Archive for July 13th, 2009

Polish Hammered

Monday, July 13th, 2009

After getting over the initial shock and disappointment resulting from the “loss” of Marcin Gortat, I started wondering about why Magic GM Otis Smith would make such a move after previously stating that those were “rich numbers” for a backup to his best player. Did he spend the week trying to find a potential trade partner so he wouldn’t lose “The Polish Hammer” for nothing?

So who would be trying to get Gortat? I immediately thought of the Rockets, who had gone so far in the previous two weeks as to set up a gmail account for their fans to show their desire for the Polish big man to sign with Houston.

And then I realized that something I had always wondered about MAY have just been proven true at the expense of my hometown squadron: do certain GMs really operate in alliances with other GMs, and sometimes sabotage other GMs, in the NBA’s game of warfare?

This is just speculation, of course, but take a look at a couple of big trades (I feel like they’ve made some other swaps as well but this information proved tougher than expected to google) Houston and Orlando have orchestrated in recent years:

  • 2009: Rox trade Rafer Alston to the Magic in a three-way trade also involving the Grizzlies. This occurs after the contending Magic lose their all-star PG Jameer Nelson for the season.
  • 2004: Rox trade Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley, and Kevin Cato for 2-time NBA leading scorer Tracy McGrady, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue, and Reece Gaines.

I notice while researching their trade history that the Rockets also are quite fond of dealing with the Grizzlies, shipping Bonzi Wells there in 2008 in a three-way deal that netted them Bobby Jackson, sending them a washed-up Steve Francis for draft picks later that year, and pulling off the Rudy Gay-Shane Battier exchange in 2006.

Not that there is anything wrong with these conceivable GM relationships, but I just think it’s worth pointing out as I now believe the Rockets, who are desperate for a center after losing Yao for the season and were clearly bummed out that the big man chose to sign the Mavs’ offer sheet instead of Houston’s, may have convinced Smith that they will follow-through on a desirable trade come December 15 when Gortat is eligible to be traded.

Donnie Nelson knows talent, but maybe he should spend more time aligning his GM relationships.

Regardless, the updated depth chart does not look bad at all:

C: Hollins; Damp; Dirk; Humphries
PF: Dirk; Marion; Humphries; Nivins
SF: Marion; J-Ho; Singleton; Ross
SG: J-Ho; JET; Barea; Beaubois
PG: Kidd; Barea; Beaubois; JET

Lastly, one more big move may still be coming from the Triangle of Trust, but how about this potential not-so-big move that would add some create-his-own-shot ability at the 2-guard – Marquis Daniels, who by the way has improved his 3-point shot since we saw him last …