With Yao Ming out for the season, the Houston Rockets are requesting a disabled player exception that would allow them to bring in another player, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The exception would allow the Rockets to trade for a player without matching salaries, but only up to the mid-level exception amount of $5.7 million. Theoretically that money could be used to sign a free agent, too, but there is nobody on the market worth near that amount or that the Rockets really have interest in acquiring.
The Rockets would have to bring in the player within 45 days.
The Rockets have been active in looking for deals on the trade market — they also have a $6.3 million trade exception from the Trevor Ariza-Courtney Lee deal they can use.
Yao Ming played just five games for the Rockets this season before suffering a bone bruise in his ankle, then later an MRI finding a stress fracture in his ankle that will keep him out the rest of the season. At least.
Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.
So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.
Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:
The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”
I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.
But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.
Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice
So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.
Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.
Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.
Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.
Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.
But at least the Lakers won.
With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.
Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.
Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.