Tag: Dwight Howard

Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors

Team USA announces player pool for 2014 World Cup team


In January, USA basketball announced a 28-man pool for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic rosters. That field was flexible, and it’s been narrowed and expanded for the World Cup.

In addition to previously named players, DeMar DeRozan and Chandler Parsons were added to the pool – and other players were trimmed.

Here are all 19 players in contention for the World Cup roster:

And here are the players left off from the initial pool. Remember, some of this group could still make the Olympic team:

“Looking at the roster of players who will be participating in the training camp I’m impressed by the success they had this past season and by what they have achieved in their careers,” team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a released statement. “It’s valuable to have some veteran leadership who has won gold at the highest levels internationally. The list also includes some of the most exciting young players who could definitely contribute to this team. Myself and the entire coaching staff are excited to get things underway and as we’ve done each summer our team will strive to represent the United States with respect and a commitment to excellence that hopefully will make every American proud.”

Here’s my early guess at the World Cup roster:

PG: Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard

SG: Stephen Curry, James Harden

SF: Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyle Korver

PF: Kevin Love, Blake Griffin

C: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins-Drummond will be an interesting matchup for backup center. Thompson-Beal for third shooting guard and Korver-Hayward-Parsons for specialist will also be intriguing – and the winner of each battle might even have to prove that position warrants a roster spot.

Report: Houston Rockets will not match Mavericks’ Chandler Parsons’ offer, he’s Dallas bound

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets

The Dallas Mavericks gambit paid off.

They signed Chandler Parsons to an offer sheet as soon as they could (in a bar after midnight, apparently) to put pressure on a Rockets team at the time still waiting on the LeBron James/Chris Bosh saga to play out. When everything shook out Houston was left without a third star.

However, getting that third star is their goal so they will not match the offer for Parsons, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Houston Rockets declined to match a three-year, $46 million offer sheet for restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, clearing the way for him to join the Dallas Mavericks, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

Houston ultimately decided the contract would be too crippling for the franchise’s cap flexibility and make it more difficult to construct a championship roster around Dwight Howard and James Harden. Houston is executing a sign-and-trade agreement with Washington as part of its four year, $32 million deal with free agent forward Trevor Ariza, a league sources said.

Parsons tweeted that the Rockets told him what was happening.

The structure of Parsons’ deal was going to tie the hands of the Rockets going forward, something GM Daryl Morey did not want. Dallas, with Dirk Nowitzki, is all about winning right now. Without Bosh the Rockets still see themselves as constructing the core of their roster.

Dallas now has a very interesting and dangerous roster — Monta Ellis at the two, Parsons at the three, Nowitzki at the four and Tyson Chandler at the five. There are questions about Raymond Felton at the point and if he can bounce back after an ugly season with the Knicks (the solid Devin Harris backs him up) and the Mavs depth with Vince Carter bound for Memphis. Still, this is an improved Mavs team (one that already took the Spurs to seven games).

However, this likely means the end of Shawn Marion in Dallas.

For Houston… this has been a rough offseason. This is still a good team with James Harden and Dwight Howard and nice players around them like Patrick Beverly and Terrence Jones, not to mention the just-signed Ariza. They didn’t land the stars they wanted, but it’s better for them to be patient and get the guys they want than to overspend on others. Patience can be good.

But Parsons will be missed.

Report: Trevor Ariza to sign 4-year, $32 million deal with Rockets

Trevor Ariza

The Rockets missed out on a major free agent acquisition this summer, but it appears as though they’ve succeeded in securing a more than serviceable player who was far less expensive.

Chris Bosh was reportedly nearing the finish line on a four-year max deal to go to Houston, which had the Rockets pulling the trigger on a trade to send Jeremy Lin to the Lakers in order to clear the necessary cap space to make it happen.

But in the wake of losing LeBron James, the Heat came hard at Bosh with a five-year max contract that was an offer ultimately too good for him to pass up.

Houston was, however, able to add some significant talent to the roster.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

The Houston Rockets have agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with free agent small forward Trevor Ariza, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been announced.

Ariza had somewhat of a breakout season in Washington last year, posting numbers that were his best since (somewhat ironically) last playing for the Rockets back in the 2009-10 season. He averaged 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, while shooting 40.7 percent from three-point distance.

Ariza’s first stint in Houston was ill-fated, because the Rockets gave Ariza a generous contract that came with it the expectations of being one of the team’s primary scorers. It didn’t work out, and he was dealt after just one season.

This time around, there will be no such pressure. Ariza will be asked to defend and compliment the primary Rockets players like Dwight Howard and James Harden, and should be a nice talent upgrade for the price.

No Bosh. No ‘Melo. Now what for Houston?

Cleveland Cavaliers v Dallas Mavericks

Strike one — Carmelo Anthony made it pretty clear early on that whatever he ends up choosing as his next destination it would not be the Houston Rockets.

Strike two – when LeBron James chose Cleveland it was assumed around the league and by the Rockets that they could clear out the cap space (trade Omer Asik to the Pelicans and Jeremy Lin to the Lakers) and they would give Chris Bosh a near max deal to join James Harden and Dwight Howard. Nope. Pat Riley came in with a max offer for Bosh and he took it to stay in a place he is personally and professionally happy.

The Rockets planned well, they were in the right positions, but free agency just didn’t break their way.

So now what in Houston?

They still may be able to draw a quality free agent, but not somebody as good as they just missed on. Here are five guys they can target.

• Luol Deng. The former Chicago Bull and short-time Cavalier is the best fit of the guys left in my opinion — but the Rockets are also out of the running for him, according to Marc Stein at ESPN. Deng appears headed to Miami.

• Trevor Ariza. This is the guy Houston now seems to be targeting. For my money (and it’s not my money) the Rockets would be better off with Chandler Parsons at the three and waiting to find a four, but Ariza is one option if they want to go a little smaller. He could be costly as the Wizards want to keep him and he’s everybody’s backup plan. He is a good defender who last year shot the ball well all over the court on his way to 14.4 points a game and a .590 true shooting percentage.

• Greg Monroe. This would be a bet on potential, that he could develop into an All-Star level player. The problem is he is an expensive gamble — it likely takes a max or close to it offer to pry him out of Detroit, and the Pistons still could match anyway (Monroe is a restricted free agent). Monroe has a versatile offensive game — at the elbow he can score and make good decisions he is solid in the post and runs the floor well.

• Wait. Being patient sucks. Both for fans and owners. But sometimes it is the best option. The Rockets are in position to go after big free agents in the coming years, or to make trades — as long as they don’t screw up their flexibility by overpaying for a second tier guy. Wait out the market, wait for next year’s free agent crop. The Rockets should improve after a year together and some playoff experience (if not, Kevin McHale should worry) and with Parsons back in the fold this is a dangerous team. Don’t mess up what you have just to get something.

Report: Lakers giving Jordan Hill two-year, $18 million contract

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers aren’t getting Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, but they’re still filling their roster around Kobe Bryant.

I mean that in the most literal sense. The Lakers are acquiring players.

None of this is inspiring.

Trading for Jeremy Lin and signing Nick Young might add excitement, but they’re marginal players.

So is Jordan Hill, who’ll stay with the Lakers next season because they’re giving him a lot of money.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

I’m just waiting for Wojnarowski to add that he had a typo on the dollars or years. That’s seems like a huge amount of money to give Hill.

Then again, he averaged 9.7 points and 7.4 rebounds in just 20.8 minutes per game last season.

The only other players who’ve averaged as many points and rebounds per 36 minutes as Hill had this season while playing at least 60 games since the NBA-ABA merger:

  • Dwight Howard
  • Moses Malone
  • Robert Parish
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Kevin Love
  • Hakeem Olajuwon
  • Kevin Willis
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Charles Barkley
  • Artis Gilmore
  • Shawn Kemp
  • Bill Laimbeer
  • Swen Nater
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Roy Tarpley
  • Bill Walton

Most of that list is in or will be in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

How did Hill join such elite company?

I think it’s partially Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system giving all players more opportunities to accumulate stats. I think it’s partially the Lakers, with Pau Gasol sleepwalking through the season, lacking another somewhat-dependable inside presence.

And it’s also Hill, who deserve credit for his production. How much will determine whether this contract pays off for the Lakers.