Jones came off the board and he has immense athleticism to go with his incredibly raw talents. He’s another versatile forward that has a shot at some minutes this year.
Aside from those picks, the Rockets finally put Motiejunas on their roster—the No. 20 overall pick in 2011. He’s made some big strides since going back to Europe for a season and should immediately see minutes at the pivot.
Houston knew that it couldn’t sustain itself on just rookies and young free-agency acquisitions, so veteran Carlos Delfino was acquired on a one-year deal to help the SF position’s depth behind inexperienced Chandler Parsons.
It was certainly a busy offseason for Morey, but he made out quite well and his team has a bright future ahead.