H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Monday, July 11, 2005

Swift Decision?

Rumor has it that Rockets' GM Carroll Dawson, in attempt to preclude the possibility of being "Beltran-ed", has given Grizzlies PF and unrestricted free agent Stromile Swift a Monday deadline to decide whether or not to accept the Rockets' offer, presumed to be the team's Mid-Level Exception, since there is no cap space left for 2005. The only other option that I understand there to be is a sign-and-trade between the Rockets and Grizz, under which scenario the Rockets' could offer more money than the MLE affords them.

I'm watching Clutch Fans closely for any developments, but I'm not optimistic. I do like Swift's potential and think he could potentially solve a lot of the Rockets' frontcourt woes, but I do not see him accepting "only" $4.5-$5 million per year from the Rockets, especially considering the outlandish free agent market (Bobby Simmons 5 years - $47M from Bucks, Larry Hughes getting about $12M/year from Cavs, Shareef Abdur-Rahim refusing a Simmons-like offer from the Bucks, Joe Johnson being offered 5 years - $70M from Atlanta). If Swift takes the MLE from the Rockets, he either truly has desires of winning (this is the NBA, so this possibility is laughable at best) with the Rockets or he has TO's agent.

My biggest fear is that Swift spurns the Rockets, and we are faced with the possibility of Antoine Walker in a Rockets' uniform. To me, the selfish, no-D Antoine playing for JVG is the NBA equivalent of Ricky Williams being recruited as a motivational speaker by D.A.R.E., but apparently there have been some discussion between the parties. I would rather have a cardiac-challenged Juwan and calorie-challenged Spoon at the 4 than Antoine Walker. I'm still a little disappointed that neither Udonis Haslem nor Reggie Evans have been more prominently mentioned as possibilities in Houston. Even though both are restricted FA's, I'd like to see the Rockets at least feign some interest, indicating that they do comprehend what they need in a PF. Antoine Walker seems to provide exactly the opposite of what the consensus believes the Rockets need at the 4.


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