2010 NBA Offseason: Rockets Reportedly Out Of Anthony Sweepstakes

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Mannix: Rockets Put Aside Anthony Talks, For Now

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix is reporting that the Houston Rockets have dropped out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes for now.

No surprise, but hearing that HOU is out of the Melo sweepstakes. Rockets could get back in though if the process stretches for a while.

No surprise, indeed. The Rockets have had their fair share of trouble in attempting to lure stars to Houston, either through free agency or through a trade. With training camp underway, it wouldn’t make much sense for the Rockets to continue discussions, for such discussions would likely raise tension within the locker room and give players something to think about other than trying to win ballgames.

Don’t count the Rockets out just yet, though. They’ve proven to be very active in February, when the trade deadline approaches. If GM Daryl Morey sees an opportunity to make a move, he will.

That said, the New Jersey Nets are still in control of the Melo talks, assuming the Denver Nuggets decide to trade him.

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Report: Rockets 'Involved' In Trade Talks For Carmelo Anthony

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Houston Rockets have increased their level of involvement in trade talks with the Denver Nuggets to discuss forward Carmelo Anthony. Recently, it became known that the Nuggets would listen to offers from potential trade partners.

Feigen notes that in order to acquire Anthony, the Rockets would likely part ways with guard Kevin Martin, as the Nuggets are asking for a “’top player, draft picks and cap relief.”

The Rockets could use the trade exception acquired in the Trevor Ariza trade last week to provide the cap relief, but would not be able to offer the prospects taking at the top of the draft that the New Jersey Nets, considered the favorites to land Anthony, could offer. Any deal with the Rockets would likely have to include Kevin Martin in order to make the money work in a trade between teams over the salary cap.

As a semi-devoted stathead, I’m in the crop that believes Martin fits better with the Rockets than Anthony might. Though Anthony has the star power that the Rockets have been craving ever since Tracy McGrady lost his mojo and Yao became the world’s largest question mark, many believe that Melo fills the box score too inefficiently. Then again, if Rockets GM Daryl Morey believes that acquiring Anthony is the right move, perhaps I’m missing something.

We’ll see how it plays out, but don’t get your hopes up too high just yet. New Jersey is the clear favorite to land Anthony, and if the Los Angeles Clippers decide to join the mix (they’ve got quite a bit of assets themselves, so long as Anthony would agree to play for eternally-hated owner Donald Sterling), this could be a tough contest for the Rockets to win.

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Report: Rockets Have Plenty Of Competition For Erick Dampier

Earlier we noted a report that state the Houston Rockets were pursuing big man Erick Dampier, who was recently waived by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Chris Mannix of SI.com reports that a number of teams are interested in Dampier’s services.

The Rockets, Raptors, Heat and Suns are among the teams interested in signing free agent center Erick Dampier, multiple league sources told SI.com

Another team that could get into the discussions for Dampier is Philadelphia. The Sixers traded starting center Samuel Dalembert to Sacramento and are thin at the position, with only newly acquired Spencer Hawes and Tony Battie as natural centers on the roster.

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Rockets Offer Dampier Two-Year, $4 Million Contract

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Houston Rockets have offered free agent center Erick Dampier a two-year deal worth $4 million.

Seeking additional center depth with Yao Ming on a strict playing time limit, the Rockets have offered free agent center Erick Dampier a two-year, $4 million contract, a person with knowledge of the offer said on Wednesday.

Dampier, who was waived by the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday, is also expected to consider a minimum contract offer from the Miami Heat and an offer from the Memphis Grizzlies

Dampier averaged six points and 7.3 rebounds last season for the Dallas Mavericks. He is 35 years old and is entering his 14th NBA season.

Personally, I’m a little surprised by the move, though I realize frontcourt depth is a concern. That said, in signing Dampier, the Rockets would give themselves more options, which isn’t a bad thing. I do expect Dampier to seriously consider a move to Houston, but at the end of the day, he won’t see guaranteed minutes here. Miami has a more realistic chance at winning a title, which may be of Dampier’s greatest interest.

Look for him to land in Miami, but don’t count him out in Houston either.

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Rockets Offseason: Chase Budinger Out 4-6 Weeks With Ankle Sprain

After a solid showing at the 2010 Las Vegas Summer League, it appears Chase Budinger will have to wait a while before he can return to the big league hardwood.

Jason Friedman of Rockets.com reports that Budinger suffered an ankle sprain during practice Thursday.

C-Bud sprained his left ankle yesterday during a scrimmage. Moderate to severe sprain. Can resume bball activity in 4-6 weeks.

Budinger suffered a similar injury last December when he landed on an opposing player’s foot in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s too bad, because Budinger had been looking much more comfortable with his game of late. Jermaine Taylor should be the primary beneficiary of Budinger’s injury – he’ll look to impress the coaching staff in an effort to make the team.

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Report: Carmelo Anthony More 'Enthusiastic' To Join Rockets Than Knicks

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowksi is reporting that Carmelo Anthony would prefer to play in Houston rather than in New York.

Despite significant speculation the New York Knicks are the team that Anthony would most likely want to join, two sources close to him insisted the Knicks have been overstated as an object of his desire. Privately, Anthony has expressed more enthusiasm over joining the Houston Rockets than the Knicks, sources said.

This should further fuel speculation among Rockets fans that ’Melo could be wearing red before the season ends. Obviously, nothing is imminent at this point, but with Denver looking to trade J.R. Smith, it appears that the Nuggets are preparing to see their beloved star hit the road.

Anthony has also expressed interest in playing for the New Jersey Nets. Each team could likely offer a similar package for Anthony, as the Rockets now have a $6.3 million trade exception that instantly simplifies the process on their front. New Jersey has enough cash on their own to make a deal. Money, rather than talent received, is the primary concern for Denver here, though they would obviously like to see someone like Chase Budinger included.

While the Rockets are the better team today, the Nets have some talented young pieces in place and could be turn some heads in 2010.

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Former Longhorn Killer Smith Inks With Rockets

The Houston Rockets have signed the man who sent the University of Texas home last March. Point guard Ishmael “Ish” Smith is reported to have agreed to terms with the team Thursday evening.

Ishmael Smith has signed a contract with the NBA’s Houston Rockets, his former high-school coach, Scott Brewer, told the Independent-Tribune of Cabarrus County on Friday.
Brewer said that Smith signed a two-year deal with the Rockets on Thursday.

Smith is somewhat of a homeless man’s Rajon Rondo. Hopefully the rookie to be can provide the team with some much needed depth and a floor general for the third unit.

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Rockets, Lakers To Meet Opening Night On TNT

The Houston Rockets will open their 2010-11 campaign on October 26 against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. The game will be broadcast on TNT at 8:30 p.m. CDT.

On October 30, the Rockets will face the Denver Nuggets in their home opener on NBA TV at 7:30, which spells bad news for NBA League Pass owners.

Nice to see the Rockets make the NBA’s opening night slate. Surely, the league is banking on Yao Ming returning in time to face Kobe Bryant and the defending champs.

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Scola Given Permission To Play For Argentina At World Championships

In what comes as no surprise, Rockets power forward Luis Scola has received permission to play for home country Argentina in this year’s FIBA World Championships.

In case you’re interested, Tom Ziller over at FanHouse briefly discusses Scola’s impact on the world’s number one ranked squad.

Scola’s confirmation assures Argentina’s frontcourt will not be much worse off. Scola will team up with friend Fabricio Oberto, who last played for the Wizards. Michael Lee of the Washington Post reported Friday that Washington is interested in bringing Oberto back for one more year. Oberto’s 35, and Argentina’s in a touch of a pickle with its frontcourt going forward — the nation’s next big star up front is Patricio Garino, who won’t play in Turkey and just turned 17 years old. The situation could be precarious for the 2012 Olympics, depending on Scola’s availability and Garino’s development.

We’ll be rooting for Scola, until he plays against the United States. Actually, we may still root for him then. Viva Luis!

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The Dream Shake Reacts To The Brad Miller Signing

The Dream Shake appears to be mostly happy with the Brad Miller signing, although some commenters have complained about the length/expense of the contract. The main post up on the front page suggests that the contract is not much of an issue.

The contract? Sure, it’s more than it should be (3 years at $15 million). Miller is 34 years old and for every step he takes forward, he’s taking another two back. But that’s not the issue, and to be fair, the third year is only partially guaranteed at $1 million. Regardless of how much they’re paying him, Miller was a target that the Rockets managed to gobble up.

For extended analysis on the signing, visit our Rockets blog, The Dream Shake, and follow SB Nation Houston and TDS on Twitter.

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Miller, Rockets Agree To Three-Year Deal Worth $15 Million

Marc Stein of ESPN.com is reporting that the Houston Rockets have agreed with free agent center Brad Miller, formerly of the Chicago Bulls.

Miller said the opportunity was “too good of a deal to pass up,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

“It’s my favorite coach [Adelman] I’ve ever played for. I know [Martin] real well from our Sacramento days. Luis [Scola] had a heck of a year. And I finally get to play with Yao [Ming] instead of guarding his big butt. The team is pretty solid,” he said, according to the report

SB Nation Houston’s David Nuño has confirmed the signing as well.

Miller, 34, averaged 8 points and 5 rebounds per game for the Bulls last season. During his previous stint with Rockets coach Rick Adelman in Sacramento, Miller made two All-Star games and was known as one of the most versatile big men in the league.

Update (4:41 p.m. Sat.): The first two years of the deal are guaranteed at $5 million. The final year is partially guaranteed at $1 million.

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Rockets Ink Scola, Accomplish Offseason Retention Goal

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Rockets have agreed to a deal with restricted free agent power forward Luis Scola.

Rockets reach a deal with Luis Scola, a source said. Deal for five years, worth $47 million.

The details of the deal were not disclosed. The Rockets have now retained both of their restricted free agents, a goal that was made public in press conferences leading up to the offseason back in May.

Scola, 30, averaged a career-high 16.2 points per game last season. His defensive rebound rate was tops among the league for much of the season as well. Scola will be an integral part of any success that the Rockets have in 2010. You should be ecstatic to see him return.

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Rockets Make Offer To Brad Miller

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle , the Rockets have made an offer to Brad Miller.

Miller’s agent, however, said nothing has changed as of Wednesday, and that Miller is still considering all of his options. Head Coach Rick Adelman on the subject would like to reunite with Miller, saying:

“We don’t want to go through the season again having to play Chuck (Hayes) or that small again there (at center). I think it wore us down.”

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Rockets Plan To Match Cavs Offer For Lowry

As expected, the Houston Rockets will match the Cavaliers offer for PG Kyle Lowry.

News broke as Daryl Morey said via Twitter:

Congratulations to Kyle Lowry on signing his new deal. We plan to match the agreement and we are excited he will be returning to the Rockets

Lowry was a key part of the Rockets' rotation last year, averaging nearly 25 minutes a game.

Update (3:30 p.m.): The Rockets have officially re-signed Lowry. The deal is done.

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Cavaliers Sign Lowry To Offer Sheet

According to beat reporter extraordinaire Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Cleveland Cavaliers have signed restricted free agent guard Kyle Lowry to a 4-year contract worth $24 million.

The offer is for three years with a fourth-year team option that could make the contract worth up to $24 million. The Cavs are using a portion of their midlevel exception to sign Lowry. The Rockets have said they intend to match reasonable contract offers for Lowry.

It is unclear at this point whether the Cavs loaded the contract with a signing bonus or other incentives that would make it harder for the Rockets to match.

As Windhorst notes, the Rockets have been quite upfront about their intentions to retain both Lowry and free agent power forward Luis Scola. Lowry has been a good fit with the Rockets’ second unit since being acquired in a three-team deal two years ago.

Certainly, unless the contract is hiding a few major incentives, the Rockets will match. $6 million per year (roughly) is not an unreasonable amount for the former Villanova Wildcat.

Since Lowry is a restricted free agent, he doesn’t have much control of his own destiny – this will be settled by the two teams involved. The Rockets have seven days to match the offer sheet. Look for them to wrap this up quickly.

For more, check out SB Nation's Rockets blog, The Dream Shake, or follow SB Nation Houston and TDS on Twittter.

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Rockets Will Sign Rookie Patterson Following Fourth Summer League Game

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle is reporting via Twitter that the Houston Rockets will officially sign first round pick Patrick Patterson following the conclusion of Tuesday night’s Vegas Summer League game against the Toronto Raptors.

Still nothing done for Rockets in FA market, but will sign rookie Patrick Patterson after today’s game. #hounews

Patterson has impressed during his three Summer League games thus far and is a near lock to make the Rockets’ final 12-man roster.

Update! The deal has been agreed upon and signed. Patterson will get a two-year guaranteed contract, with two one-year options to boot.

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Rockets Closing In On Brad Miller

According to Gary Woelfel of the Racine Journal-Times, the Houston Rockets are close to signing Brad Miller.

Woelfel did not elaborate on the contract, expect more updates soon. 


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Source: Proposed Chandler Deal Likely Dead

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that trade talks between Houston, Toronto, Miami and Charlotte have all but dissolved.

Chances of HOU and CHA involved with four-way deal with MIA and TOR appear to be dying.

This comes hours after SB Nation Houston's David Nuno tweeted the same information.

Trade talks involving rockets in 4 way deal with Tyson Chandler coming to Houston are dead right now.

In the meantime, Miami has traded Michael Beasley, the center of the original four-team deal, to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. With Beasley out of the picture, this version of a Chandler trade is no longer in place.

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James Spurns Cleveland, Joins Heat

LeBron James announced to the world on Thursday night that he intends to play for the Miami Heat next season. Free agents Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have also pledged to join the Heat – the only thing standing in their way is the paperwork.

It remains to be seen what kind of role players Pat Riley and the Heat will be able to place around the ‘new Big 3.’ However, if the Heat are able to trade away Michael Beasley and his giant contract, they should be able to find suitable players who will want to win a championship.

How does this affect the Rockets? Tune in to SB Nation Houston tomorrow for a breakdown.

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Stein: Rockets Throw Themselves Into Beasley Talks, Hope To Land Chandler

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets have entered trade talks with the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Bobcats, who in turn are discussing a trade with the Miami Heat. The Heat are reportedly pressing for the Raptors to take Michael Beasley and send him to Charlotte, which would be the first part of a four-team trade.

The proposed deal, per Stein:

The proposed deal, sources said, would send Beasley and Rockets forward Jared Jeffries to Charlotte, land Bobcats center Tyson Chandler in Houston and create sufficient cap space for Heat president Pat Riley to offer max-contract money to Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and James.

The trade would land Toronto a trade exception and presumably a first round pick from Miami. Currently, the Raptors are not interested in the proposed deal, but Charlotte and Miami are keeping talks alive.

Chandler would give the Rockets another 7-footer and would provide quality defensive and rebounding insurance behind Yao Ming. The 27-year-old averaged 6.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season with the Bobcats, but had averaged between eight and twelve rebounds per game every season since 2004. The move would give the Rockets the size they’ve been looking for without having to A) Trade too much away, and B) Clog the roster.

For more, check out SB Nation's Rockets blog, The Dream Shake, or follow SB Nation Houston and TDS on Twittter.

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LeBron Leaning Towards Miami

Though LeBron James will be making his decision official on Thursday night, Chris Broussard believes James has already made the decision:

“Sources with knowledge of the situation indeed saying LeBron will join Wade and Bosh in Miami, barring a late change of heart”

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Confirmed: Bosh, Wade Make Announcement On SportsCenter

Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh announce their plans to play together on the Miami Heat on SportsCenter Wednesday afternoon.

Bosh and Wade said that the opportunity to play together was too great to turn down.

“We’ve wanted to play with each other and we have a golden opportunity to do that. We’re going to take advantage of it,” Bosh said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

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Report: Bosh To Join Wade In Miami

Chris Broussard of ESPN.com is reporting that Chris Bosh will join Dwyane Wade in Miami, regardless of what LeBron James’ plans are.

Wade and Bosh are expected to announce their decision on Wednesday afternoon, according to the source, and continue to lobby James, along with Heat president Pat Riley, to join them in Miami, despite the financial complexities involved for the Heat to make room for all three.

It currently remains unclear how Bosh will get to Miami. If he does not arrive in South Beach via sign-and-trade, he leaves roughly $30 million on the table. The Toronto Raptors had reportedly backed away from a potential trade with the Heat, citing a lack of current roster talent as reason not to partake in a deal. However, with Bosh’s decision firmly in hand, the Raptors may have no choice but to try to get something back in return for their departing star.

This afternoon’s expected announcement will bring an end to the Rockets’ pursuit of Bosh. The Rockets will likely focus on re-signing Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry before making any further moves.

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Let The Dominoes Fall: James To Announce Decision Thursday On ESPN

It appears that the first major free agency decision will be announced on Thursday night, as LeBron James’ camp has announced that the superstar forward will announce his plans live on ESPN. Chris Broussard appeared on Tuesday night’s Sportscenter to break the news.

John Ourand from Sports Business Journal has more on what exactly will take place:

ESPN: LeBron and his people will sell sponsorships around the hour-long special. They will donate proceeds to charity. LeBron’s “people” approached ESPN, not the other way around. Proceeds – don’t know how much – will go to Boys & Girls Club of America.

Once James makes his decision, others should soon follow. Perhaps the biggest unknown at this point is Chris Bosh, who could be headed to Miami, Chicago, New Jersey, New York Cleveland or Houston.

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Report: Raptors OK Sign-And-Trade Scenario With Cavs

An ESPN source says a deal to send Chris Bosh to the Cavaliers is set in place. That is, if Bosh is okay with the deal.

In a previous report, the Raptors were unwilling to do a sign and trade with Bosh. However, in this deal, they would be receiving Anderson Varejao and/or J.J. Hickson, Delonte West and possibly Anthony Parker.

Bosh has shown no signs of wanting to play in Cleveland and has constantly indicated that he wants to play in a bigger city as a team's star player. Houston's current advantage is that it can offer both of these to Bosh. However, all signs point to Miami or Chicago as the leading candidates to land the power forward. But Houston is still in the mix.

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Off The Market: Amar'e Stoudemire Signs With New York

Many post-July 1 reports suggested that the Houston Rockets were actively pursuing former Phoenix Suns forward Amar’e Stoudemire. Even after Jonathan Feigen reported that a sign-and-trade with Phoenix was unlikely, there still remained rumblings surrounding Stoudemire and the Rockets. Now, it appears that we can officially put those rumors to bed.

Cue Adrian Wojnarowski:

Amar’e Stoudemire has agreed to a 5 year, $100 million deal with the Knicks, his agent, Happy Walters, tells Y! Sports. “All done,” he said.

To be blunt, Stoudemire’s signing is likely a good thing for the Rockets. He wasn’t a giant upgrade over Luis Scola to begin with. Plus, the trade packages that were being mentioned for Amar’e were borderline crazy, especially if the Rockets intended to re-sign Scola.

In other words, don’t worry that the Rockets missed out on Stoudemire. He wasn’t worth the price tag in the first place.

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Rockets Take Out Half-Page Ad In Houston Chronicle To Love For Scola, Lowry

The Rockets have had quite an imaginative free agency campaign, already handing out iPads and sending fans on a free agency caravan. Now, they've taken out a half-page ad in the Houston Chronicle in order to show how badly they want to keep restricted free agents Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry.

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You can help, too. Tweet something along the lines of "we want you back" to @lscola4 and @klow7 per GM Daryl Morey's request. I'll make sure to put in my two cents - if you're unaware of Lowry and Scola's contributions and value to the Rockets, know that they'll be well worth the cost to keep them.

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Wojnarowski: Rockets Offering Ariza, Scola And Battier In Trade Talks

No stranger to NBA chatter, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Rockets are offering up three of their best players from last season in order to land a top-tier power forward via sign-and-trade.

In their quest to land either of the top two free-agent power forwards – Chris Bosh or Amar’e Stoudemire – the Houston Rockets have been offering Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier and free agent Luis Scola in potential sign-and-trade packages, league sources said.

The Rockets would like to keep Aaron Brooks if at all possible, though the first objective in landing Bosh or Stoudemire would be to convince either to come to Houston in the fist place. If the Rockets manage to do that, then trade talks will become relevant.

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Agent Indicates Bosh May Be Leaning Away From Houston

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that while the Rockets may be on free agent forward Chris Bosh’s radar, they are far from the favorites to land the soon-to-be former Toronto Raptor.

Talks with Bosh, however, seemed to stall, with Thomas quickly downplaying the importance of the meeting Morey did get with Bosh.

“They (the Rockets) dropped something off to him and chatted briefly,” Thomas said. “They will be on the radar.”

Morey described Bosh as enthusiastic and interested, and his own recruiting efforts as more than just delivering a package.

Bosh, however, described his sessions in Chicago, rather than the meeting in Dallas, as the start of the process.

While the midnight meeting with Bosh may have raised spirits in Houston, the Rockets have been longshots to land Bosh for quite some time. From the sound of things, it would take a miraculous turn of events for Houston to become a frontrunner in the CB4 sweepstakes.

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Stein: Rockets To Dine With Brad Miller Tonight

ESPN’s Marc Stein just reported the following concerning the Rockets and free agent center Brad Miller.

Free-agent C Brad Miller having dinner tonight w/HOU coach Rick Adelman, his ex-Kings boss. Miller was also scheduled to talk w/Cavs today

As Stein points out, Miller played with Adelman in Sacramento from 2003-2007. He knows Adelman’s offensive sets and would be a logical fit in Houston.

Miller, 34, averaged 8.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game last season with Chicago. He appeared in all 82 games for the Bulls, the first time that he has played a full season in his career.

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Bosh Likes The Idea Of Playing With Yao

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Chris Bosh would like the idea of playing with Yao.

A source close to Bosh said he “definitely” would consider the Rockets and specifically cited an interest in playing with Yao Ming and the chance to play on “a world stage”.

On a side note, Morey met with Bosh last evening, and posted on his twitter following the conversation:

“Just finished meeting with @chrisbosh — great player & person. He is about winning so I focused on how w/Houston he can win a championship,”

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Report: Pacers Interested In Kyle Lowry

With few marquee point guards available on the free agent market, it's not too surprising that Kyle Lowry is generating interest from teams. According to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, the Pacers have reached out to Lowry in an attempt to steal him away.

Pacers have also reached out to PG Kyle Lowry, who is a restricted free agent.    

Lowry is a restricted free agent, meaning the Rockets can match any contract offer made to him, as long as they do it within seven days. This means he's probably not going anywhere, but you never know.

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Morey Meets With Bosh To Open Rockets' Free Agency Sweepstakes

Finally, after a long wait, the Houston Rockets have made their first free agent visit. Daryl Morey, accompanied by Rockets.com beat writer Jason Friedman and ten of the famed Red Rowdies, traveled to make a midnight visit with Chris Bosh, the team’s presumed number one free agent target.

Morey revealed the visit on his Twitter account.

Just finished meeting with @chrisbosh – great player & person. He is about winning so I focused on how w/Houston he can win a championship.

The Rockets are not the favorites to land Bosh, but with Morey’s persistence, there still remains a chance that Bosh could agree to a sign-and-trade. We’ll keep you updated with any news on the subject.

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Yao Makes Pitch To Bosh Over Twitter

From Yao Ming's Twitter account:

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The big man has made his mark. Now it's up to "Boy Genius" himself - Mr. Daryl Morey.

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Agent: Bosh Will "Evaluate" Houston

Henry Thomas, the agent of Toronto Raptors’ power forward Chris Bosh, told Fox Sports Houston that the Houston Rockets will be one of the teams that Bosh evaluates before choosing a destination.

Thomas, responding to calls from FoxSportsHouston.com, relayed his quote via his assistant, Kris White.

It is widely presumed that Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey will call on Bosh and his agent once teams are allowed to contact free agents-after 11 P.M. CST tonight.

Daryl Morey can not confirm any such meetings with Bosh until 11 p.m. CST tonight (Wednesday). All we know for now is that Houston4Bosh.com is getting slightly more excited.

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Rumor: Rockets Interested In Amare Stoudemire

If we remember correctly, the Phoenix Suns and the Houston Rockets were in talks last season about a trade involving power forward Amare Stoudemire before the Rockets reportedly pulled the plug. Now, it appears that GM Daryl Morey is making a run at Amare once more, perhaps convinced that Chris Bosh or another prospective free agent will be too tough to tackle. Or, he could simply be doing his due diligence. We never truly understand how Morey likes to run his show behind the scenes, anyway.

John Gambadoro of KTAR in Phoenix, Arizona tweeted the following early Wednesday evening.

New developments – Houston Rockets interested in Amare Stoudemire. Would likely be a sign and trade with Luis Scola and Battier if it hapens

A potential trade involving said players would be able to happen if Stoudemire and Scola signed deals with their current clubs, therefore putting a sign-and-trade into effect.

Stoudemire, 27, has also opted out of his contract with the Phoenix Suns and, in all likelihood, will not be back with the team next season. Though this may only be a rumor, there are plenty of reasons to believe that the Rockets will make a run at the All-Star forward.

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Scola And Lowry Won't Be Leaving, But What About Everyone Else?

Despite all of the rumors surrounding which marquee free agents the Rockets will be pursuing this July, the team has long stated that its number one priority this offseason is to retain its own. Keeping Yao Ming was the first step, though that was more of his decision than the team’s. Next up: Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry.

Each should receive an attractive offer or two from interested parties. And unless those offers are monumentally absurd, each will be reeled back into Houston. GM Daryl Morey, under Les Alexanders’ generous direction, has stated that he doesn’t want Scola or Lowry going anywhere. He considers them to be quality parts of the ideal championship puzzle.

There’s only one problem that arises upon re-signing both Lowry and Scola: space. Let’s take a look at the players, assuming we re-sign the two restricted free agents, that will be eligible for next year’s 12-man roster.

PG: Aaron Brooks
SG: Kevin Martin
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Luis Scola
C: Yao Ming
6. Kyle Lowry
7. Shane Battier
8. Chase Budinger
9. Jordan Hill
10. David Andersen
11. Patrick Patterson
12. Jared Jeffries

Each player, 6-12, is guaranteed through next season. However, the Rockets picked up their option on Chuck Hayes today. And that list does not include Jermaine Taylor or a free agent that we are looking to sign. This is why the Rockets will be approaching the free agency extravaganza with a "sign-and-trade" mentality. They’ll be looking to move some parts in order to acquire a better player. Morey has stocked assets for a long time. Perhaps it has become appropriate, even necessary to use them.

The Hayes situation should be very interesting. Morey exercised his option to keep the Chuckwagon, meaning that if he is forced to cut him, he'll have to pay a price. Stay tuned to see who leaves and who stays, because a trade will surely be in the works. Morey is going to have to do something big, or else trimming the roster will simply become a matter of keeping the better of two good players. That can get ugly, and nobody likes ugly.

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Rockets Extend Qualifying Offers To Scola, Lowry

The Houston Chronicle recently reported that Daryl Morey extended qualifying offers to both Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry.

The offers are not made as proposals for their next contract; only to make them restricted free agents. Morey has said that Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has directed him to match any offers Lowry or Scola receive.

Either could be part of a sign-and-trade deal the Rockets might pursue, but only if that is their choice.

In related news, Jared Jeffries picked up his player option, thus making him an attractive trade piece with his contract expiring after this season.

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