Denver Nuggets v Houston Rockets

Rockets not looking for picks, they want to trade for an All-Star

Leave a comment

There are two sides to building a championship roster: Getting a couple All-Star players to lead it; then finding quality role players to go around them.

When Daryl Morey took over as general manager of the Rockets the stars were in place — Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. Morey built maybe the best group of role players in the league (or certainly up there with Los Angeles and Boston) to go around them. The problem is, the stars got injured and never came through.

Now the Rockets are at a crossroads and are mentioned in virtually every trade rumor under the sun, but what they really want back is an All-Star, according to Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld.

The team has had conversations centered around Yao Ming and are asking for prospects, picks, and ending contracts in return. Though his health is still up in the air, Yao brings plenty to the table when it comes to the team’s sales and exposure. That’s why it will take a very attractive package for Houston to part with Yao.…

Kevin Martin is in a similar boat. Teams have approached the Rockets with offers for Martin, but management won’t budge. When the Orlando Magic offered Marcin Gortat for Martin prior to completing their six-player trade with the Phoenix Suns, Houston declined and instead countered with a deal involving Courtney Lee. Like Yao, Martin won’t be moved unless he’s included in a package that would bring back a superstar, such as Carmelo Anthony.

Melo is the kind of scorer the Rockets really want and could use, but there’s the sticky situation of Houston not being on the list of teams where he has said he will sign an extension (there may be only one team on that list). If Anthony’s stance softens and the Nuggets figure out what they really want, there might be a deal there. But that’s a couple big hurdles in the way.

So the Rockets keep looking or the star to put in the middle of their role players, something that would instantly vault the team up the standings in the West.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
Leave a comment

Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

Leave a comment

China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.