Tag:Houston Rockets
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:38 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 9:53 am

Report: Atlanta Hawks consider Josh Smith trade?

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly considering trading forward Josh Smith. Posted by Ben Golliver. josh-smith

Finally, someone other than Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala is involved in a trade rumor!

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Atlanta Hawks and forward Josh Smith might be headed for a break-up.
The Atlanta Hawks have started to gauge trade interest on forward Josh Smith, and Smith isn’t averse to ending his seven-year stay with his hometown team, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.

Smith hasn’t requested a trade, but has privately told league friends that the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic are his preferred destinations should the Hawks decide to move him.

“The relationship has run its course,” said a league source with knowledge of the dynamic.
Smith is on the books for $12.4 million next season and $13.2 million in 2012-2013. Those are hefty numbers but his versatile game is probably worth it.

At 25, Smith has flirted with figuring it out over the course of his NBA career, but always seems to revert back to his bad habits: poor shot selection and moody behavior. An exceptional athlete and game-changing defender, Smith is at his best when fully motivated and engaged, attacking the basket and using his leaping ability to play above defenders.

He stuffs the stat sheet, averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals in 34 minutes per game in 2010-2011. Smith has never been selected as an NBA All-Star, but he's been on the fringes of the discussion in recent years.

Smith should be able to produce those numbers, or similar, for at least the next three to five seasons. One factor for teams interested in trading for him: He will likely command a sizable contract when his current deal is up, as he will be hitting free agency at the age of 27.

Of the teams listed, the New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic jump out of the group in terms of having a specific positional need. In Orlando, Smith would be paired with childhood pal Dwight Howard to make the best four-five combination in the league. Houston would be an intriguing option too, and the Rockets, with two first round picks and lots of young talent, might very well be able to present the Hawks with the best offer.
Posted on: June 20, 2011 1:01 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 1:51 pm

NBA Draft 2011: 3 GMs in the pressure cooker

Three GMs have more riding on the 2011 NBA Draft than the others. Posted by Ben Golliver.


In all the NBA Draft over-analysis, mock drafting and trade rumors, it’s easy to lose track of a big picture, fundamental truth about this time of year: Thursday night means vastly different things to different teams.

For the league’s poorest sisters, it represents hope; for the middle of the road teams, it’s a bit of a crapshoot; for true contenders, it can become almost an afterthought. For rebuilding teams, it’s the center of years of planning; for veteran teams, it can be almost irrelevant. For small market teams, the draft is the best – if not only -- chance they’ll get to land a superstar; for the successful larger markets, it can be just another day on the calendar.

The 2011 NBA Draft carries added importance for three franchises. Whether because of poor on-court performance,  endless stagnation, financial implications or potential relocation, the stakes are highest for three teams and their executives. With so much riding on the draft this year, a swing and a miss could prove fatal for these three chief basketball decision-makers. 

Minnesota Timberwolves – David Kahn

Recent First Round Draft Record: Wesley Johnson (2010), Ricky Rubio (2009), Jonny Flynn (2009), Wayne Ellington (2009).

Let’s start with the Minnesota Timberwolves because articles about GMs potentially getting fired always start with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

President David Kahn has been the laughingstock of the NBA for a few years now, but he recently got in a few chuckles of his own when Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio finally decided to take his talentos to the Great White North. Rubio’s presence addresses Minnesota’s two biggest problems. They lacked a franchise-type point guard and desperately needed a hype factor to get fans in the seats following two seasons that produced a combined 32 wins.

There is a catch: Rubio might not actually be that good and it’s an open question whether Minnesota has the support system and personnel around him to ensure that he succeeds in the short-term.

The Timberwolves hold the No. 2 pick and have question marks up and down the roster. They’ll need to turn that pick and other fringe assets into multiple rotation players to ensure a smooth transition for Rubio and to keep Kevin Love from grumbling about his lot in life again.

Kahn has essentially staked his job on Rubio’s success as a pro. If the Timberwolves aren’t able to make significant forward progress in the 2011-2012 season, it’s difficult to envision their way too patient owner Glen Taylor letting Kahn have another go-round.

Houston Rockets – Daryl Morey

Recent First Round Draft Record: Patrick Patterson (2010), Joey Dorsey (2008), Aaron Brooks (2007).

We’ve reached the point where the theoretical idea of Daryl Morey is far better than the actual Daryl Morey. The Rockets’ famed “Moneyball” style architect has gone years without drafting an impact player in the first round. Try as he might via the trade route, he hasn’t been able to locate a core building block to replace chronically injured center Yao Ming, so the franchise has spun its wheels, missing the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. The Rockets admitted to themselves that a rebuild was in order this summer, an idea that former coach Rick Adelman apparently didn’t take kindly to. Enter new coach Kevin McHale.

Focusing relentlessly on market inefficiencies can sometimes cloud the bigger picture. Star types win in the NBA, and the Rockets don’t have any. Kevin Martin and Luis Scola both exist one tier below where they need to be to truly build around long-term. The issues facing Houston next season, then, are two-fold: No one is going to get that roster to play harder and produce more than Adelman did, and the No. 14 spot on Thursday will not yield a franchise difference-maker.

To give the franchise some direction, Morey will need to get creative by packaging assets to get a true top end talent. There’s no better time to do that than draft week. Another NBA Draft week with a zero on the board, you would think, would force Rockets owner Les Alexander to change his thinking from “What have you done for me lately?” to “no, really, what have you actually done?”

Sacramento Kings – Geoff Petrie

Recent First Round Draft Record: DeMarcus Cousins (2010), Tyreke Evans (2009), Omri Casspi (2009), Jason Thompson (2008), Spencer Hawes (2007), Quincy Douby (2006).

The Maloof Family is a mess. The Kings’ ownership group is bleeding money, selling off assets, skimping on payroll and hinting that they will try to leave Sacramento again after next season. The NBA had to step in this summer to help conduct the team’s basic business affairs. Sad stuff.

Kings president Geoff Petrie, despite solid picks in each of the last two drafts, has found himself in chopping block rumors for most of the last year. That’s what happens when your team misses the playoffs – and misses out on playoff revenue – for five straight seasons, winning just 66 combined in the last three years.

Sacramento is picking at No. 7 this year but has an ultimate trump card in the form of tons and tons of available cap space to facilitate trades. Of any team with just one first round pick, the Kings have the most flexibility and widest variety of options this week. With Evans and Cousins in place as core blocks, the mandate is clear: put pieces around them that will turn this into a fringe playoff contender.  

Petrie isn’t simply drafting to keep his job. His decisions this week could ultimately impact whether the Kings win enough next season to keep the team in Sacramento. Given the shaky state of the Maloof family, the implications of the moves made this week could even extend to the ownership level. How many years of also-ran existence can the Maloof Family sustain before the coffers dry up? The Maloofs have steadfastly denied that they would ever sell the team but there could come a time when they don’t have a choice.

You want to talk about pressure? That’s pressure. 

Posted on: June 4, 2011 6:14 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 10:49 pm

Brad Miller had microfracture, out until January

Posted by Royce Young

Evidently, Houston center Brad Miller had microfracture surgery on his left knee in mid-May and will be out until January, according to SI.com.

Miller was in Sacramento for a charity function, where he was spotted on crutches. Miller makes his home in Sacramento in the offseason and said he's not all that concerned with regaining his explosiveness. Good one, Brad.

"After getting it scoped [arthroscopic surgery] last summer, I just had issues with it again this year, so I saw another doctor, and two doctors said it would be the best thing to do," Miller told SI.com. "I ain't got much vertical to get back [and] it's really not going to slow me down. [The doctors] said 'You're the ideal candidate for this. A non-jumping, slow white guy. You shouldn't really lose much.' No explosiveness is going to be lost here."

What's very odd though is that the surgery was never announced by the Rockets. Miller is under contract for next season with the team and it's commonplace for teams to announce when players have surgery, even the most minor kind. This is a major surgery, pretty much the biggest you can have. And yet there was no word from Houston about it. I really don't know what word to use other than shady.

I mean, you can't exactly hide this sort of thing, but there was absolutely no information given. That's weird. Yeah, it's Brad Miller this time and not Yao Ming, but Miller's still a rotation player and not having him for half a season will affect the Rockets some. Without Miller and Yao who's future with the Rockets is undecided, Houston is looking at starter Chuck Hayes being backed up by Hasheem Thabeet for the first 30 games or so.

With that, maybe there's some thinking that Houston looks at the market this summer for more big man help. A big reason Miller was signed last season was because of the uncertainty surrounding Yao. That proved to be a good move as Yao missed almost the entire regular season with a foot injury.

Who knows, maybe it was coming and the Rockets just hadn't gotten around to it. I made an inquiry to the Rockets about the situation to ask why it wasn't announced, so I'll update this when I hear back about it.
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 1, 2011 6:48 pm

Kobe tops LeBron as highest-paid NBA player

Kobe Bryant tops LeBron James as the highest-paid NBA player. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-lebron

After a dominant, awe-inspiring performance against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night, it seems like nobody can beat Miami Heat forward LeBron James on the court.

When it comes to who is bringing home the big money off the court, however, King James isn't yet the King.

In a Forbes.com evaluation of the world's 50 highest-paid athletes, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant checks in ahead of James. Forbes says Bryant has earned $53 million in the last 12 months, $5 million more than James' $48 million.

Bryant and James are the only two NBA players ranked in the top 10. Golfer Tiger Woods holds the No. 1 spot at $75 million.
Bryant leads 15 basketball players that made the list, more than any other sport. Bryant added Turkish Airlines and Mercedes-Benz’s Smart Car to his endorsement portfolio this year. His $24.8 million salary with the Los Angeles Lakers is $4 million more than any other NBA player. No. 3 on the list is Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who earned $48 million over the past year.
Forbes notes that its rankings "are derived from salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees, licensing and endorsement income in the 12 months ending May 1" and do not account for "taxes or agents’ fees."

Just as James looks poised to win his first NBA title this month, he could overtake Bryant -- and possibly even Woods -- on this list in the future. A recent report noted that a Heat championship could mean a billion dollar windfall in China for Nike and could push James past Bryant in terms of popularity in that crucial market. 

The next highest NBA player on Forbes' list is Houston Rockets cente Yao Ming, ranked No. 18, at $27.7 million. Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is ranked No. 19 at $27.6 million. Dwyane Wade, James' Heat teammate, and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony are the other NBA players that appear in the top 25.
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: May 28, 2011 1:47 pm

Rick Adelman done as NBA coach, wants to be GM?

Rick Adelman makes it sound like he's doing coaching in the NBA. Posted by Ben Golliver. rick-adelman

The Houston Rockets and head coach Rick Adelman parted ways back in April, and it took less than a month before his name popped up with regard to the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching position. But that job went to Mike Brown earlier this week.

In a revealing interview with the Portland Tribune, Adelman says he left the Rockets because management wanted to make changes to his staff and that he is interested in an NBA job, perhaps with the Portland Trail Blazers, that isn't as demanding as being a head coach.
“I’m looking to do something different, with not quite the stress the coaching aspect has. I have an affinity for Portland. Any way I could be involved, I would.”
Adelman takes it a step further when asked if he would be interested in the Indiana Pacers head coaching position, making it sound like he might be done coaching in the NBA all together. 
“I’m not sure if I’d be interested,” he says. “I have a feeling Larry [Bird] is going to take his time (hiring a coach). If someone calls, I’ll look at the situation, but I don’t know if I want to do the coaching thing again.”
Instead, it sounds like Adelman is ready for a move upstairs.
“It’s something I haven’t done, but I think I know the league pretty well,” he says. “I’ve worked for a number of GMs. I’ve always wanted to do something like that, but I’ve had pretty good success coaching. I would be very interested in trying something different."
Adelman, who is 64 years old, coached the Blazers through their "Rip City" early-1990s glory years, leading the team to the NBA Finals twice. The team fired its GM, Rich Cho, on Monday.

The transition from coach to GM is not an easy one. As good as his coaching record has been over 20 seasons and as respected as Adelman is around the league, you've got to like his chances of success in the management ranks.

But GM jobs are hard to come by, even for NBA lifers.
Posted on: May 27, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2011 9:26 pm

Rockets offer McHale 3-year coaching deal

Rockets to hire Kevin McHale as new head coach.

Posted by Matt Moore

Yahoo! Sports reports and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms the Houston Rockets have reached an agreement with Kevin McHale for the former Celtics great to become their next head coach. The report states the organization feels he can connect with their younger players and his career as a player will create a hunger for a championship. 

The Rockets-Celtics connections are pretty strong, with GM Daryl Morey having worked in Boston before taking the reins in Houston. Unfortunately, all this glosses over McHale's disastrous campaign in Minnesota, which featured multiple stints as head coach and a rocky if not terrible run as a general manager. Rockets fans will have significant questions about the hire, and the most optimistic response so far is one of "Well, I guess it's okay."

It also means yet another position for which Dwane Casey has been passed over, though the Mavericks assistant's current obligations may have something to do with that.

Update 2:23 p.m.: Yahoo! reports it's a three-year deal, with a team option for a fourth.
Posted on: May 22, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: May 22, 2011 4:01 pm

Decision on Yao Ming's future still months away

A decision on Houston Rockets center Yao Ming's future is still months away. Posted by Ben Golliver. yao-ming

Back in March, after suffering a season-ending stress fracture in his ankle, Houston Rockets center Yao Ming pledged to attempt a comeback rather than retire. 

At just 30 years of age, Yao would have years of playing ahead of him if not for persistent injuries to his feet and ankles. While Yao hasn't played in a game since November 2010 and has played in just five NBA games since the conclusion of the 2008-2009 season, the Houston Chronicle reports that Yao says it's still much too early to know whether he will be available next season.
Yao, 30, said he "might" know in August or September if he will ever play in the NBA again. He wants to. And he wants to play here. He just doesn't know if his body will enable him.

"It's too early to say still," he said. "The experience I have (tells me to keep) doing what I am supposed to do every day. You never know what will happen tomorrow."
In a separate report, the paper notes: "Rockets owner Leslie Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey have expressed their desire to re-sign Yao if he’s healthy."

For Yao, there's really no rush, especially if the Rockets are willing to take the patient approach. With that said, Yao's contract does expire this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent. If there's the possibility that his rehabilitation will take up a chunk of the 2011-2012 campaign, the Rockets could simply wait to sign him until there's more clarity on the issue.

The dialogue between the two sides seems open and positive so it would be mildly surprising if we've seen Yao for the last time in a Rockets uniform.

Posted on: May 21, 2011 4:18 pm
Edited on: May 21, 2011 4:33 pm

Report: Kevin McHale is 'frontrunner' for Rockets

Kevin McHale is reportedly the "frontrunner" to serve as the next head coach of the Houston Rockets. Posted by Ben Golliver. kevin-mchale

The Houston Rockets coaching search has dragged on for weeks, but the team has apparently found a favorite.

A few weeks back, Houston narrowed its list to three finalists: Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey and Kevin McHale. On Saturday, Yahoo! Sports reports that McHale has emerged from the back as the "frontrunner." The site notes that McHale made "a strong final push in the interview process."
No final decision has officially been reached, nor are contract negotiations underway, but McHale has clearly separated himself from Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey and Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, sources said. McHale made a strong final impression in conversations with Houston officials on Thursday in Chicago, and could receive a formal offer in the next week.
The Rockets are clearly in a rebuilding phase, having missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. Injuries to Yao Ming have handcuffed the team, both from a financial perspective and a roster-building perspective.

For the Rockets, McHale might represent an experienced NBA veteran with an affable personality to pull a team through the rigors of a rebuilding effort. At age 53, McHale's time in the NBA spans more than three decades as a player, coach, executive and television commentator.

McHale's previous coaching experience came in two runs with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he also served as a front office executive. McHale's career coaching record is 39-55.

As a player, McHale was a Hall of Fame forward for the Boston Celtics. He won three titles in his 13-year career and was selected to seven All-Star games.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com