Earlier in the summer I stumbled across an interesting article I found on a Houston Rockets fan forum. It was a post charting how the team transitioned from the end of the Yao Ming era to the beginning of the Dwight Howard era. It's a real interesting read. I highly recommended you click it RIGHT NOW.
In essence, the Houston went from this at the start of the 2011-2012 season:
Point Guards: Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic, Jonny Flynn
Shooting Guards: Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams
Small Forwards: Chase Budinger, Chandler Parsons, Marcus Morris
Power Forwards: Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson, Jeff Adrien
Centers: Samuel Dalembert, Jordan Hill, Hasheem Thabeet
to their current roster for the 2013-2014 season:
Point Guard: Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverley, Aaron Brooks, Isaiah Canaan
Shooting Guard: James Harden, Ronnie Brewer, Francisco Garcia, Reggie Williams
Small Forward: Chandler Parsons, Omri Casspi, Robert Covington
Power Forward: Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas
Center: Dwight Howard, Omer Asik, Greg Smith, Marcus Camby
To put icing on the cake, the Rockets are owed a number of future second round picks and they currently own all of their future first round picks.
The article finishes with a great line:
Smart gambles. Smart contracts. Avoiding multi-year deals on non-core pieces. That is how you turn a duo of Kevin Martin and Luis Scola into James Harden and Dwight Howard, and the best part of all?
We’re not done yet.
It's fascinating for Sixers fans because you can't help but wonder how Hinkie will manage to turn this current roster into something legitimately competitive one day. For now, let's take a look at how the Sixers roster looked like at the end of their 2012-2013 season. Pre-Hinkie.
Point Guard: Jrue Holiday, Royal Ivey, Charles Jenkins
Shooting Guard: Evan Turner, Nick Young, Justin Holiday, [Jason Richardson]
Small Forward: Damien Wilkens, Dorell Wright
Power Forward: Thaddeus Young, Lavoy Allen
Center: Spencer Hawes, Arnett Moultrie, Kwame Brown, [Andrew Bynum]
Then Hinkie took over, and a new era was born. I won't recap all the transactions here, but the most significant one was obviously trading away Jrue Holiday. For reference purposes, here's a link to all of the transactions. Just in a short span of one off-season, there was plenty of change. Take a look at the (unfinalized) Sixers roster now.
Point Guard: Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Darius Morris, Khalif Wyatt
Shooting Guard: James Anderson, Vander Blue, Hollis Thompson, [Jason Richardson]
Small Forward: Evan Turner, Rodney Williams
Power Forward: Thaddeus Young, Lavoy Allen, Royce White, Arnett Moultrie, Gani Lawal
Center: Spencer Hawes, Kwame Brown, [Nerlens Noel], Mac Koshwal, Daniel Orton
Clearly the team got a lot younger and less veteran-y. The team didn't upgrade, but that was the point. They're not trying to win games right now. Morey kept the Rockets competitive through his maneuvering. The Sixers don't have the same "luxury".
How will Hinkie go from turning trash to treasure? How long will it take? It will be interesting to see how all the little moves eventually add up. I can't wait to compare the 2015-2016 / 2016-2017 roster to this current one.
Oh and I almost forgot...