Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The team. Stick at 15 or take another card?

OK, here's how the roster looks today:

Rafer Alston G
Aaron Brooks G
Luther Head G
Steve Francis G
Sean Singletary G
Brent Barry G-F
Tracy McGrady G-F
Shane Battier F
Joey Dorsey F
Patrick Ewing F
Ron Artest F
Mike Harris F
Chuck Hayes F
Carl Landry F
Maarty Leunen F
Luis Scola F-C
Dikembe Mutombo C
Yao Ming C

Assuming Sean Singletary and Patrick Ewing Jr. get released as expected and Maarty Leunen plays overseas this year, the Rockets don't need to release anyone else before the regular season. In fact, if Dikembe Mutombo and/or Carl Landry don't sign, the home team will need to add some people just to fill their training camp roster. So here's the big question of the week. Is this a championship team? The answer is, almost.

Even if Deke re-ups, the Rockets need a new quality backup center. As good as Mutombo has been in his career, there's just not much left in the tank. Even if he can turn in one more good season, they will need a new guy next year anyway. A year of tutoring under Mutombo would benefit any young player.

Rafer Alston is facing more legal troubles. Granted, a court of law is not likely to keep him off the basketball court, but it is a distraction at best. Aaron Brooks is still something of a question mark, despite a fair Summer League showing. Steve Francis may or may not be healthy and in the mix. After including Bobby Jackson in the Ron Artest trade, the Rockets need another point guard in camp, at least good enough to compete for the first backup spot.

That's it. Just a couple of good backups away. Keep looking, Daryl.

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