JJ Redick’s comments illustrate one thing Rockets are doing right
How Redick’s comments pertain to the Houston Rockets
Redick didn’t hold any punches and unloaded on the Pelicans’ front office. These types of comments aren’t good for any organization, regardless of whether or not the player is on his way out.
For one, the NBA is a brotherhood and players talk amongst themselves. A lot of these players grew up together and/or have maintained lifelong friendships with one another.
If a player is a free agent and has a list of teams he’s interested in, it would seem fair to assume that a close friend telling him that the front office of that specific team doesn’t have the best interest of the players could swing the balance and alter said player’s decision making.
This is especially the case in situations where the money that’s being offered would be essentially the same, or eerily similar, which would be the case for top players in each free agent class.
Another thing that has to be considered is the power of NBA agents, like Redick mentioned in his tongue-lashing of the Pelicans. NBA power agents, like Rich Paul, Mark Bartelstein, and Jeff Schwartz, who each have cumulative player salaries of over $250 million, will certainly remember if one of their clients were given “empty promises”.
This could hinder future star players who are represented by the same agency from ever even considering the team. Who knows how long this pattern would continue?
So maybe you’re thinking, so what if free agents don’t want to come here, those same players could be acquired via trade, right?
Well not exactly, as the NBA is a league in which the players hold much of the power, meaning they could also prevent a trade from taking place. The Houston Rockets just went through this with Aaron Gordon, who was at the top of their list of trade targets before he made it known that he didn’t want to join the Rockets.
Granted, Gordon’s reasoning didn’t have anything to do with the perception of the current Rockets’ front office, but the point remains that players can kill any potential trade if they want, which is why the Rockets have been forced to tread lightly and cautiously.
So although it may be disheartening for fans to see their favorite players simply get moved wherever they may want to go after giving up on the team, the Rockets were wise to go about these moves in this manner. This is especially the case considering the bad reputation that the Rockets’ front office already had entering this season.