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Notebook Dump: Reflections on Dwight Howard, Morey, Asik and Lin

Clutch weighs in on the major addition of Dwight Howard, his projected impact on the Rockets, what Daryl Morey has accomplished and what this means for Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin.



Dwight Howard will be a Houston Rocket — it still does not feel real.

There are so many things this changes and so many thoughts running through my head that I’m just going to put them all down here.

Howard’s Impact on the Rockets

In the era of the Miami Heat, the Rockets have become a top superstar location and an NBA contender. That feels good, real good.

Dwight Howard Houston Rockets

Howard should have a big impact on both ends of the floor for the Rockets

Howard is going to have a tremendous impact on the Rockets on both ends of the floor. We know well what he’ll do defensively — he’s a three-time Defensive Player of the Year — but he will change the offense as well. He’s one of the best pick-and-roll finishers in the league, joining forces with two of the best pick-and-roll lead guards. He’s not a brilliant post player, but he’s better offensively than Omer Asik. The combo of Howard and James Harden is going to create a ton of open three-point opportunities.

While injuries may be my only concern with Dwight, I put very little stock in his so-called “decline” last year. He played on a new team while trying to overcome an injury under two different coaches and with one of the more selfish teammates the league has ever seen. The hiring of Mike D’Antoni was probably one of the worst possible fits for a player like Howard. The new “Dwight is terrible, we never wanted him anyway” storyline is simply a hurt feelings reaction from an arrogant fanbase that has never been Carlos Beltran’ed before … ever.

And give Dwight a ton of credit here. He knew this backlash was coming from Hollywood, took less of a salary commitment and went to the best basketball situation, period.

With a nucleus of Harden and Howard, the Rockets are going to be a magnet for veteran players willing to sacrifice and take less for a shot at the ring (think Shane Battier and Ray Allen with the Heat). And the Rockets are so uniquely positioned here. They have a terrific opportunity to make magic happen with a two-year window where Chandler Parsons and Patrick Beverley combined have less of a cap hit than Royce White.

For this reason, I think the Rockets should continue to be patient before committing long-term to any role players here around this core. As we get to February and March, players are going to become available and teams are going to change directions. The Rockets will be prime to pick up talent.

Also interesting to me — Houston’s new “Big Three” represents each of the three avenues a team can use to improve: James Harden (trade), Dwight Howard (free agency) and Chandler Parsons (draft).

Morey Magic

Daryl Morey Houston Rockets

Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets have changed the NBA rebuilding game

Honestly, I’m just pretty much in awe of what this organization has accomplished. Daryl, Gersson Rosas and Sam Hinkie (before going to Philly) deserve the highest of praise for a team rebuild that was absolutely innovative. NIKEstrad had a brilliant article that broke down how the Rockets got from Yao to now, but I think this is what hits me the most:

    We also hold the rights to international prospects Sergio Llull (bought the pick), Kostas Papanikolaou and Marko Todorovic (both acquired in the Thomas Robinson trade) and are owed the Knicks’ 2nd round picks in 2014 and 2015, two future 2nd rounders from Portland (plus the Clippers’ second rounder in 2015 if it’s between 51-55), while owing our 2nd rounder in 2014 to Philadelphia. We currently own all of our future first round picks.

Not only did the Rockets build this superstar core in a span of nine months, but they didn’t mortgage a lick of their future to do it. Golden State had to part with numerous draft picks to create the room to add Andre Iguodala. The Rockets? They have all their first round picks… and additional second round picks… and the rights to International talent… and, oh by the way, they kept their three best draft picks of the past two years in Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas as well.

Everything this team has done has been ahead of the curve — heading to analytics, asset building, cap management, the hybrid D-League model, the poison pill contract, trading for a non-lottery-protected pick, NBA Draft workout camps, avoiding player options and leveraging team options. Even the hiring of Kevin McHale looks prescient. They’re setting NBA-wide trends. Moves that were met with criticism are now being copied around the league.

But perhaps Daryl Morey’s greatest move was when Daryl Morey locked up Daryl Morey to a long-term extension before Daryl Morey got Dwight Howard. Typical buy low Daryl Morey move and now Daryl Morey is stuck on a below market deal.

Dodging a Bullet

In my lifetime, I never thought I would see a rescinded trade be a bigger blessing in disguise for the Rockets than the 1994 swap that sent Robert Horry to Detroit for Sean Elliott, but when all is said and done, the 2011 “Basketball Reasons” trade that sent Pau Gasol to Houston, Chris Paul to Los Angeles (Lakers) and Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and Lamar Odom to New Orleans may be just that.

I wrote last November that the Rockets should be giving thanks for that deal being blocked, but that gratitude should be tenfold now. We can debate causality all day, but in a nutshell, that deal is the difference between Gasol and Nene eating up $35 million of the Rockets’ cap… or being in a position to land James Harden and Dwight Howard.

For the Lakers, it is the total opposite. They now have an aging Gasol and Chris Kaman … they could have had Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and an actual future.

The Rockets pulled off an incredible rebuild in a short amount of time, but never forget how the league office saved the Rockets from short-term thinking here.

Oh What To Do With Omer

Omer Asik unhappy

McHale: “I’m sure Omer right now is a little down in the dumps, but we’ll pick him up”

Omer Asik is one of the last guys you’d replace from Houston’s starting lineup last year, but when it comes to adding superstars, you can’t be picky.

Everyone is talking about what happens next to Omer. He’s not a power forward and it probably doesn’t make sense to play him next to Howard for more than a few minutes per game, so he instantly becomes the best backup center in the league. 48 minutes of Howard-Asik should be downright scary for NBA opponents as the Rockets dropped off significantly last year on the defensive end when Asik came out of the game.

But can the Rockets roll with this luxury for long? Truthfully, probably not. That has about a two-year shelf life tops as Asik would not stay to be a backup and his greatest value on the market is as a Top 5 (or so) center — a rare commodity. So the Rockets should not be in a rush to trade him. Asik and his value contract — along with draft picks and young talent — represent the Rockets’ best trade package to add a third star, and as mentioned before, they have two years to do that before Parsons is going to get paid.

Who could they get? Right now, we just don’t know. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love would be ideal top targets, but Portland and Minnesota are still in win-now mode. The Rockets should be patient here as there are too many West teams trying to win and not enough playoff spots. We are going to see some teams go the Boston and Philly route (shift to full rebuild) soon enough. I’ve got my money on Dallas, though I think Mark Cuban would rather stab himself in the heart than to trade Dirk Nowitzki to Houston.

So my feeling overall here — be patient. Don’t make a Carlos Boozer-sized mistake. Wait until the right situation comes and be prepared when it does.

Trading Jeremy Lin?

You’ve read the rumors.

I’ve had a hard time believing the Rockets will trade Jeremy Lin. Rockets owner Les Alexander went to great lengths and cost to bring Lin back to Houston. He is important to the business side of the team as they continue to enjoy the benefits of being China’s favorite basketball squad. The Rockets also have a preseason game scheduled in Taiwan this year, and if they’d like to survive it, Jeremy Lin should probably be in attendance.

Having said all that, note that Chandler Parsons and James Harden have both spoken up to welcome Dwight to Clutch City (for that matter, so has Patrick Beverley), yet Jeremy Lin has not said a word.

This could be because Jeremy himself is uncertain or believes his name could be out there in trade talks, but something’s off here, in my opinion.

Jeremy Lin and James Harden

Is Lin still part of the team’s future and the right fit in the backcourt next to Harden?

Here’s why I think Jeremy Lin would be hard to trade with that contract: Last year, as a free agent, Lin could have signed with anyone. As a Harvard-educated young man, I highly doubt Jeremy took less than market value to play in Houston. He agreed to a deal worth between $6 and $6.5 million per year, meaning it’s safe to assume that no team in the league offered more. The Rockets strategically chose to give Lin $2 million more annually (on top of what they agreed upon) simply to make it more difficult for the Knicks to match.

So unless you think Jeremy far exceeded expectations in 2012-13, he’s currently signed to an above market value contract.

Making it more complicated? Lin was signed before Harden, when the Rockets were in full-blown rebuilding mode. Patience was on the menu. Now, the Rockets have probably three untouchables on their roster, are ready to contend, and are focusing on adding the right pieces to complement their core. In my opinion, the most vital characteristics of a point guard next to Harden are three-point shooting, defense and low turnovers. Lin’s final few months of the regular season were quite encouraging — he hit 50-125 (40%) of his three-pointers in his final 37 games. Adding Howard should only help him — he formed quite a pick-and-roll combo with Tyson Chandler when he was in New York.

But keep in mind, excluding the Rockets, the likely top 5 teams in the West will field Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Mike Conley and Stephen Curry at the point. Four of those five teams will throw top defenders at Houston’s best guard (Thabo Sefolosha, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Allen and Iguodala), making it fairly important that the Rockets have someone to slow those points.

My feeling is Lin needs another year, but team direction has shifted and shifted hard. It goes without saying — this is going to be a very important year for Jeremy Lin.

Josh Smith

I should have gone with my gut on Josh Smith. I never fully bought the Rockets’ interest, though I’m sure at the right price (less than the $14M he got from Detroit) they were buying. It’s possible that Atlanta had no interest in a sign-and-trade or that the Rockets couldn’t clear the cap needed, but given some of the connections I’m aware of that Josh Smith has in Houston and that his longtime friend was going to be anchoring the middle, I think he would have taken less to be a Rocket.

Josh Smith 2012-13 Shot Chart

Josh Smith has been fairly inefficient away from the basket

Two things I thought were possible that could have been reasons for a strong Rocket interest in Smith:

  1. Smith was Howard bait, that perhaps Dwight needed or wanted Smith in Houston in order to close the deal with the Rockets.
  2. That some analytics intern, locked in the Toyota Center dungeon with only a laptop and some Sun Chips, discovered some rare defensive metric that showed Smith being a must-add and frantically relayed it to Daryl.

But my feeling all along was that Smith was simply too inefficient from outside five feet to be worth the kind of money he was commanding for this team.

He’d be great in a transition game — over half of his shots were at the rim last year — and defensively he would have been a terrific addition, but a Howard-Smith lineup also begs for opponents to pack the paint. Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think Houston’s power forward has to have three-point range, but a mid-range game is just about essential, and Smith’s is weak.

Thank You

Last week was a sleep-deprived nightmare and all kinds of site traffic records were set, but it was just so amazing to see the Rockets come out the big winners.

I haven’t had time to reply to all the emails, contributions, texts, tweets, etc. and I owe so many people responses. Thank you. I just can’t express my gratitude enough to all of you for the overwhelming support of ClutchFans.

I’m just ecstatic for the city of Houston and the fans. After years of disappointment and torture — analyzing the possibility of Chase Budinger becoming a superstar or debating if Terrence Williams is the next LeBron James (#wordaapp) — we deserve this. This team is gunning for Miami and it’s going to be a very fun year for all of us.

Thank you again.

Armed with a bizarre fascination for Mario Elie and a deep love of the Houston Rockets, Dave Hardisty started ClutchFans in 1996 under the pen name “Clutch”.

Houston Rockets

Podcast: Houston Rockets options with the #3 pick of the 2024 NBA Draft




Houston Rockets 2024 NBA Draft prospects Zaccharie Risacher Stephon Castle Reed Sheppard Donovan Clingan

The offseason is now underway.

The forecast looks good for the Houston Rockets, but… there’s pressure as well this offseason because there are a handful of other West teams that might have rosier futures. Ime Udoka wants to win and win big. As we are about five weeks away from the NBA Draft, what are the Rockets looking to do this summer?

David Weiner joined Dave Hardisty on the ClutchFans podcast to discuss the Rockets shockingly landing the #3 pick and their options in this draft, including Reed Sheppard, Donovan Clingan, Zaccharie Risacher, Stephon Castle, Matas Buzelis and others. They also discuss the possibility of some big game hunting in Houston.


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Houston Rockets

Podcast: Steven Adams, Mikal Bridges and Trade Possibilities for the Rockets




Houston Rockets Trade Deadline 2024

The Houston Rockets already made one deal, acquiring center Steven Adams from Memphis for a handful of second-round picks, but we still have several days left before this Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline.

Are more deals on the way?

Rumors of interest in Mikal Bridges have swirled, with the Rockets holding precious (and unprotected) first-round picks from Brooklyn. They also could use some help inside this season, which Adams can not provide. Shooting is always in demand.

David Weiner joined Dave Hardisty on the ClutchFans podcast to discuss the Adams trade, its impact on the Rockets in 2024-25 and beyond, the Mikal Bridges rumors, the Brooklyn picks, other trade possibilities and options for Rafael Stone moving forward. Also discussed is the play of Houston’s core 6 prospects: Amen Thompson, Cam Whitmore, Alperen Sengun, Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason and Jalen Green.


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Houston Rockets

Rockets trade for center Steven Adams




Steven Adams Houston Rockets

The Rockets made a surprise trade on Thursday, sending the contract of Victor Oladipo and three second-round picks to Memphis for center Steven Adams.

The deal came together quickly and the Rockets had a small window to get it done, hence why this trade was made with a week to go until the trade deadline.

The Price

When you consider that Memphis did this for cost savings primarily and that Adams would not play for any team in the league this season, the price seemed a little high to me. The Rockets gave up the OKC second-round pick this year, which is no big loss, but they also give up the better of Brooklyn’s or Golden State’s second-round pick this season. That’s a pretty good pick (likely in the late 30’s). They also give up the better of Houston’s or OKC’s second-round pick in 2025. If things go as planned for the Rockets, that pick should be in the 45-55 range.

But they didn’t sacrifice a first-round pick, which would have been brutal, and they were not going to use all those seconds this season. So it’s just a matter of opportunity cost — who else could they have gotten for this package?

My understanding is they (particularly Ime Udoka) are very high on Adams.

The Rockets also did this move for cap purposes as well. By moving out the Oladipo contract, which was expiring, and bringing in Adams’ deal, which is signed for $12.4M next season, the window for the Rockets to put together a trade package for a star player is extended out until the 2025 trade deadline. They continue to wait to see which players, if any, shake loose here and become available. They want flexible (see: expiring) contracts that they can combine with assets and this gives them another year to be in that position.

The Trade

It’s not often that the Rockets acquire a player I had not considered beforehand but that’s the case with Steven Adams. The Rockets sorely need a big with size that provides more traditional center strengths, making Clint Capela, Robert Williams, Nick Richards or Daniel Gafford potential candidates, but Adams was overlooked for a few reasons.

First, the 30-year old big man is out for the season after knee surgery cost him the entire 2023-24 campaign, so the Rockets won’t get any benefit from this trade this season. Secondly, Adams is not your traditional center either when it comes to rim protection.

But what Adams does do, he’s really good at and he has some of the same strengths of Brook Lopez, who the Rockets tried to sign in the offseason. Adams is quite possibly the strongest guy in the league and a legitimate 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan. He’s an outstanding screen-setter, something that could really benefit the likes of Fred VanVleet, Amen Thompson and Jalen Green. He was also an elite rebounder last season, finishing 6th in the league in caroms at 11.5 a game despite playing just 27.0 minutes a contest.

After watching Jonas Valanciunas absolutely bully the Rockets inside on Wednesday, it should be apparent by now to everyone that this was a pretty big need.

In 2021-22, the Memphis Grizzlies finished #2 in the West at 56-26. Their top two players in Net Rating that season were Dillon Brooks (+11.0) and Adams (+8.3), key cogs in a defense that held opponents to 108.6 points per 100 possessions. They’re both now Houston Rockets.

So this adds another trusted vet to Ime Udoka’s rotation.

The question is will the 30-year old Adams return to form after the knee injury? Adams sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee a year ago, which cost him the end of that season and the playoffs. He tried rehabbing it and it never got better, so surgery became the option just as this season was kicking off.

I like to think the Rockets did their due diligence on that, despite the short time it took for this deal to come together, but that’s unclear.

If he does bounce back, then Udoka has a big man he can turn to reliably in situational matchups or on nights when the younger bigs struggle. He wouldn’t be Boban or even Jock Landale in that scenario — he’s going to play, so the frontcourt depth in 2024-25 should be better. In the end, they got a starting-caliber center who will have no problems coming off the bench, and that’s what they were looking for.

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Houston Rockets

On the KPJ trade and future of the Rockets




The Houston Rockets are back to being a professional NBA team once again.

The Rockets finally ended the Kevin Porter Jr. era on Tuesday, coughing up two second-round picks in order to unload his contract to the Oklahoma City Thunder, getting back the contract of Victor Oladipo and third-year forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. The move puts an end to a long investment and very rocky tenure with KPJ.

David Weiner joined Dave Hardisty on the ClutchFans podcast to discuss the Porter Jr. Experiment, the price paid to move him, Houston’s potential trade options moving forward, the new culture and the current state of the Rockets young core.

ClutchFans Podcast: On Apple | Spotify

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Houston Rockets

Heavy investment in Kevin Porter Jr raises serious questions about Rockets front office




Kevin Porter Jr. Rafael Stone

Soon-to-be-ex Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, resulting in a fractured neck vertebra and a deep gash above her right eye after an attack at a hotel in New York. He allegedly woke her up by punching her repeatedly, strangled her and did not stop hitting her until she ran out of the hotel room screaming for help and covered in blood.

“This is a serious domestic violence case,” said assistant Manhattan district attorney Mirah Curzer.

First and foremost, I wish the victim healing. I don’t know what to say about the nightmare she went through. She and her family will forever be impacted. As for KPJ, if this is true, he doesn’t belong on the Rockets or in the NBA at all. He belongs in jail.

Secondly, this can’t be overlooked and just swept under the rug: Why did the Houston Rockets bank on and invest so heavily in this guy?

Kevin Porter Jr. being accused of crimes of this severity should not be shocking – at all. Before he even came to the Rockets, he had a long list of serious problems. He was suspended multiple times in high school. In 2019, he had a “conduct issue” significant enough that USC suspended the 5-star recruit indefinitely. He fell to the end of the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft because of his behavior liability. He was accused of punching a woman in the face in Cleveland. He also had a gun and marijuana charge later dismissed after getting into a car crash. He went into a tirade and got into a nasty confrontation with both the Cleveland coach and GM, resulting in the Cavs severing ties immediately and dumping him to the Rockets for nothing.

You could make the argument that initially giving Porter Jr. a second chance in Houston was praiseworthy, but the Rockets experienced KPJ’s anger management and immaturity issues firsthand on several occasions.

Former Rocket Austin Rivers said this week that this isn’t the first, second or even seventh issue with Porter Jr. and that Rockets “higher-ups” confided in him that they had no idea how to handle him.

“I remember talking to guys in the Houston Rockets organization, higher-ups, [and] they were having issues then,” said Rivers. “They were like, ‘We don’t know what to do with him.’ And that’s when he just got there from Cleveland!”

Porter Jr. was routinely a nightmare for Rockets coaches to deal with. On several occasions, he confronted and cussed out members of the coaching staff, saying they didn’t have the “credentials”, per source, a reference to the fact that him playing heavy minutes at point guard was a decision they did not control.

Once at a night out, Porter Jr. had a disagreement with a DJ over music choice and he snapped, smashing the DJ’s laptop to the floor. He needed to be restrained and removed. Rockets personnel and several of Porter’s teammates witnessed the incident.

Curzer also dropped a bombshell at the arraignment in saying that Porter Jr. has a history of abusing his girlfriend, who he had only been dating since early last year, his second season with the Rockets. Curzer specifically cited an incident in which KPJ allegedly rammed his car into hers.

There were dozens of maturity issues visible on the court to anyone paying attention. He refused to check out of games. He got into an argument on the bench with assistant Lionel Hollins. On numerous occasions, he would visibly shut down when he wasn’t passed the ball. I invite you to watch this video from a game against Memphis on March 20, 2022. Just listen to the Grizzlies broadcasters, particularly starting at the 1:40 mark, talk about what they are witnessing here:

Privately, people around the league would say they were baffled by the Rockets continued fascination with Porter Jr. Nobody could understand it.

That fascination starts with Rockets general manager Rafael Stone, who by every account over the last two years was the driving force behind the investment in Porter Jr. It has been no secret. Trading for him in January 2021 was seen by some with the team as his “Harden acquisition”, code for a signature move that makes an executive’s career, much in the way landing James Harden did for Daryl Morey in 2012.

For example, former Rockets head coach Stephen Silas never considered Porter Jr. to be a point guard, per sources — playing him there was a Stone mandate because the GM believed that is where his future lied.

John Wall also told us as much publicly when he explained the phone call he got from Silas about coming off the bench. He said Silas told him “This is what the GM wants,” adding again that Silas said, “Man, you don’t deserve that. You should be the starter. This is just what they want to do.” Wall was upset because he believed KPJ should have to earn the spot.

“I have a hard time finding anybody outside of the Rockets front office that believes that Kevin Porter Jr. is a starting point guard in the NBA,” said ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon in December.

There were plenty of warning signs about KPJ to the public too.

After Porter Jr. got into a heated argument in which KPJ “physically shoved” Rockets assistant coach John Lucas and quit on the team in the middle of a game against Denver in January of 2022, leaving the arena at halftime, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix famously wrote that the Rockets should “Cut Porter Jr. Waive him. Release him. Whatever. Eat what’s left of the $1.8 million he’s owed this season and the $3.2 million he’s got next and move on.” It became a source of mockery for Porter Jr’s fans, a line they would bring up after each game he hit a few threes or handed out some assists.

In February of this year, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, one of the most connected reporters in the league, flat out warned us that he was hearing awful things about the Rockets culture and locker room. He was blunt in what the Rockets needed to do — waive Kevin Porter Jr. outright and bring in a new coach and GM.

“Just cut him. That’s it,” said Givony of Porter Jr. “And you’re sending a signal to the league that we’re going to do things differently from here on out.”

“When you talk to people around the NBA about Houston, you just don’t hear good things about their culture, about that locker room. You talk to people that are on that team, and they are like, ‘We are a mess’,” said Givony. “Do people want to work with this organization? But you can change that fairly quickly if you come in, get rid of the bad apples and you change the coaching staff, and all of a sudden, you’re Houston. It’s the third-biggest city in America. There’s a history here of you actually being good.”

Porter came to the Rockets for “free” (in exchange for a top-55 protected second-round pick, which was designed not to convey), but he proved far from it as the Rockets continued to pour investment into him. Over the last 2-3 seasons, no Rockets player got more developmental capital than Porter Jr. – not Jalen Green, not Alperen Sengun, not Jabari Smith Jr. The Fertittas paid John Wall $85+ million over two years to sit at home so the team could groom Porter Jr. to be their future point guard.

Then they doubled down. With restricted free agency on the horizon and a seemingly non-existent market for KPJ’s services, the Rockets gave Porter Jr. an extension a year sooner – a contract that was presented as a four-year, $82.5 million deal. The deal was more team-friendly than that, putting team options in it after years 1 and 3. Going from the potential disaster that was initially reported to a deal they could escape after one season felt like a “win”, but the biggest question was why they wanted him long-term at all. The unprecedented nature of a contract that size with that kind of club control clearly showed the Rockets knew there was unique and significant risk here.

After KPJ signed the extension, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko summarized the Rockets view of Porter Jr. – “As has been [their] stance for months, the Rockets have maintained the notion that Porter is a priority and is considered a huge part of their core, along with Green and Jabari Smith Jr.”

The Rockets actions to kick off the 2022-23 season showed exactly that – that he was a priority. They benched Sengun to start the season, in large part to give KPJ a “lob threat” and defender in the starting lineup. They gave him the superstar “Harden Locker”. They introduced him last in the starting lineups. They treated him as the star and empowered him to be the self-proclaimed “Head Honcho” of Clutch City.

But the extension proved unwise and foolish. Porter Jr. never even made it to the first year of it. With over $80 million on the line, he snapped again. The Rockets signed him to one of the team-friendliest deals ever and still managed to both overcommit and overpay as Stone now scrambles to attach real assets to it to get another team to take it off his books.

Is it fair to question the judgment of the Rockets front office? Absolutely and without question. Whether you look at their ability to value character, evaluate risk, scout basketball, build culture, manage assets or allocate development resources, they failed at every level here. Why didn’t they act sooner? Why did they double down? Why didn’t they hold him accountable? Why did everybody in the league see it but them?

“We value the player and the person that [Kevin Porter Jr.] is becoming and are eager to invest in him and his journey,” said Stone after rewarding him with the extension less than a year ago.

The question you have to ask yourself now is, with all they knew and witnessed about Porter Jr. both on and off the court — why were they eager at all?

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