Tag:Houston Rockets
Posted on: October 4, 2010 9:39 am
Edited on: October 4, 2010 9:42 am

Shootaround 10.4.10: Bynum pushes himself back

Posted by Royce Young
  • Andrew Bynum doesn't heal fast. He now says he's out until at least December. But Phil Jackson isn't so sure: "He's been saying that," Jackson said. "I don't know why he's talking about December. He can get weight-bearing activities started at the end of this month. Can you play in two weeks [after that]? Can you play in three weeks? Four weeks puts you at the end of November. So let's just let it happen and not talk about what the timing is."
  • Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post: "It is known that Carmelo Anthony wants to be traded to a big market, in efforts to both win a title and maximize his marketability. Sources previously said he was interested in going to New Jersey, a franchise that will move to Brooklyn in a couple of years. Anthony, who has never gone public with his demands, was asked about his marketing prowess, and he said: 'As far as marketing, it comes from winning. If I ain't winning, then nobody wants me to market their product.' So he was asked: 'Then why would you want to play for the team that won 12 games last season?' Anthony then said: 'I never said I want to play for the Nets.'"
  • Tom Martin of The Dream Shake with a terrific post on Houston's window: "It's too hard to win a championship to get all bent out of shape when that wish doesn't come true. Be patient. Let the pieces fall into place, however long that may take. And for now, hope for a miracle, because if the Rockets get lucky - if they stay healthy and play up to their potential - then it may not take a transaction for all of the pieces to come together. Their luck may not lie in finding an outside source. That's not predictable, but it could happen. They might just have everything they need, right here. Maybe."
  • The first preseason games were yesterday with the Knicks and Nets both playing. Amar'e Stoudemire dropped 32 in his first appearance with New York as the Knicks beat Milano 125-113. New Jersey beats Maccabi Haifa 108-70 behind 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench for rookie Derrick Favors.
  • Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News on Favors' performance: "If you weren’t excited enough about Derrick Favors’ 14-point, nine-rebound performance tonight, this postgame quote should be all the convincing you need: 'I’d say it was an okay day,' Favors said, without a hint of arrogance, following the 108-70 victory over Maccabi Haifa. Okay? In his first professional game, Favors took eight shots and made six of them. His first shot was an alley-oop dunk. His second shot was a dunk. His third shot was a dunk. He attacked the rim with reckless efficiency, providing a spark and energy to an otherwise listless game. His most impressive dunk didn’t count: the 19-year-old jumped OVER a Maccabi Haifa player on the baseline but was called for a charge. 'It’s all good,' Favors said. If this trade for Carmelo Anthony fizzles completely, Favors will be the youngest player in team history. It’s not a bad way to build a wining franchise."
Posted on: September 29, 2010 4:25 pm

Brooks wants extension but Rockets won't budge

Posted by Royce Young

It's getting to the point where if you're not set up with a pretty extension before next season's new Collective Bargaining Agreement, you're required to be unhappy.

Plenty of players have already made a small stink about their situation and you can add another to it in Aaron Brooks. He told Houston media that his contract extension something that's definitely weighing on him.

"It's kind of stressful," Brooks told Jonathan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle. "I was hoping we maybe could get something done this summer, but we couldn't, so I'm stuck in the position I'm in. I understand, but it's bothering me. It's the business of basketball. You have to take it like it is. I'm stuck with that."

Asked if he felt he deserves a contract extension, Brooks said, "Oh, no doubt. I deserve at least discussions."

But there's a problem for Brooks. He's not ever going to get that extension in Houston before his deal is up. It's team policy.

The Rockets customarily don't consider negotiating contract extensions, other than for players still under their rookie contracts. They will pick up their options on the contracts of Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger and Jermaine Taylor later this month, waiting - as is their policy - for the deadline.

"We're not doing extensions," Morey told the paper. "Quite a few guys on the team are up for extensions. Just policy-wise, we're not doing it."

As for why, who knows. Team policy, you know. Morey says it's to keep the team as flexible as possible, but is it worth that to potentially upset players and cause some unrest going into the season? Players playing while thinking about money is always quite the distraction. And that could be avoided by paying them. But again, team policy.

(An interesting aside noted in the report: Did you know Kevin Durant is the only player from the 2007 draft that received an extension off his rookie contract so far? Obviously for good reason but players like Jeff Green, Brooks and Greg Oden haven't landed that second big payday yet. I found that interesting.)

The last player the Rockets extended was Tracy McGrady in 2004 and well, we know how that finished up. McGrady got hurt every 10 seconds and in the end, the most valuable thing that came from his extension was the fact he was able to be traded last season for valuable assets. So maybe the Rockets saw themselves get burned once and said never again.

Brooks is clearly worth an extension. He's a top 10 point guard in the West and won Most Improved last season. But that doesn't mean the Rockets will pay him. Morey has his ways and as one of the brightest GMs in the league, it's hard to doubt him. Doesn't mean Brooks will be playing this season with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Maybe that's part of the motivation from the Rockets by not giving it. By not paying them now, they've got to keep earning that next contract. But I'm just guessing there.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 6:57 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2010 6:57 pm

Report: Heat pass on Dampier

Posted by Royce Young

Just a day or two ago, it sounded all but done that Erick Dampier would join the Miami Heat. But as is the case in the NBA, a lot can change in a small amount of time.

Mike Wallace of the Miami Herald reports the Heat have passed on Dampier, citing a comfort with the existing roster and the fact they already have four big men on the roster. Which was exactly why I wondered how much sense it made for Dampier to go there with Jamaal Magloire, Udonis Haslem, Chris Bosh, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Juwan Howard and Joel Anthony already on the team.

So where does Dampier go from here? Dampier had mutual interest in both the Rockets and the Nuggets and he'll likely turn one of those directions now. Reportedly, Dampier had hesitations in signing with Denver because of the uncertainty of the team's current future. With news out that Carmelo Anthony very likely may be gone before the weekend is over, Dampier might favor Houston now.

Or, he could get a call from a whole other team. Like I said, a lot can change in a little amount of time.

Posted on: September 24, 2010 9:32 am

Shootaround 9.24.10: The best players rated

Posted by Royce Young
  • Bill Plaschke of the LA Times on Andrew Bynum's latest injury: "The last time a Lakers big man did something so medically dumb, it was Shaquille O'Neal refusing to fix his toe until just before the 2002-03 training camp, claiming: "I got hurt on company time, so I'll heal on company time." Two underachieving seasons later, he was on Miami time, traded because owner Jerry Buss decided he wasn't worth the trouble. Interestingly, the guaranteed part of Bynum's contract expires in two seasons, at which point Buss will have to make the same sort of decision. At this rate, maybe he shouldn't even wait that long. How can Andrew Bynum be the Lakers' future if you can't count on him today?"
  • Chris Mannix of SI on the Warriors move yesterday: "It's not like Lacob had many alternatives, either. Jeff Van Gundy isn't leaving the ABC booth for the Warriors and it's a little late in the game to be dialing up Lawrence Frank and Sam Mitchell too. Plus Smart, who Lacob told Bay Area reporters will receive a multi-year contract, comes cheap. If it doesn't work out this year the team can always cut ties after the season. But with Nelson gone, the Warriors can finally look towards the future without being encompassed by the shadow of the past. A new era has begun in Golden State and let's face it, it can't be much worse than the last."
  • Tim Kawakami on the end of the Don Nelson era: "Nelson just couldn't win anymore. And it became clear that he stopped caring, too. That is how Nelson morphed himself into the Cohan Culture, with spot moments of success amid long periods of massive distress and political intrigue. I don't know how the Lacob era will turn out. Maybe well, maybe more seasons of failure. But Lacob knew that had to start by moving Don Nelson aside -- and all his eccentricities and feuds and controversies along with him. Nelson wasn't the worst thing about the Warriors. But he was, in the end, the most visible and corrosive influence on the players and fans. By cleaning him out, Lacob creates a fresher Warriors climate and a brand new era."
Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:38 pm

Preseason Primer: Houston Rockets

Posted by Matt Moore

The Rockets finally have Yao Ming healthy. They finally have Tracy McGrady out of their hair. They finally have the pieces together to make another run. But can any of the pieces fit together? Are they really as dangerous as everyone says they are? Does speaking in rhetorical questions make you want to read this, our next selection in our Preseason Primers ? Let's find out as we talk about the Rox.

Training camp site: Houston, TX (Hidalgo, TX in early October)

Training camp starts: September 25th

Key additions: Brad Miller (free agent), Courtney Lee (trade), Patrick Patterson (draft)

Key subtractions: Trevor Ariza (trade), David Andersen (trade)

Likely starting lineup:
Aaron Brooks (PG), Kevin Martin (SG), Shane Battier (SF), Luis Scola (PF), Yao Ming (C)

Player to watch:
Patrick Patterson. Assuming the Rox don't go all nuts and acquire Carmelo Anthony during camp, their starting lineup is pretty well set. But Patterson is a rookie who comes out of that ridiculous Kentucky class and could wind up being the kind of flex player that makes a big impression on Rick Adelman. He's versatile, strong, has a good mid-range, and can work inside of a complex offense. He's got a great opportunity to make an impact for the Rockets during camp.

Chemistry quiz:
The Rockets have seemed like a team that's liked one another for years. They hung together when Yao Ming went down, and their samurai-like approach last year was noble, even if it fell short. Basically, even without the star talent you need to win in this league, the Rockets were the team you didn't want to run into in a dark alley. They were tough, gritty, and hung together. The addition of Kevin Martin, trying to reassert himself as a premier player in this league could cause issues, and there's no telling if the same goodwill will maintain with as many changes as the Rockets have made in the past two years. But the core elements are in place, and the tone of camp should be fun and focused, instead of contentious and tense. Not having solified expectations due to Yao's injury should help with manners as well.

Camp battles:
Small forward was set to be a huge battle but promising second year man Chase Budinger tweaked an ankle and won't be able to battle old man Battier for the slot left open by Trevor Ariza's departure. Jermaine Taylor, Courtney Lee, and Jared Jeffries should have a good one for the backup role behind Martin. Jordan Hill vs. Patterson should make for a nice one as well, with Hill's scrap versus Patterson's finesse providing contrast in style.

Injury issues:
Budinger's ankle is significant, but other than that the Rockets seem really healthy and don't have any pro...OH, YEAH. Yao Ming is coming back from an injury that's held him out for a year and a half and is trying to just stay on the floor while the rest of the team holds its breath everytime his feet leave the ground. camp.

Biggest strength:
Doin' work. The Rockets put in a full effort every night, a testament to both the roster assembled and Rick Adelman's job. They lacked an identity last year without Yao, but it did help them to adjust to whatever they faced. The Rockets can get out and run, or grind it out. They're really best when they're doing both. They'll battle for every loose ball and every player knows his role. It's a strong team they've put together.

Glaring weakness:
Three point shooting. Brooks isn't an efficient shooter. Martin's three point shooting dropped off a cliff last season. Budinger can shoot, but the rest of the team isn't great from the arc, including backup point guard Kyle Lowry.
Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:36 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2010 4:38 pm

Donnie Walsh kind of regrets the McGrady trade

Posted by Royce Young

While Carmelo Anthony prefers New York to any other destination, it looks like it will be difficult to get him there, at least this season. The Knicks are lacking what the Nuggets want and as Alan Hahn of Newsday reports, the Knicks aren't pursuing Anthony with near as much aggression as they did LeBron James.

The Nuggets have said they want three things: cap relief, a young talent and picks. The Knicks are good in two of those areas - cap relief (Eddy Curry) and young talent (Toney Douglas, Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph and Danilo Gallinari). What they lack is draft picks, because the one they had was sent to Houston in a trade last season for Tracy McGrady.

And that's something general manager Donnie Walsh questions himself over constantly.

"I'll second-guess myself forever on that," Walsh told the New York Daily News in talking about including a 2012 first-round pick in the McGrady trade. "I've always wondered about that. I didn't like it when we did it."

I have to say, Walsh's honesty there is refreshing. Not too often do GMs admit that they may have gotten something wrong. Typically, even if a move was horrible and never came close to working out, there's some kind of justification and explanation that tries to show how it made sense at the time. But Walsh doesn't walk down that path here. He says he thinks he may have blew it.

Because at the time, it kind of did make sense. The McGrady trade helped create the cap space needed for the Knicks to sign Ray Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire this offseason. And without those moves, New York might not looks as appealing to Anthony. But that's a maybe. What we know is that Houston owns the pick the Nuggets would want.

But Walsh is trying to atone. He told the NY Daily News that he's trying to acquire a first-round pick that he could potentially use in a deal for Carmelo. But he's going to have to give something up to get it. It's just the circle of life in NBA transactions. A revolving door of moves that can be second-guessed forever.

GMs have to make choices all the time and when they don't work out, there's no one to blame but themselves. Though in a lot of cases, they try and point the finger or at least give an excuse. Walsh made a trade last year that resulted in the Knicks clearing space for a run at LeBron James. They didn't get him, but instead landed Amar'e Stoudemire. But that trade could be what costs New York Carmelo Anthony. And it's what's keeping Donnie Walsh awake at night.
Posted on: September 22, 2010 2:09 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2010 2:33 pm

Dampier appears to be signing with Miami (maybe)

Posted by Royce Young

For reasons that still confound me, there's been quite the hub-bub over where Erick Dampier might sign. And it looks like we might finally have an answer. Maybe.

Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel reports that Dampier worked out for the Heat today and that he's already gone through the meet-and-greet process. Winderman added that Dampier's signing appears "imminent, if not already done."

So we can go back to worrying about Carmelo now, right?

Not so fast. Ken Berger of CBS Sports says according to a source close to the situation, no decision has been made, but Miami is in the lead with Houston and Denver also in the mix. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated also says no deal has been done according to a league source. A decision will likely be made by tomorrow.

If Dampier signs with Miami, that would put their already large roster at 19 players, meaning training camp should be a lively one. Indications are that Da'Sean Butler will have the 15th roster spot with Kenny Hasbrouck and Patrick Beverley likely missing out. But that still means there are two spots that have to be cut. With Dampier, an extra big man like Shavlik Randolph becomes expendable and rookie Dexter Pittman might be sent to the D-League.

The reasoning for the Heat to go so hard after Dampier still escapes me as well. Granted, it's not the strongest front line (though it probably is the slowest), but there's already a pretty good logjam there. Miami has Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jamaal Magloire, Udonis Haslem, Chris Bosh and Juwan Howard already on the roster with guaranteed deals. Now you add Dampier. Where does he fit? Who does he play in front of? Dampier is more capable of defending say, Dwight Howard than some of those others, but it makes you wonder if Miami would like to dump Magloire right about now if this signing happens.

I guess he maybe starts over Anthony, but still that's a good number of veteran players that will be spending a lot of time on the bench. But seeing as the combined age of the Heat's centers is something like 700 years old, maybe it's good to have a few extra.
Posted on: September 22, 2010 10:51 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 10:52 am

Your daily Carmelo Anthony update

Posted by Royce Young

Are you getting tired of reading about Carmelo Anthony? I sure hope not, because I'm not tired of writing about him... yet. But every day there's a little news here, and a little news there. Over the past 24 hours or so, a few more rumors and reports have made their way out. Here's the latest:
  • According to the Denver Post, Houston is active in discussing a trade for Anthony, and are dangling shooting guard Kevin Martin. Adding in Martin makes Houston a contender because of the Rockets' assets, plus a trade exception they have that could allow them to give up a young asset over someone like Shane Battier.
  • However, Sam Amick of FanHouse reported that Houston's discussions have not included Martin to this point. Again, the Rockets have assets and a couple young players. But they'll have to throw in a good player, especially with New Jersey reportedly offering up a package that includes everything Denver might want. So if Houston wants to play, Martin will likely have to be involved.
  • Chad Ford and Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Knicks head the list for Anthony still. But we already knew that. But the new news is that the Bulls are firmly planted as 1A on his list. Anthony's representation has reportedly ramped up pressure on the Nuggets to get a deal completed prior to training camp.
  • The Nuggets however are holding out hope that if they can get Anthony into camp, maybe he'll change his tune. That hope is pretty much a pipe dream at this point, but you can't blame them for clinging to their star. Reports say they aren't in any kind of rush and are willing to take time to get every offer they can.
  • By all indication, Anthony's preferred list is 1) New York; 1A) Chicago 2) New Jersey; 3) Houston. While that's Anthony's list, the rankings for who might actually land him are probably 1) New Jersey; 2) Chicago; 3) Houston and 4) New York.
That's pretty much it for now. Until someone files another report saying Carmelo still wants out, New York is tops on his list or that someone made someone an offer, we sit and wait. Just like Carmelo.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com