Archive for the ‘ Houston Rockets Blog ’ Category

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.

Enjoy these video highlights of Rockets guard James Harden’s best plays from the 2013-14 season:

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on center Omer Asik, who is gone from Houston:

No negativity toward Rockets from Omer Asik

Former Rockets’ center Omer Asik said that he was going to miss Houston and was grateful for his time with the Rockets.

Asik, the only NBA player on the Turkish national team, is preparing for the FIBA World Championships taking place later this month in Spain.

Just before coming back to Turkey this summer, he found out he would be traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. Asik said he was excited for the opportunity and that he would miss the people in the Rockets organization and his teammates.

He said there were no hard feelings toward the franchise despite the early season drama that surrounded the team’s acquisition of Dwight Howard. Asik, a former starter, had been made a backup to Howard and then suffered a series of leg injuries. Despite the tough year, he was key in the postseason, starting alongside Howard against the Blazers and giving the Rockets the “twin towers” look that they were after when the season started.

James Harden discusses the Rockets

Here’s CSN Houston reporting on the Rockets:

James Harden discusses the Rockets

While in the Philippines for a basketball charity event, James Harden shared his opinion on how the Houston Rockets will move forward without some of the players who’ve been lost or jettisoned this offseason. His thoughts sound a lot like the ones Dwight Howard shared earlier this month.

“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” said Harden told The Philippine Star. “The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.”

Howard, who was speaking at his basketball camp in Atlanta, said, when asked about losing Chandler Parsons to Dallas, “It won’t affect us at all. We have myself and James. We have the best center and the best two guard in the game on the same team. It’s on us.”

michael redd

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have signed forward Chandler Parsons.

According to multiple reports, the deal is for three years, $46 million.

Parsons (6-9, 227) was a restricted free agent who played the first three years of his career with the Houston Rockets. As a Rocket, he averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 34.5 minutes in 213 games (207 starts).

Last season, Parsons started all 74 games in which he played averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 37.6 minutes while shooting .472 from the field, .370 from three-point range and .742 the foul line.

Recently, Parsons was added to the 2014 USA Basketball Men’s National Team roster and will participate in the team’s training camp beginning July 28 in Las Vegas.

The Casselberry, Fla., native was a standout at the University of Florida. As a senior, Parsons was named the 2011 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and Associated Press honorable mention All-America. He was drafted by Houston with the 38th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Here’s the Dallas Morning News with a report on the Chandler Parsons situation:

Mavs, Rockets discussing a possible Chandler Parsons sign-and-trade

The Dallas Mavericks have not yet submitted their signed offer sheet to the Houston Rockets as both teams have been talking about the possibility of a sign-and-trade that would land Chandler Parsons in Dallas.

The Mavericks have until midnight to submit the deal to the Rockets, who then would have 72 hours to decide whether to match the three-year, $46-million offer for the restricted free agent.

It makes sense for the Mavericks to see if a sign-and-trade that might be equitable for both sides and eliminate the possibility of Houston matching the deal for Parsons. Once an offer sheet is submitted, sign and trades are not allowed.

“There’s communication because there’s sign-and-trade possibilities,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said Thursday morning.

Here’s the Associated Press via the Star Tribune reporting on versatile small forward Chandler Parsons and the Mavs:

Mavericks will reportedly sign Chandler Parsons to offer sheet

The Dallas Mavericks have made a move at small forward, agreeing with restricted free agent Chandler Parsons on a three-year offer sheet worth more than $45 million.

Houston will now have to decide whether to match the offer.

Two people with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday night that Parsons agreed to the offer sheet with the Mavericks, while a third person confirmed the terms. The people commented to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the offer sheet can’t be officially signed until Thursday, when the NBA’s moratorium on signing free agents ends.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on the Rockets and the 2014 NBA Draft, which took place last night:

Rockets feel Clint Capela has huge upside

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey raved about his picks and joked that every general manager does. He said his second round acquisitions, Nick Johnson and Alessandro Gentile, could quickly compete for places in the rotation. He said his first-rounder, Clint Capela, has more upside than any but the top players drafted.

When he was asked about Capela’s determination to make the jump to the NBA next season, rather than to remain in France, Morey said little.

He did not rule it out, but he did not go into the factors to be considered, including whether he would need to keep Capela overseas to save as much cap room as possible.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Gentile’s or Capela’s agents so it would be unfair for me to talk about that right now,” Morey said.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on Rockets forward Terrence Jones:

michael redd

By the end of the season, Rockets forward Terrence Jones had his routine down.

Before every game, he would take a few shots on the court, then headed to the dining room to get a plate of his favorite pasta. He sat at his locker, watching video of that night’s opponent on a large screen in the locker room while eating dinner and listening to music in his headphones. Under his practice shirt, though, his heart was pounding.

Jones was calm like a seasoned veteran before every game, but he was also eager like the 22-year old second-year NBA player that he is.

At the start of the season, Jones was one of the players on the list of forwards who would have to step up and fill a role for the Rockets this season. At the end, he was the Rockets’ regular starter and a reliable piece of the puzzle they have been trying to build.

Friday in Portland, the Trail Blazers beat the Rockets 99-98, eliminating Houston in six games from the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 13 rebounds in the win. But the play of the day was Damian Lillard hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to win it for the Blazers. Here are multi-angle video highlights of Lillard’s game-winning shot:

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