Archive for the ‘ Houston Rockets Blog ’ Category

Rockets sign Josh Smith, waive Tarik Black

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed unrestricted free agent Josh Smith. The versatile big man was the youngest player in NBA to record 500 career blocks, was twice named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week (12/9/07 and 12/10/12) and was named to the 2010 All-NBA Defensive Second Team.

Smith (6-9, 225, Oak Hill Academy) owns career averages of 15.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.0 blocks in 781 games (758 starts) with the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons. The versatile big man averaged career highs of 18.8 points, 9.6 rebounds per game while starting all 66 games of the 2011-12 season. Smith has averaged double-digit scoring in every season since his rookie year in 2004-05. He has also started 52 career postseason contests, averaging 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, as well as winning Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series in 2009, 2010 and 2011

Selected by the Atlanta Hawks 17th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft, Smith rank’s highly among many of Atlanta’s all-time franchise leaders. He ranks ninth in games played (676), seventh in total rebounds (5407), ninth in free throws made (2044), fifth in steals (857) and second in blocks (1440).

The 11th year forward was waived by the Detroit Pistons on December 22, 2014 and was signed as a free agent by the Rockets after clearing waivers on December 24, 2014.

In order to maintain a roster of 15 players, the team has requested waivers on Tarik Black.

Black (6-8, 253, Kansas), has appeared in 25 contests with the Rockets this season (including 12 starts) averaging 4.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game. Undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, Tarik Black was originally signed by the Houston Rockets on August 27, 2014.

Rockets will sign Josh Smith

Houston Rockets will sign Josh Smith

Rockets will sign Josh Smith

Forward Josh Smith, recently waived by the badly-struggling Detroit Pistons, is going to clear waivers and reportedly sign a contract with the Houston Rockets.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, “Josh Smith has committed to signing with the Houston Rockets, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. He clears waivers at 5 PM today.”

The Rockets, with a 20-7 record through Tuesday’s games, are having an excellent season, and are much-improved on the defensive end this season. They’ve kept winning even while center Dwight Howard was out.

Several reports say Smith will start for the Rockets. While that may be the case, considering the Rockets already have nice chemistry, we think Smith is best used in limited fashion, at least initially, so the team can see exactly how he fits in. Giving him a huge role right away seems questionable. But still, if managed properly, this is a good move for both Smith and Houston.

Three-team trade sends Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved to Rockets

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has acquired forward Corey Brewer from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Alexey Shved from the Philadelphia 76ers as a part of a three-team trade.

In the deal, the Rockets will send Troy Daniels to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with the Sacramento Kings 2015 2nd Round Pick (protected for picks 50-60), Houston’s 2016 2nd Round Pick (protected for picks 31-45) and cash considerations. Houston will send its 2nd Round Pick and the rights to Serhiy Lishchuk to Philadelphia. Minnesota will send Corey Brewer to Houston and Ronny Turiaf to Philadelphia. Philadelphia will convey Alexey Shved to Houston.

In order to facilitate the transaction, the Houston Rockets have waived Francisco Garcia and the roster now stands at 15.

The draft picks acquired by the Wolves in the trade are as follows: Houston’s protected second round pick in 2016 and Sacramento’s protected second round pick in 2015 (originally acquired by Houston on Sept. 17, 2014).

Brewer (6-9, 185, Florida) has averaged 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals in 24 appearances (16 starts) with the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. The eighth year veteran’s numbers mark career-highs for rebounds, assists and steals per game. After being drafted seventh overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brewer has appeared in 491 career games (265 starts) with Minnesota, Dallas and Denver holding career averages of 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Brewer also adds 19 games of playoff experience to the Rockets roster, including winning an NBA championship in 2011. In his time at the University of Florida, Brewer won two NCAA championships and was named the 2007 NCAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Shved (6-6, 187, Russia) has averaged 9.9 points, 2.7 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game in 17 appearances with the Philadelphia 76ers this season. The third year pro went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft and originally signed as free agent with the Minnesota Timberwolves on July 23, 2012. In 157 career appearances (including 16 starts) with the Timberwolves and 76ers, Shved holds career averages of 6.9 points, 2.5 assists and 1.3 rebounds per game.

Troy Daniels, 23, owns career averages of 4.0 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists in 22 games, one start, in parts of two seasons with the Rockets. In five games in 2013-14, the 6-4 guard averaged 8.4 points on 48.4% shooting, including 48.0% (12-of-25) from beyond the arc. In four postseason contests, Daniels posted averages of 7.8 points on 52.9% shooting, including 53.3% (8-of-15) from deep. Daniels hit the go-ahead 3-point shot with 11.9 seconds left in overtime to propel the Rockets to a 121-116 win over the Blazers on April 25, 2014. Two nights later he scored a new playoff career-high 17 points (5-of-7 FG, 4-of-5 3FG, 3-3 FT) in Game 4 at Portland.

Originally undrafted out of Virginia Commonwealth University, Daniels spent much of the 2013-14 season in the NBA Development League with the Rio Grande Valley where he averaged 21.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 48 games (37 starts). He led the D-League in three pointers made with 240 — a league single-season record — and ranked eighth in the D-League in scoring average with 21.5 ppg. Daniels was signed by the Rockets on February 21, 2014. 

Garcia (6-7, 195, Louisville) has 3.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in 14 appearances with the Houston Rockets during the 2014-15 season. The tenth year player and product of the Dominican Republic was re-signed by the Rockets this past offseason on September 29, 2014.

Houston Rockets recall Clint Capela from D-League

Rockets recall Clint Capela from D-League

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team recalled center Clint Capela from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Capela (6-10, 245, France), appeared in six games with the Vipers averaging 9.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 14.1 minutes per game. Prior to his D-League assignment, Capela appeared in one game with the Rockets on November 6th versus San Antonio, recording three rebounds and one assist. The former Elan Chalon player out of France was selected by the Rockets 25th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The Houston Rockets are off to a great start this season with a 9-3 record, though they’ve dropped two games in a row. Center Dwight Howard is in recovery from a minor knee issue. Here’s the Houston Chronicle with the latest:

Dwight Howard recovering from knee strain

The Rockets listed Dwight Howard as “day-to-day” to return from his strained right knee, but no one seemed to think that day would be Saturday.

Rockets coach Kevin McHale even said the Rockets would “probably” be without Howard when they face the Dallas Mavericks. The question that will only be answered then is whether his knee or the Rockets’ offense needs more therapy.

Howard had sat out Wednesday’s game against the Lakers with no announcement coming until minutes before tip and after Howard had been in uniform intending to play.

As a player, Steve Kerr was a key role player for squads that won championships. Now he’s coaching one of the key squads in the  league.

Guard Jason Terry, now towards the end of his days as a player, still has skills, mostly as a backup guard at this point.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting on their past:

Steve Kerr and Jason Terry share basketball roots

Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Rockets guard Jason Terry go back a long way. Not only did the two both play in the NBA at the same time – early in Terry’s career and near the end of Kerr’s – they also knew each other from summer pick up games in the University of Arizona gym.

“I remember when Jason first got to U of A, I was going back a lot in the summers and I played pick up ball with the guys,” Kerr, also an Arizona alum, said. “He was a sophomore and I was maybe in my fifth year in the league and you could tell he was going to be good right away.”

Terry was familiar with Kerr and would speak with him often. The two became friends over the years and have always kept in touch.

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchange words in regular season opener

The 2014-15 NBA regular season began Tuesday night, featuring three games, the last of which was a Rockets win over the Lakers that unfortunately included LAL rookie Julius Randle breaking his leg. But there was also some fun in the form of former teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchanging some less-than-pleasant words.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with more:

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard exchange words

The Lakers’ season opener was supposed to be about the return of Kobe Bryant. After missing all but six games last year, the All-Star was to be back on the court to save the Lakers from another postseasonless season.

Part of that comeback would include running into Rockets center Dwight Howard, who Bryant has a rocky history with.

While both players have said since before the start of the 2013-14 season that their drama was in the past, it became the present on Tuesday night at the Staples Center, when the two shared some words in the fourth quarter.

After Howard elbowed Bryant in the face after a rebound, the two started talking. Video shows Howard saying, “I know you, dog,” and Bryant saying, “Try me” and calling Howard “soft” as he approached the Lakers bench.

Lakers face Rockets on NBA opening night

Lakers face Rockets on NBA opening night

The 2014-15 NBA regular season begins tonight! Basketball is back.

There are two 8pm ET games: Pelicans/Magic and Spurs/Mavericks. And at 10:30pm ET the Lakers face the Rockets. Nobody expects much of the Lakers this season, but as long as Kobe Bryant is healthy and can lace up his sneakers they are going to be of interest. And they did add Carlos Boozer, and rookie Julius Randle. So there’s that.

Here’s the Orange County Register with more on the Lakers/Rockets:

Maybe the 2012-13 feud between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard feels like ancient history.

But the two former teammates will hit a different kind of milestone Tuesday on the opening night of the NBA’s regular season: It will mark the first time the two have played against each other since Howard spurned the Lakers to sign with the Rockets.

It’s true. While Howard played four games against the Lakers last season, Bryant missed each contest because of injuries.

Howard and Bryant openly bickered in their one season together and after Howard signed with the Rockets, Bryant delivered the ultimate insult imaginable in this tech age.

He unfollowed Howard on Twitter.

Rockets waive Jeff Adrien, Earl Clark, Robert Covington, Akeem Richmond, Ish Smith

michael redd

The Houston Rockets have waived Jeff Adrien, Earl Clark, Robert Covington, Akeem Richmond and guard Ish Smith, according to general manager Daryl Morey.

Adrien (6-7, 245, Connecticut), who spent last season with Charlotte and Milwaukee, averaged 6.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 53 games played in the 2013-14 season. Over his four year NBA career, Adrien has averaged 4.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game. In seven preseason games with the Rockets, he averaged 4.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game. Adrien was signed by the Rockets on July 18, 2014.

Clark (6-10, 234, Louisville), a sixth year forward appeared in 54 games during the 2013-14 season with Cleveland (45 games) and New York (nine games) averaging 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14.2 minutes. Over the course of his career, Clark has appeared in 251 games, including 54 starts, with the Cavaliers, Knicks, Magic and Suns. He holds career averages of 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 14.1 minutes. Clark was claimed off waivers by the Rockets on October 24, 2014 and did not appear in any preseason games with the Rockets.

Covington (6-9, 215, Tennessee State), a second year forward appeared in seven games for the Rockets last season averaging 2.3 points and 0.7 assists in 4.8 minutes per game. During the 2013-14 season, Covington also appeared in 42 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League, averaging 23.2 points and 9.2 rebounds in 34.1 minutes per game. Covington appeared in one preseason game with the Rockets, scoring three points in four minutes played versus Memphis on October 9th. He was originally signed by the Rockets on July 13, 2013.

Richmond (6-0, 180, East Carolina), an undrafted free agent in the 2014 NBA Draft spent the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons at East Carolina after transferring from Rhode Island following his sophomore year. Richmond appeared in 139 contests over the course of his NCAA career (61 starts) averaging 11.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in 25.3 minutes played. Richmond was signed by the Rockets on October 24, 2014 and did not appear in any preseason games with the Rockets.

Smith (6-0, 174, Wake Forest), who spent last season with Phoenix, averaged 3.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in 70 games played in the 2013-14 season. Over his four year NBA career, Smith has averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per game. He was originally undrafted out of Wake Forest in the 2010 NBA Draft. He appeared in seven preseason games with the Rockets, averaging 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 17.5 minutes per game. Smith was signed by the Rockets on July 18, 2014.

The Rockets roster now stands at 15.

Rockets sign Akeem Richmond, waive Geron Johnson

rockets

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed Akeem Richmond as a free agent and requested waivers on Geron Johnson.

Richmond (6-0, 180, East Carolina), an undrafted free agent in the 2014 NBA Draft spent the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons at East Carolina after transferring from Rhode Island following his sophomore year. Richmond appeared in 139 contests over the course of his NCAA career (61 starts) averaging 11.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in 25.3 minutes played. In his senior season, the point guard was named to the 2014 All-Conference USA Second Team.

Johnson (6-3, 203, Memphis), appeared in 67 contests at Memphis University holding career averages of 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 28.3 minutes. Johnson was signed on October 24, 2014 and did not appear in any preseason games for the Rockets.

earl clark

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has claimed forward Earl Clark off waivers and requested waivers on Josh Powell.

Clark (6-10, 234, Louisville), a sixth year forward appeared in 54 games during the 2013-14 season with Cleveland (45 games) and New York (nine games) averaging 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds in 14.2 minutes. Over the course of his career, Clark has appeared in 251 games, including 54 starts, with the Cavaliers, Knicks, Magic and Suns. He holds career averages of 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 14.1 minutes. Clark was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 23, 2014.

Powell (6-9, 225, NC State), a seven year NBA veteran appeared in one preseason game for the Rockets this year collecting one rebound in six minutes played. Powell also played in the regular season finale of the 2013-14 season versus New Orleans on April 16th, recording four points and five rebounds in 19 minutes of action.

rockets

The Houston Rockets have signed guard Geron Johnson and requested waivers on forward Akil Mitchell, General Manager Daryl Morey announced today.

Johnson (6-3, 203, Memphis), appeared in 67 contests at Memphis University holding career averages of 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in 28.3 minutes. An Ohio native, Johnson spent his junior and senior season as a Memphis Tiger after transferring from Garden City Community College (KS). In his senior season at Memphis, he guided his team to a 2014 NCAA Tournament win over George Washington.

Mitchell (6-9, 230, Virginia), appeared in 133 contests and held career averages of 6.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists as a Virginia Cavalier. He was a participant on Houston’s Las Vegas and Orlando Summer League teams, but has not appeared in a preseason game.

Jason Terry sees big things for Rockets

There is optimism and there is OPTIMISM. New Rockets guard Jason Terry predicts big things for his squad. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Jason Terry sees big things for Rockets

“As far as the roster goes, when you have two studs such as James Harden and Dwight Howard, you have a realistic shot at winning the championship,” Terry said.

“That’s what it’s about for me. I have one. I lost one. Now I just want another opportunity.

“I see us going all the way. If you look at the Western Conference, everybody’s gotten better. People look at our team and they’re trying to figure us out. I just think we have the talent. I think it’s about us going out every day, competing against each other, creating a championship environment. If we do that, I think we’ll put ourselves in a position at the end of the year to do something very special here.”

Houston adds Akil Mitchell

Mitchell (6-9, 230, Virginia), appeared in 133 contests and held career averages of 6.9 points on 51.9% FG shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists as a Virginia Cavalier. Over the course of his four year NCAA career, the power forward finished seventh in school history in rebounding (798) and fourth in games played (133). In his senior season, Mitchell was named to the 2013-14 ACC All-Defensive Team.

More info: http://www.insidehoops.com/rockets-sign-akil-mitchell-092614.shtml

Rockets sign Kostas Papanikolaou

Rockets sign Kostas Papanikolaou

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Kostas Papanikolaou.

Papanikolaou (6-9 225, Greece) was drafted 48th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. On July 16th, 2012 his rights were acquired by Portland in a trade that sent Raymond Felton to New York. Houston later acquired his rights in a trade that sent Thomas Robinson to Portland on July 10, 2013.

The Greek forward spent last season overseas playing for FC Barcelona of the Spanish Liga ACB, where he won the 2013-14 Spanish National Champiosnhip. Papanikolaou averaged 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 25 minutes per game with FC Barcelona during the 2013-14 season. The 24 year old spent the previous four seasons (2009-2013) with Olympiacos BC in his native Greece. In his stint there, Papanikolaou won two Euroleague Championships (2011-12, 2012-13), the Greek League Championship (2012) and two Greek Cup Championships (2010, 2011). He was also named Euroleague Rising Star (2013), Greek League All-Star (2013), two-time Greek League Best Five Team (2012, 2013), and two-time Greek League Best Young Player (2009, 2012).

Kostas Papanikolaou has played with two current Rockets in his time overseas. He shared the floor with Joey Dorsey during the 2013-14 campaign on FC Barcelona and played alongside Patrick Beverley in 2012-13 with the Olympiacos.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle blog reporting on new Rockets guard Jason Terry:

New Rocket Jason Terry a long-time fan of Houston arena

If Jason Terry did not already know, Daryl Morey made sure to fill him in about his reputation with Rockets fans.

The Rockets general manager might not have used the term “Rockets killer,” but in one of his first conversations with Terry after reaching agreement on the trade that officially brought Terry to Houston on Wednesday, Morey told him that many Rockets fans have considered him one of their most bitter rivals.

Being regarded as a particularly vexing nemesis could have been considered a complement, but Terry said some of the same emotions that inspired his play against the Rockets will also allow him to return to that level now that he’ll play for the Rockets.

“It was always special playing in the Houston Rockets’ arena,” Terry said. “There’s about six or seven arenas around the league that when you step foot in that arena, you feel like, ‘Man, I want to have a big game.” So every time I faced Houston … I always wanted to … perform at high level. Now that I’m joining the Rockets, hopefully I can provide that same energy, that same excitement that they faced for years.”

Rockets maintain relationships in China

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on the Rockets:

Rockets CEO Tad Brown, former player Clyde Drexler and point guard Pat Beverley just returned from a trip to China where they met with some of the Rockets’ business partners and interacted with the fan base.

“It’s always great to go to China,” Brown said. “We are the most popular NBA team in China by a longshot and its great to reconnect with the fan base every year and see the passion they have for the Rockets.”

It was a quick trip — the three left Friday and returned Tuesday morning. In the short amount of time, they were able to make time for a handful of events and appearances to go along with the business meetings.

Brown said that Beverley was a hit among the fans.

Here’s Reuters, via the Toronto Sun, reporting that Dwight Howard, or whoever drives his car, makes questionable decisions on the road:

dwight howard

The Florida driver’s licence of Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has been suspended for his failure to pay a fine for running a red light, court records show, but the team said on Tuesday he was playing basketball in Texas the day of the alleged infraction.

According to the court records, Howard’s licence had been suspended since at least Aug. 15 for his nonpayment of a $285 fine for running a red light in Winter Park, Fla., on April 14.

“It couldn’t have possibly been him,” said Houston Rockets spokeswoman Tracey Hughes, who told Reuters that Howard and the Rockets were playing the San Antonio Spurs in Houston on that date. “Dwight played 31 minutes. He scored 20 points and 17 rebounds.”

UPDATE: According to TMZ Sports, “Dwight Howard might be color blind — ’cause officials in Florida say he ran 10 RED LIGHTS in 2-and-a-half years — and now his license has been suspended.”

Houston Rockets sign forward Tarik Black

Houston Rockets sign forward Tarik Black

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Tarik Black, a participant on the team’s Orlando and Las Vegas Summer League squads.

Black (6-8, 253, Kansas), appeared in 135 contests and held career averages of 8.4 points on 61.4% FG shooting, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over the course of his four-year NCAA career. In his lone season at Kansas, he was named Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and went on to average 15.0 points per game in the NCAA Tournament. In three years at Memphis, Black was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, All-Defensive Team and All-Tournament Team.

In five contests at the 2014 Orlando Summer League with the Houston Rockets, Black averaged 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and a team-leading 1.0 blocks in 20.0 minutes per game. Black also appeared in eight games for the Rockets in the Las Vegas Summer League as the team reached the Samsung NBA Summer League Championship.

Rockets re-sign Francisco Garcia

Rockets re-sign Francisco Garcia

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced that the team has re-signed unrestricted free agent guard/forward Francisco Garcia.

Garcia (6-7, 195, Louisville) has averaged 8.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 535 career games (137 starts) with Sacramento and Houston. Last season with the Rockets, Garcia averaged 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 19.7 minutes. Acquired by the Rockets in a trade with the Kings on Feb. 20, 2013, Garcia averaged 6.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.78 steals in 18 games (five starts) during his first season with Houston. He was also a big contributor in Houston’s 2013 playoff series with Oklahoma City, averaging 10.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in six games (three starts) against the Thunder. Garcia, who was the longest tenured King when acquired by the Rockets, averaged 5.2 points, 1.7 boards and 1.1 assists in 17.8 minutes per outing over 40 games (15 starts) with Sacramento in 2012-13. Entering his ninth NBA season, Garcia was originally selected by the Kings as an early entry candidate out of Louisville with the 23rd overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.

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