Report: Yao Ming not going to opt out of deal, stay with Rockets

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NBA_ming.jpgThere was no real doubt that Yao Ming was going to stay with the Houston Rockets, the only question was it with this current deal or a new one.

The current one, apparently.

Associated Press is reporting that Yao will pick up the $17.7 million player option for this coming season with the Rockets.

That will make him an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

When healthy, Yao is the best center in the game. (Look up the head-to-head with Dwight Howard before you carry Superman’s flag in this battle.) However, he missed all of last season after reconstructive foot surgery. He is working out in Houston right now with plans to return next season.

If healthy — and that is the caveat on all things Yao — the Rockets are suddenly a real power in the West, with Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin in the backcourt and a good group of role players.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.