The news on Monday that Houston Rockets All-Star center Yao Ming may miss not only the season but never play again comes as a devestating clothesline to the Rockets organization. The Rockets had finally gotten out of the first round of the Playoffs this year, and only needed to re-sign Ron Artest and any NBA center to sew up loose ends. But the Yao injury coupled with the uncertaintiy of Tracy McGrady have left the Rockets with an uneasy feeling. Daryl Morey has been making moves all year. Tracy McGrady is steadily shopped to other teams and the Rockets essentially paid for three picks during the Draft. But is Daryl ready to make the decision he dares to make, and that is to EXPLODE THE ROCKETS! Call it a fire-sale to the rest of the league. Everyone but Luis Scola is available. I exclude Scola because he is the only player that the Rockets should keep. Scola is a rare player, wether starting or coming off the bench he brings a skill set unlike other forwards. Aaron Brooks is still 3 years away from fully carryoing a team, if that is even possible. Shane Battier is a ROLE player, and without Tracy or Yao to complement he is useless. Corner threes and diving for loose balls can only go so far. Brent Barry, Kyle Lowry, Chuck Hayes, and Brian Cook can all start preparing to move. Signing Artest only to trade him even signs like a good move at this junction.
The Rockets gambled on Mutumbo last year, and he returned only to play three games and to get hurt in the last one. Yao has not had a true back-up in years. The constant pressure on Yaos massive and fragile feet has led to this unfortunate moment. Daryl Morey showed up at Marin Gortats home today in Orlando in the hopes of signing the free agent. If the Rockets feel that Marcin Gortat is what the Rockets need, then they are more delusional than anyone could imagine. I’m sure Daryl Morey will make the right decisions when the time comes but the last 5 years have gone out the window. The two people the Rockets have been building the team around are injured. The upside to this depressing moment for Rockets fans is that both Yao and T-Mac are free agents next year. The Rockets seem headed to the lottery without the two, but a top three draft pick plus a key 2010 free-agent could right the ship in one season.