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Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rockets

The L.A. Clippers announced today the team has acquired guard Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, center Montrez Harrell, guard Darrun Hilliard, guard DeAndre Liggins, guard Lou Williams, forward Kyle Wiltjer and a 2018 First Round Pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Chris Paul.

“Since winning back-to-back championships, the pursuit of a third title has remained the ultimate goal for our franchise,” said Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. “We feel that combining two of the league’s greatest players in James Harden and Chris Paul, operating in Coach D’Antoni’s system, gives us a championship caliber team that will compete at the highest level for years to come.

“On behalf of the Rockets organization and our fans I’d also like to thank Sam, Montrezl, Kyle, and Lou for helping make this past season a special one. I’d also like to personally express my deepest gratitude to Pat Beverley, who, for the past five seasons, always left everything he had out on the court.”

Paul (6-0, 175) has racked up a multitude of honors across his 12 NBA seasons split between the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and the Clippers. A nine-time All-Star, Paul has also been named All-NBA First Team four times, Second Team three times and Third Team once. In addition, Paul has been named NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times and Second Team twice and helped Team USA capture a gold medal in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

For his career, Paul has started all 834 of his games played, while averaging 18.7 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.29 steals while shooting 47.3% from the floor, 37.0% from 3-point range, and 86.6% from the line with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.08. He is the only player in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.00 steals. There are only three other players in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds (Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and John Wall).

Paul has averaged a point/assist double-double in six of his 12 seasons, including three of the past four. That is already the fourth-highest total in NBA history, trailing only John Stockton (12), Magic Johnson (9), and Steve Nash (7). Four of Nash’s seven seasons averaging a double-double came while playing for current Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix. Nash was also named NBA MVP twice during his four seasons with D’Antoni.

Among players who were active last season, Paul has the most career assists (8,251) and steals (1,912) and ranks 10th in NBA history in assists and 15th in steals. He joins Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Stockton as the only players with at least 8,000 assists and 1,900 steals.

Paul has hit at least 120 3-pointers in each of the past three seasons after not having more than 92 in a season prior for his career. He also shot 39.3% from behind-the-arc over the past three seasons after shooting 35.7% his first nine seasons. Paul averaged a career-high 2.0 3FGM on a career-best 41.1% shooting in 2016-17.

Earlier today the Rockets completed five separate trades with Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Portland:

· Houston acquired forward Ryan Kelly from Atlanta in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired guard DeAndre Liggins from Dallas in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired guard Darrun Hilliard from Detroit in exchange for cash considerations.
· Houston acquired forward Shawn Long from Philadelphia in exchange for a future second round pick and cash considerations
· Houston acquired guard Tim Quarterman from Portland in exchange for cash considerations.

Beverley, 28, was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2017, the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2014 and recently received the 2017 NBA Hustle Award. Last season with Houston, Beverly averaged career-highs in rebounds (5.9), assists (4.2) and steals (1.48). Over five seasons with the Rockets, he appeared in 291 games, holding career averages of 9.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.26 steals in 28.5 minutes. Initially selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 42nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft out of the University of Arkansas, Beverley spent three-plus seasons playing internationally in Greece and Russia, before joining Houston in December 2012. Beverley averaged 13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his two collegiate seasons with the Razorbacks.

Dekker, 23, appeared in 80 games over his first two NBA seasons with the Rockets, averaging 6.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists, while shooting 47.3% from the field. The University of Wisconsin stand-out spent three collegiate seasons with the Badgers, holding averages of 12.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 27.9 minutes and led Wisconsin to back-to-back Final Four appearances in his sophomore and junior seasons. Dekker was a two-time Second-Team All-Big Ten selection (2014 & 2015), and his 1,363 points rank 17th all-time in Wisconsin school history.

Harrell, 23, holds career averages of 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds, while shooting 65.1% from the field in 97 appearances over two seasons with the Rockets. The 32nd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Harrell was a member of Louisville’s 2013 NCAA Championship team, earned First Team All-AAC honors in 2014 and received the Karl Malone Award as the nation’s top power forward as a senior in 2015.

The 2015 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Williams, 30, averaged a career-high 17.5 points in only 24.6 minutes per game last season with Houston and Los Angeles. In 12 NBA seasons with Philadelphia, Toronto, Los Angeles and Houston, he holds career averages of 12.8 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 782 career games with 90 starts.

Originally the 45th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2005 NBA Draft out of South Gwinnett High School near Atlanta, Williams was a 2005 McDonald’s All-American and was named the 2005 Naismith Prep Player of the Year.

Hilliard, 24, holds career averages of 3.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 77 appearances over two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native was selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by Detroit.

Liggins, 29, holds career averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 119 appearances over four seasons with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.

Wiltjer, 24, averaged 0.9 points and 0.7 rebounds in 14 games last season as a rookie in Houston.

Sixers trade Shawn Long to Rockets

The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired a 2018 second-round pick and cash considerations from Houston, President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today. In exchange, Houston received the player contract of forward Shawn Long from Philadelphia.

Long appeared in 18 games with the Sixers after signing a 10-day contract on March 6 and a multi-year deal on March 16. He posted averages of eight points and five rebounds in 13 minutes per game over the course of his 18 NBA appearances.

Long signed with Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent on July 8, 2016. After being waived on Oct. 24, he joined the Sixers’ G League affiliate in Delaware. Long appeared in 39 games (36 starts) with the 87ers, averaging 20 points, 11 rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes per game. He was named a G League All-Star.

Blazers trade Tim Quarterman to Rockets

The Portland Trail Blazers have traded guard Tim Quarterman to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

“We thank Tim for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best for the future,” said Olshey.

Quarterman, 22, appeared in 16 games for the Trail Blazers during his rookie 2016-17 season with the team, posting averages of 1.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 5.0 minutes.

Portland originally signed Quarterman as an undrafted free agent out of LSU on July 25, 2016.

The Clippers are about to take a big step downward, while the Rockets are on the rise. Here’s ESPN.com on the news:

Rockets will reportedly trade for Chris Paul

The Houston Rockets have reached an agreement on a trade for LA Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul, sources told ESPN.

The Rockets will send Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams and a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Paul…

The Clippers were determined get something for Paul rather than lose him for nothing, sources told ESPN, so Paul instead agreed to opt in for the final year of his contract (worth $24.2 million) to facilitate the trade.

The Rockets, needing to make another move to make the financials work before they can officially acquire Paul, are telling teams that they’ve assembled the needed pieces and the trade is headed to the league office for approval, sources told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

Hawks trade Ryan Kelly to Rockets

Hawks trade Ryan Kelly to Rockets

The Atlanta Hawks have traded forward Ryan Kelly to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced today by General Manager and Head of Basketball Operations Travis Schlenk.

Kelly appeared in 16 games for the Hawks last season. He was originally signed on September 20, 2016 and waived on October 19, 2016. He re-signed on October 31, 2016 and was waived on January 6, 2017. He signed again with the Hawks on February 24, 2017 to a multi-year contract.

Mavericks trade DeAndre Liggins to Rockets

The Dallas Mavericks have traded guard DeAndre Liggins to the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations.

Liggins most recently spent the majority of 2016-17 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In Cleveland, he saw action in 61 games (19 starts) and averaged 2.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 12.3 minutes per contest. The Cavaliers requested waivers on Liggins on April 9, 2017 and was awarded to the Mavericks in time to play the final game of the season. In that game, he registered 8 points and 7 rebounds in 25 minutes to help the Mavericks defeat the Memphis Grizzlies.

Liggins (6-6, 209) was originally drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 53rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 2.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 9.9 minutes in 119 career games (20 starts) with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.

The Chicago native played three seasons at the University of Kentucky. As a junior, Liggins averaged 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 31.6 minutes as a starter while helping lead the Wildcats to the NCCA Final Four in Houston.

Mike D`Antoni wins 2016-17 NBA Coach of the Year award

During yesterday’s inaugural NBA Awards Show, Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was named NBA Coach of the Year for the 2016-17 season as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the third coach in franchise history to win the award, joining Tom Nissalke (1976-77) and Don Chaney (1990-91).

This marks D’Antoni’s second Coach of the Year award, having won in 2004-05 after leading Phoenix to a franchise-high tying 62 wins. He is the eighth coach in NBA history with multiple Coach of the Year honors and joins Gregg Popovich as the only ones who are active.

In his first season as head coach of the Rockets, D’Antoni guided the team to a 55-27 mark after Houston went 41-41 in 2015-16. The 55 wins tied for the fourth-most in franchise history. The Rockets clinched a playoff spot on March 14, 2017 after not securing one until the regular season finale in 2015-16. D’Antoni was named Western Conference Coach of the Month in December after Houston went 15-2, tying for the most wins in a single month in franchise history.

D’Antoni engineered an offense which set the NBA record for the most 3-pointers made in a single season with 1,181. Houston finished second in the league in scoring with 115.3 points per game, tying for the second-highest scoring average in franchise history. The Rockets scored at least 130 points 12 times in 2016-17, marking the highest single season total by any team dating back to 1992-93.

During his time in Phoenix, the Suns posted the NBA’s three-highest single season totals for 3-pointers made from 2004-05 through 2006-07. Prior to 2004-05, only three teams had more than 700 3FGM in a single season. Since D’Antoni’s final season with Phoenix in 2007-08, 73 teams have hit at least 700 3-pointers in a single season, including 25 of the 30 teams in 2016-17.

Eric Gordon wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year award

During tonight’s inaugural NBA Awards on TNT, Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the first player in franchise history to receive the award.

In his first season with the Rockets, Gordon came off the bench in 60 of his 75 games played after starting 398 of 417 career games entering 2016-17. He finished second on the team in scoring with 16.2 points per game and had the third-highest scoring average (16.3 ppg) of any reserve with at least seven appearances this season.

Gordon ranked fourth in the NBA with 246 3-pointers made this season after not having more than 141 in a season prior. He set the NBA single season record for the most 3FGM by a reserve with 206, breaking the previous mark of 179 by Mirza Teletovic in 2015-16. Gordon also became the first player in Rockets history to win the 3-point contest during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Over a 21-game span from Nov. 27 through Jan. 5, Gordon averaged 4.6 3-pointers made on 47.1% shooting. He hit at least three 3FGM in each of the first 13 games of that stretch, tying for the third-longest streak in NBA history.

The Rockets were 35-7 in games in which Gordon scored at least 15 points, including 17-2 when he scored 20 or more. He averaged 17.6 ppg on 43.6% shooting (41.3% 3FGs) in wins compared to 13.4 ppg on 34.3% shooting (28.4% 3FGs) in losses.

Patrick Beverley named to NBA All-Defensive First Team

Today, the NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley was named NBA All-Defensive First Team as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the fourth different player in franchise history to earn All-Defensive First Team honors and the first since Scottie Pippen in 1998-99. It is the second time Beverley has been named to an All-Defensive Team, having earned Second Team distinction in 2013-14.

Despite missing 15 games in 2016-17, Beverley still ranked tied for sixth in the league in charges taken and was third amongst guards. He was also one of eight players with at least 200 deflections and 100 loose balls recovered, and the only one to do so in fewer than 75 games played.

Beverley helped the Rockets rank fourth in 3-point defense in 2016-17 (opponents 34.3%) after Houston finished 21st in 2015-16 (opponents 36.1%). The Rockets were 26-5 when holding opponents below 33.3% shooting from behind-the-arc this past season.

Ryan Anderson excited to reach 2nd round

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with some insight on Rockets forward Ryan Anderson, who isn’t used to reaching the second round of the playoffs and is obviously excited about it:

Ryan Anderson excited to reach 2nd round

Rockets forward Ryan Anderson found himself in the second round for just the second time in his career, having advanced past the first round in his first playoff experience, but never since.

Anderson reached the second round with the 2009-10 Orlando Magic, but lost in six games to the Boston Celtics, the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Back in the second round, Anderson, a nine-year veteran, sought to appreciate the opportunity that has not come often.

Rockets begin resting up for playoffs

Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting on the Rockets, who have begun a resting pattern as they prepare for the upcoming playoffs, which begin a week from tomorrow.

Rockets begin resting up for playoffs

The Rockets on Friday began mixing in rest days for some of their regulars, giving starting center Clint Capela the night off and making plans to have sixth man Eric Gordon sit out either Sunday in Sacramento or Monday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

James Harden, Pat Beverley and Trevor Ariza are expected to play through the remaining games, though likely with reduced playing time.

“We want to have some dress rehearsals, we want to keep our rotation similar, but possibly less minutes,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said.

Rockets sign Troy Williams

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Troy Williams and assigned him to their single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. He originally signed a 10-day contract with the Rockets on March 10.

In five D-League games with the Vipers, Williams is averaging 21.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 52.8% from the floor.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Troy Williams to a 10-day contract. Williams is the 38th “Call-up” of the 2016-17 season.

And immediately with this move, the Rockets have assigned Williams to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Williams (6-7, 218) was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Indiana University and signed as a free agent with Memphis on Aug. 8, 2016. He appeared in 24 games for the Grizzlies this season.

In 23 D-League games, Williams is averaging 12.8 points in just 20.0 minutes per game. He won the D-League Dunk Contest held during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Rockets trade Tyler Ennis, Brad Newley draft rights to Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired guard Tyler Ennis and the draft rights to guard/forward Brad Newley from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Marcelo Huertas, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Ennis has appeared in 31 games for the Rockets this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.1 assists in 6.3 minutes per game. Formerly the 18th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, he owns career averages of 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 110 games with Phoenix, Milwaukee and Houston.

Newley was selected by the Rockets with the 54th overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. A two-time representative for Australia’s Olympic team, he currently plays for AEK Athens in Greece.

Huertas averaged 3.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 76 games with the Lakers.

Rockets trade K.J. McDaniels to Nets

Rockets trade K.J. McDaniels to Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired K.J. McDaniels from the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations.

McDaniels has appeared in 128 career games with Houston and Philadelphia, recording averages of 5.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. In 29 games with the Rockets this season, McDaniels has averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per game. The 24-year-old native of Birmingham, Ala., began his NBA career with the 76ers, averaging 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game in 52 games during his rookie campaign before being traded to the Rockets on February 19, 2015. He signed a multi-year contract with Houston on July 20, 2015. McDaniels was originally selected with the 32nd pick (second round) in the 2014 NBA Draft by Philadelphia after spending three years at Clemson, where he garnered All-ACC First Team honors and was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year following his junior season.

Lakers trade Lou Williams to Rockets

Lakers trade Lou Williams to Rockets

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has acquired guard Lou Williams from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for guard/forward Corey Brewer and the Rockets first round pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft.

“This trade allows us to continue on the path of building something special, while maintaining future flexibility within the organization,” President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson said. “Additionally, Corey is a proven veteran that will make a positive impact on our team right away.”

Brewer, 30, has appeared in 58 games (eight starts) for the Rockets this season, averaging 4.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.9 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Brewer has averaged 9.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists through 687 career NBA games. The former Florida standout was a two-time NCAA champion before winning an NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.

Williams was originally the 45th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2005 NBA Draft out of South Gwinnett High School near Atlanta. In 12 NBA seasons, he is averaging 12.8 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in 759 career games with 90 starts. Williams was Sixth Man of the Year while playing for Toronto in 2014-15.

This season, Williams is averaging a career-high 18.6 points in just 24.2 minutes per game. In NBA history, the only player to average at least 18.0 points in 25.0 or fewer minutes played was Freeman Williams (19.3 ppg in 24.1 mpg) for San Diego in 1980-81. Williams also ranks fifth in the NBA in fourth quarter scoring this season with 7.7 ppg. He scored a total of 137 points off the bench over a four-game stretch from Dec. 3 through Dec. 9, marking the highest four-game total by a reserve since starts were tracked by the NBA in 1970-71.

Williams is shooting 44.4% from the floor this season, which would be his highest percentage since shooting a career-best 47.0% in 2009-10. He is averaging over two 3-pointers made for this first time in his career on a career-high 38.6% shooting. Williams is also shooting a career-best 88.4% from the line this season and 82.5% for his career.

Of reserves with more than one appearance this season, Williams has the highest scoring average at 18.7 points per game. Houston’s Eric Gordon is second with 17.5 ppg. Dating back to 2007-08, Williams has the highest point total (7,918) of any reserve in the NBA. Over that 10 season span, he also has made 348 more free throws than any reserve has attempted.

The 40-18 Rockets are reportedly sending little-used shooting guard K.J. McDaniels to the Nets.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, via Twitter, “Houston has traded K.J. McDaniels to the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell @TheVertical. Unloading McDaniels to the Nets frees $3M in cap space to use on the buyout market for Houston.”

McDaniels, a 6-6, 205-pound guard who played college ball at Clemson and is in his third NBA season, is averaging 2.8 points in 7.3 minutes per game this season.

James Harden will need new agent

Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting on Rockets guard James Harden and how some Laker-related news will affect him:

James Harden will need new agent

Once Rob Pelinka completes the process of going from player agent to Lakers general manager, Rockets guard James Harden will be a max-contract without representation. But he said he has not been barraged by agents trying to recruit him.

“I changed my number so nobody’s calling,” Harden said, at least in part to avoid the pitches sure to come.

“I told him, he’s worked extremely hard. To get an opportunity to be a GM, and the GM of the Los Angeles Lakers, take it. I’ll figure out what I got to do next. But it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I’m happy for him.”

Eric Gordon wins 3-point shootout

The 3-point shootingest team in NBA history has its first 3-point shooting champion.

Eric Gordon had to work overtime. He had to overcome the distraction of James Harden’s fishing lure shiny jacket. He even had to tune out the smattering of boos around Smoothie King Arena, where he played for five seasons before he escaped the “dysfunction” to join the Rockets.

Gordon, however, had spent the season coming off the bench and shooting 3s. With 3 ½ months of preparation, he had the best round of the competition and a triumphant extra round, taking the championship before he even reached his final rack…

Gordon defeated Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving in the overtime shootout, fittingly defeating a player that grabbed headlines with a flat Earth theory in a game of ‘around the world.’

– Houston Chronicle

Pelicans sign Donatas Motiejunas

Pelicans sign Donatas Motiejunas

The New Orleans Pelicans signed free agent forward/center Donatas Motiejunas (pronounciation: doh-NAH-tahs moe-tee-YOU-nus) today.

Motiejunas, 7-0, 222, played for the Houston Rockets from 2012-16. In 214 career regular season games, the Lithuanian native holds averages of 7.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.0 minutes per game. He was set to return to the Rockets this season but the two sides were unable to work things out.

Motiejunas will wear number #12 for the Pelicans.

The team’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

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