Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Rockets are going to have to rebuild on the fly after losing superstars Tracy McGrady and Yáo Míng for the 09-10 season

By Anthony Caruso III

The Houston Rockets used to have two superstars on their team. Both players are still on the team, but are injured. Both players are expected to miss the majority of this upcoming season after suffering injuries last season. Now, they have no superstar players on the roster to be the face of the franchise.

Tracy McGrady had microfracture surgery in February 2009 in Chicago. Yáo Míng just had hairline surgery in his foot and another surgery to realign the bones on Tuesday. The Rockets were able to get an injury exception for Míng, which is more than $5 million dollars.

McGrady is expected to make $23.2 million this upcoming season in the final year of his deal. Míng is expected to make $16.3 million this upcoming season. Míng has a $17.6 million player option for the 2010-11, which he will definitely pick up now. He is expected to be in training camp in Houston in October 2010.

Since McGrady arrived in Houston in the summer of 2004, he has missed a combined 103 games in the last 5-years. The most games he has played in a Rockets jersey was 78 during the 2004-05 season. He also set a Houston career-high 25.7 points per game; however, his numbers have decreased each year since that season.

Míng has missed a combined 93 career games over the past 7-years since being the first-overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He has only played 82 games twice in his career – in the 2002-03 season and the 2003-04 seasons. He has not played a complete season since that time. Even though, Míng has missed a lot of games, he was able to set a career-high 25 points per game during the 2006-07.

Now, the Rockets are re-building on the fly. Aaron Brooks has a chance to become a star after his performance in the playoffs, but that's still to be determined. The rest of the guys currently on the roster are more role players than stars.

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