Thursday, June 29, 2006

Shane Battier is a Rocket

Ok, so all that late night analysis proved even more worthless than it already was.

The Rockets didn't even make a 1st round pick. Instead, we drafted Rudy Gay and shipped him off with Stromile Swift (included to make the deal work monetarily) to Memphis for Shane "The Sharpei" Battier.

The move resulted in outrage and mutiny on ClutchFans forums, so serious that the site was rendered useless for most of the night after the draft. Hilarity ensued. Psycho fans screamed "Murder Carroll Dawson". Fair weather fans nullified their vows of marriage to the organization.

When the deal was announced my initial thoughts were "What the fuck?? There ain't no way its true". We gave up a player with potential to become a superstar for unexciting, albeit solid-typical-JVG type player? Then to add insult to injury the Chronicle reports we lost Stro in deal too? Didn't we need more depth? Why are we giving up two players for one? I'm now thinking "fuck the management of the Houston Rockets".

After the emotion from my initial reaction subsided reason began to kick in. They pulled the trigger because of future GM Daryl Morey's Moneyball philosophy. Basically, we wanted Brandon Roy, Adam Morrison, Sheldon Williams, or Randy Foye. Since none of the four remained when it was our turn we had a choices to make --draft the next best available player in the eyes of scouts, Rudy Gay even if we weren't particularly high on him. Draft the next player on our draft board no matter who it was (Ronnie Brewer). Or we could trade the pick to a team which highly covets Gay (Memphis) for a player who can fill holes for us and "pays his own way" (Battier).

We chose the last option.

Although, deep down I think the trade was a mistake (I'm a gambler who woud've rolled the dice), but I'm cool with it. I like Battier. We get a dude who's on-court value exceeds his salary's value (double in fact). He gives us a guy who can play 3 positions, hustle, and play with heart. Most importantly he fills the key quality this team lacks severely: leadership.

By no means is this a cop out. I am not just trying to cover all angles if I'm wrong. Honesly, this is not the case here. Simply put, I disagree with the trade but approve of who we received in return.