The Houston Rockets played hard but not hard enough as the Portland Trail Blazers send the Rockets home for good with their dramatic 99-98 victory on Friday night.
The Rockets have been receiving disappointing play from James Harden for much of the series, however Harden came to play in game 6. Dwight has been consistent all series and he didn’t disappoint as he finished the game with 26 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal.
He was the best player of the series for the Rockets, stepping up his dominance and averaging out at 26 points, 3 blocks, and 14 rebounds.
Now with all this being said, this will be the last time we see the nucleus of Howard, Harden, Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, and Patrick Beverley together. With Lin and Asik set to make $30 million next year, there will definitely be changes in the locker room.
The biggest sore on the salary cap is Jeremy Lin, who is set to make $15 million next year. It’s very hard to justify paying a guy that much coming off the bench. Lin is a great BACKUP for any team in the league right now. However, he is definitely not worth the amount of money he is due.
The question now is how do you trade him. You’d have to pair him with Chandler Parsons to justify that amount of money. Parsons is scheduled to make $964,000 next year. The two of them basically swap salaries, so you get Lin and Parsons for $16 million.
Here comes to Carmelo Anthony. If Phil Jackson is unable to give Carmelo Anthony a team that he feels can compete for a championship, then I see him coming to the Rockets to play alongside Howard and Harden.
Anthony has went on record saying he wouldn’t mind taking a pay cut to play on a championship caliber team. So how will the Rockets be able to get Carmelo?
The Rockets could package Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, and Terrence Jones in a deal to the New York Knicks for Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks would get great players and the Rockets would have their big three in Howard, Harden, and Anthony. The Rockets would definitely be the team to beat just like Miami was when they joined forces with Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and LeBron James.
Had the Rockets advanced to the next round or even further, then the argument would be to keep the core of the team together. However going out in the first round shows that there will definitely be changes to come in Houston.