Why Bleacher Report was wrong about the Rockets, yet again

Chris Paul #3, James Harden #13, Ryan Anderson of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3, James Harden #13, Ryan Anderson of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
Houston Rockets
Chris Paul #3, James Harden #13, Ryan Anderson #33 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Bleacher Report has proven time and time again to be uneducated on the Houston Rockets, but their latest gaffe was the icing on the cake.

It’s become more and more obvious with each passing article that Bleacher Report struggles in their coverage of the Houston Rockets. Part of the problem is that the site has shown a blatant vendetta against the Rockets, and especially of late.

From ranking Russell Westbrook as the 22nd-best player in the NBA, which is laughable at best, to speculating that the Rockets’ superstar duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook won’t last beyond this season, it’s become amusing to see the site make a mockery of themselves.

But in spite of the comic relief they’ve provided on those fronts, it gets worse for the “prominent site,” as their latest gaffe is even more of a head-scratcher. The site was giving their team-by-team selections of the worst free agent signings of the past decade, and they selected Chris Paul‘s contract of 2018 as their pick for the Rockets.

Why Bleacher Report was wrong about the Houston Rockets, yet again

On the surface, this contract wasn’t exactly a good deal, as Paul regressed in his second season in the Space City, leading the Rockets to trade him after the first season of his extension kicked in. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Rockets were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors during that 2018-19 season, who were the Western Conference champions for the fifth consecutive season.

On top of that, the Rockets simply had to give CP3 that contract, in part because he bypassed free agency in 2017, in order to complete the trade to the Rockets, with a wink-wink promise of a max contract in 2018. It’s simply lazy to point out the recent signing of CP3 as the Rockets’ worst free agent signing, for a number of reasons.

For one, CP3 had already been a member of the Houston Rockets prior to the contract, which isn’t exactly the same as signing a player in free agency. But on top of that, there was an albatross of a contract that they ultimately bypassed.

It’s obvious that the worst free agent signing of the past decade for Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was Ryan Anderson, who was signed to a massive four-year contract that was set to pay him $80 million, which is a number he was never going to be able to live upto. Granted, this isn’t a slight against Morey, as the salary cap spiked that season, so the Rockets had the available funds.

And it isn’t a knock against Anderson, as he and his representation had every reason to pursue every possible penny. But although Anderson became a fan favorite for many, he was never worth an annual price tag of $20 million.

In fact, Anderson took a backseat in Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s rotation in just his second season with the Rockets, as P.J. Tucker played 27.8 minutes in 2017-18, compared to Ryno’s 26.1 minutes. In addition, Anderson was removed from the starting lineup altogether in the 2018 postseason, and was essentially deemed unplayable, as he received just 8.6 minutes per game.

Anderson’s value around the league was so low that Rockets GM Daryl Morey was essentially forced to part with a developmental asset in De’Anthony Melton, just to get the Phoenix Suns to take on Anderson’s contract. Anderson’s impact was far less than Chris Paul, and his $19.2 million in the 2017-18 season was nearly as much as CP3’s $24.2 million in the same season.

Anderson was dealt to the Suns, who then sent him packing to the Miami Heat, who later waived him. By comparison, Chris Paul was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and led them to the playoffs, despite being slept on by the majority of the experts and analysts, which further drives home the point.

Next. How the Rockets' defense has been clutch all year

At the end of the day, it’s clear that Bleacher Report isn’t the most knowledgeable about the Rockets, but even this was a tad bit embarrassing, as a bit of research would have yielded a much better selection.