If Rockets stand pat, a great opportunity will be wasted. Here’s why:

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By John P. Lopez

Daryl Morey is on the verge of truly wrapping his arms — and philosophy — around this Rockets franchise.

To this point, he’s been saddled (blessed? cursed?) with the contracts and expectations that came with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. But now Yao and McGrady are gone, the Rockets are out of it and superb opportunities are out there.

We’ll have a poll so you can voice your opinion here in a bit. But here’s where it gets interesting.

Option A: The Rockets stand pat, cash out with salary cap space coming available in 2011-2012 and work the free-agent wire.

Option B: They can try to wrangle a deal with a contender in the hopes of getting a Spurs or a Celtics team to overpay, thus landing an established big man like Kendrick Perkins or Tiago Splitter. A player like Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks would be involved.

Option C: They can follow-up on options like that which the Bulls are offering. That is, two 2011 first-round picks (one of which arrived via the Heat). With their own picks and the rights to the Knicks’ 2012 picks, that would give the Rockets five — FIVE — first-round picks in the next two drafts.

So what do you do, Daryl Morey? Go young? Tweak with a younger big man? Stand pat?

Interesting that this offer arrives on the heels of youngster Patrick Patterson’s best game Tuesday night at Detroit.

To me, Option C looks like the best one, particularly given that four draft picks could be had AND the free-agent wire could be worked. Among the options in the 8-20 range in the next draft are Kentucky swingman Terrence Jones, Kentucky guard Brandon Knight, Texas forward Jordan Hamilton, BYU shooter Jimmer Fredette and one of the powerful Morris twins at KU, especially Markieff, whose game is more NBA-ready.

Time to rebuild? Remember, rebuilding can be a quick turnaround in the NBA. Here’s your chance to vote:

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