Now that the Rockets have Dwight Howard, the goal is to surround him and the rest of the team’s core with enough talent and depth to build a contending team.
With that goal in mind, the Rockets have officially added two perimeter threats that should be able to take advantage of the space Howard creates when bullying his way in the post.
Per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the team has inked point guard Aaron Brooks and swingman Reggie Williams to contracts:
The Rockets are quite familiar with Brooks who was brought back to the team for his second stint last season at the trade deadline. Brooks gave the Rockets some depth at point guard behind Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverly, offering a change of pace to both players by using his quickness and scoring instincts to create offensively.
Heading into next year, Brooks will likely retain that role as the 3rd point guard, but offers insurance in the back court should the Rockets end up moving Jeremy Lin in a trade for the third star that can complement both Howard and James Harden.
Williams, meanwhile, offers the Rockets some needed depth on the wing behind Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Francisco Garcia. Williams has languished in Charlotte, only appearing in 73 games over the past two seasons and saw his minutes and points per game dip to 9.5 and 3.7 respectively. That said, if he can recapture some of the explosive offensive ability he flashed in Golden State, he can be a serviceable pick up.
And, really, that’s the point of what the Rockets are doing at this point. They landed their big fish in Howard and it’s now about finding the right pieces to fill in the gaps and make the team as strong as possible. In Brooks and, potentially, Williams they’ve done just that.
For a couple of seasons now, teams have tried to beat the Golden State Warriors by making the game ugly — slow, grinding, physical, and the opposite of the free-wheeling game they like. Only one team has had any real success with that strategy, and it has LeBron James on it (and even that wouldn’t have been enough if Draymond Green could keep his hands to himself).
So why not beat them at their own game?
That’s what Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey thought when he added Lou Williams to the roster, he said.
There is a sense around the Warriors that the Rockets may be a bigger concern than the Spurs, because Houston can score with them. Don’t confuse that with worry in the Bay Area, they are the best team in the West if healthy, but the Rockets may be the team they face off against in the conference finals.
And if that happens, Lou Williams is going to play a significant role.
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Jarrett Jack has agreed to join the New Orleans Pelicans on a 10-day contract.
Jack is an 11-year-veteran who has not played since seriously injuring his knee 32 games into last season while a starter with Brooklyn. He averaged 12.8 points and 7.4 assists for Nets last season before his injury.
Jack worked out for the Pelicans on Thursday night and joined the team for practice Friday.
New Orleans plays next on Saturday night at Dallas.
Some veteran players who can help a contender are about to hit the market via the waiver wire. Deron Williams is one, and the buzz around the league is he is destined for Cleveland. Matt Barnes is another.
Andrew Bogut will almost have his pick of contenders — including the Warriors, the NBA reviewed its rules and said that the Warriors can sign him even though they waived him a year ago — but it seems the Cavaliers and Rockets are at the top of the list, reports the Akron Beacon Journal’s Jason Lloyd.
There will be a number of suitors in pursuit of Bogut, who is also eligible to return to the Warriors because he was traded from Dallas to Philadelphia. He is ineligible to return only to the team that most recently traded him, which in this case is the Mavericks. So if the Warriors want him back, they may pursue him. The Cavs have long had their eye on Bogut, but they’ll have competition for him – primarily from the Houston Rockets.
Steve Kerr said the Warriors were not looking to add a big man to the roster out of the waiver pool, instead looking at wings and guards. You know, more shooting.
Bogut was traded to Philadelphia from Dallas as part of the Nerlens Noel deal, but the Sixers are expected to waive him in the coming days.
Since he bought the Los Angeles Clippers for a cool $2 billion, Steve Ballmer has been looking for ways to get them out of the shadow of the Lakers. While Los Angeles is big enough — and has enough corporate interests — to support two NBA teams, the city’s heart belongs to the Lakers. It’s still a wide chasm. You can take my word as a lifelong Angelino, or you can go look at the television ratings — the Lakers are in the worst stretch of on-court basketball in franchise history, the Clippers are loaded with stars and are one of the better teams in the NBA, and yet the Lakers still win the ratings battle.
One way to get out of the shadow — get out of sharing the same building. The Clippers moved to Staples Center with the Lakers when it opened (Donald Sterling loved having the team closer to his offices) but Steve Ballmer is talking about getting out, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Representatives of Steve Ballmer and Stan Kroenke, two of the richest owners in professional sports, have had multiple discussions about the Clippers joining the Rams and Chargers in the sports and entertainment district Kroenke is building in Inglewood.
Five people with knowledge of the conversations told The Times the arena could either be on the 298-acre site or an adjacent parcel. Either way, an arena would drive traffic to the planned mixed-use development and share parking with the $2.6-billion football stadium scheduled to open in 2019.
The Clippers are on a lease that runs through 2024 at Staples, but Ballmer and company have not-so-subtly been looking at potential sites for a new venue. There isn’t a question if the former Microsoft CEO has the money to finance such a building, but there could be both an economy of scale and joint energy joining the new football facility.
The project in Inglewood — on the former Hollywood Park horseracing location, right across the street from the Forum where Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers reigned — is designed like many modern arenas to bring dining, entertainment, and housing to the area with the arenas providing foot traffic. Staples Center did that for the L.A. Live development in downtown Los Angeles, helping spark a renaissance of the entire area. However, there are a lot of questions from parking to who actually would own the land and arena.
If nothing else, it’s a sign Ballmer gets what the previous owner either never did or simply never cared enough to try to fix — he has to get out of the Lakers’ shadow. One step in that path is getting out of the same arena.