the rockets will be fine. won't miss a beat. ariza and mbah a moute were important pieces, sure, but it's gotten to the point where ppl are waaaay overstating their value.
i watched a ton of houston games last season, prolly 30 in full plus all the playoff games. LRM was a complete non factor after the shoulder injury, and trevor's shooting fell off a cliff in the second half. i want to say he shot something like 33% from 3 after the break and under 30 in the postseason. on pretty much exclusively wide open looks. his defense has also declined significantly from what it was 2-3 yrs ago. and they still took the monstars to the fucking wire.
james ennis and corey brewer will fill those minutes with no problem whatsoever. may even end up being an upgrade.
oh and melo will ball for them. mike d already pulled his coat out in Vegas and let him know the deal before he even signed on. he'll mostly come off the bench, play exclusively @ the 4 and not on the wing, end up playing prolly 90% of his minutes w/ chris on the floor with him, and won't be closing close games. and in certain matchups (i.e. GSW) he won't be playable. they'll use him correctly.
also wouldn't be shocked if they get something out of chriss and caboclo. their player dev is no joke (see: capela, c.)
it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. - sherlock holmes