The Rockets hopes of re-signing UFA Goran Dragic have been crushed if you believe the reports after last night's meeting. The two sides are just too far apart and as of now it seems the Phoenix Suns have become the front runner to land the point guard. Off of that comes news this morning that the Rockets will meet with restricted free-agent (RFA) Jeremy Lin in Houston tomorrow.
The Rockets will offer a deal similar to the contract Dragic turned down, source said.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 3, 2012
If that's true, and Feigen is a reliable source, then I have big problems with this move. To start with I don't think Lin is as good as Dragic, and secondly they better be careful in pursuing another point guard; if they don't get either, soothing things over with Kyle Lowry is going to be nearly impossible. Call me crazy, but I don't buy in to Jeremy Lin; I do buy in to Goran Dragic. I believe Jeremy Lin will be a nice player, but he won't replicate the numbers he put up last season over the next 3-4 years; I think Dragic will. When looking at Lin in February of last season vs. March, you start to see that other teams figured him out, the production dropped, and his stats regressed to the mean. In March (13 starts) Lin dropped 6.3 points, 2.1 assists, and 5.5% on his field goal percentage in comparison to "Linsanity" during February (12 starts). Long-term I think Lin will be a good player, but better suited as a reserve because of his sub-par defense and not worth the 8-10 million that Dragic might get.
Lin fans are probably thinking that you could say the same thing for Dragic, but he didn't have a drop-off. Like Lin, Dragic was also only a starter for about two months, but his numbers were consistent even after tape got out on him and teams had time to prepare. In March (12 starts) Dragic averaged 15 points, 7.4 assists, and 3.4 rebounds with a .497 field goal percentage. In April (14 starts), Dragic averaged 18.9 points, 7.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds with a .464 field goal percentage. Sure Dragic FG % dropped off, but not by much and his other numbers actually improved. Also with Dragic, when you look back at his stats with the Suns, his play last season shouldn't be shocking. During the 2009-2010 season with Phoenix, his numbers per 36 minutes were 15.9 points, 6 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. Last season with the Rockets, his numbers per 36 minutes were 15.9 points, 7.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. It wasn't the Dragic was cut by several teams and generally thought of as not good enough, his production level was always there, he just needed the minutes.
The Rockets need another point guard, but I don't think Lin is the answer and they'd be better off going with a cheaper option to back-up Kyle Lowry; someone who he doesn't see as a threat as well. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a guy like Jeremy Lin, but let's all take a deep breath and think this over. What Lin will provide you is not worth the money being talked about and no he doesn't give you the same amount of marketing value that Yao Ming did as I've heard some sports talk show callers suggest today; crazy notion, he was born in America. Thankfully, even if the Rockets do make the offer, it seems like the Knick will match.