Rockets trade Steve Francis to Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies reacquired its 2009 second-round draft pick from the Houston Rockets and also received guard and former Grizzlies draft selection Steve Francis, and cash considerations in exchange for a 2011 conditional second-round pick, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

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Houston originally received Memphis’ 2009 second-round pick along with the draft rights to Donté Greene (28th overall pick) in exchange for forward Darrell Arthur (27th) in a draft night trade on June 26, 2008. Arthur, a 6-9, 235-pound forward, ranks in the top 10 among NBA rookies in rebounds (4.6, 9th) and blocks (0.81, 7th) and is also averaging 5.8 points in 19.6 minutes in 26 games (21 starts) in 2008-09.

Francis, a three-time All-Star (2002, 2003, 2004), has averaged 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists 37.6 minutes in 576 career games (543 starts) in nine NBA seasons with the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks.

The 6-3, 210-pound guard was originally selected in the first round (2nd overall) of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies, but his draft rights were traded by the Grizzlies to Houston on August 27, 1999 in a three-team, 11-player deal.

The 31-year-old, who rejoined the Rockets as a free agent on July 20, 2007, has yet to appear in a game with the Rockets this season. Francis averaged 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 10 games (three starts) in 2007-08, but underwent successful season-ending surgery to repair a torn quadricep tendon in his right knee on Feb. 26, 2008.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 14 players.  Memphis will next host the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 26 at the FedExForum.

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