Scola And Lowry Won't Be Leaving, But What About Everyone Else?

Despite all of the rumors surrounding which marquee free agents the Rockets will be pursuing this July, the team has long stated that its number one priority this offseason is to retain its own. Keeping Yao Ming was the first step, though that was more of his decision than the team’s. Next up: Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry.

Each should receive an attractive offer or two from interested parties. And unless those offers are monumentally absurd, each will be reeled back into Houston. GM Daryl Morey, under Les Alexanders’ generous direction, has stated that he doesn’t want Scola or Lowry going anywhere. He considers them to be quality parts of the ideal championship puzzle.

There’s only one problem that arises upon re-signing both Lowry and Scola: space. Let’s take a look at the players, assuming we re-sign the two restricted free agents, that will be eligible for next year’s 12-man roster.

PG: Aaron Brooks
SG: Kevin Martin
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Luis Scola
C: Yao Ming
6. Kyle Lowry
7. Shane Battier
8. Chase Budinger
9. Jordan Hill
10. David Andersen
11. Patrick Patterson
12. Jared Jeffries

Each player, 6-12, is guaranteed through next season. However, the Rockets picked up their option on Chuck Hayes today. And that list does not include Jermaine Taylor or a free agent that we are looking to sign. This is why the Rockets will be approaching the free agency extravaganza with a "sign-and-trade" mentality. They’ll be looking to move some parts in order to acquire a better player. Morey has stocked assets for a long time. Perhaps it has become appropriate, even necessary to use them.

The Hayes situation should be very interesting. Morey exercised his option to keep the Chuckwagon, meaning that if he is forced to cut him, he'll have to pay a price. Stay tuned to see who leaves and who stays, because a trade will surely be in the works. Morey is going to have to do something big, or else trimming the roster will simply become a matter of keeping the better of two good players. That can get ugly, and nobody likes ugly.

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