It is one week before training camp and we still do not have Carl Landry locked up. The reasons are understandable for both sides, and it’s really going to take some honesty and compromise to solve it.
Buddy Baker, known for being a relentless money grabber, feels the Rockets owe Landry (and him) lots of money for Landry’s second-half run last season. Landry would box out huge centers, rebound and dunk all in the same motion! He had a decent outside shot and used it properly. His personal passion can be used to ignite any team. This is the Landry that Buddy Baker is trying to sell, but it may not be the Landry he has.
THE KNEE DILEMMA - March. 8th
Daryl Morey really looked like a genius picking this guy up in the second round, but there are risks that come with genius picks, and Landry's major knee problem was enough for 30+ teams to pass on him. Landry missed his entire Junior Year at Purdue because of knee surgery, but had a resurgence in his Senior year - with a big brace on his knee. At first it seemed we had won on our gamble, but then, 17 games into the streak, he was gone. We went on to win five games without him, and he was back two games after that. Landry all of a sudden was not Baker's Landry: He was tentative. His dunks turned into layups. His offensive boards became kick-outs instead of put-backs, and his And1's became jump shots. Although still effective, he was not the player he was before the injury. Landry depends on his athleticism and his spring and is merely average without them. He came through at times in the playoffs, but it was a spotty showing at best.
Daryl Morey knows how good Landry can be, and that is why he has Landry restricted and there have been no deals made yet. However Baker is asking for a lot, and it may be too much for the Rockets to afford, given the risk. Morey challenged Buddy Baker, asking Landry to get a complete scope on his knee. Baker denied the request, claiming it was a desperate attempt to scare other teams’ offers away. It is obvious that he is as worried as the Rockets are about Landry's health and he was trying to belittle the issue to make other teams offer more money that the Rockets would have to match or Landry would have to take. Smart for business, but if you don’t have a product it will be tough to sell. Daryl does not want to pay big bucks for post-March 8th Landry, and Baker is making the original gamble too much for Morey to risk. On this issue, and almost every issue, I am on Daryl Morey's side. No matter what jersey Landry has on next year, he will have A LOT to prove. Can he use his aggressive attitude and his immense athletic ability in a way that doesn't risk his whole career? Who knows!??!?!?!?!?!?
Submitted by Earnie Banks