Tag: James Harden

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

Jason Terry says he’s near re-signing with Rockets


The Ty Lawson trade gave the Rockets one guard and sent out two – Nick Johnson and Pablo Prigioni, whom the Nuggets waived.

That means a familiar face likely returns to Houston – Jason Terry.

Marc Berman of Fox 26:

The Rockets hold Terry’s Bird Rights, so they can exceed the cap to re-sign him. It shouldn’t take much more than a minimum contract, though they have the flexibility to give him a little more.

Terry should probably pursue a one-year contract. That would allow him to jump to another contender next summer if Houston doesn’t present the best place to ring chase. It would also mean he must consent to being traded, because he’d be on a one-year contract with Bird Rights afterward.

Terry would provide nice depth for the Rockets. He can play either guard spot and would provide a scoring spark behind James Harden, Patrick Beverley and Lawson. Terry turns 38 before the season begins, but he started for Houston at point guard as it advanced to the Western Conference finals. He can still play, and the Rockets would be well served to bring him back.

Why the Ty Lawson trade is win-win for Houston, Denver

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers

As fans and analysts, the natural inclination with any trade is to pick a winner. In our minds, someone needs to come out on top. But in negotiations (and that’s what a trade is), one of the first rules is to give the other guy something they want to make sure they believe they have won. Both sides need to feel like they’ve gotten better.

That’s what we have with the Denver Nuggets trading Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets — both sides got what they wanted. It’s not perfect, but both teams think they are better for this move.

Here’s why it works for both teams.


• They got the best player in the deal, Lawson is far superior to anyone else in this trade and bumps the Rockets potentially up with the Thunder/Spurs/Warriors/Clippers as contenders in the West.

• Houston didn’t give up any guys who were part of their playoff rotation or likely were part of their long-term plans — yes the move is a gamble but they didn’t give up much if it doesn’t pan out. It’s low risk for Houston.

• Also former NBA coach John Lucas is in Houston, and he’s a guy a lot of NBA players battling addiction issues turn to for help. The Rockets reportedly have reached out to him.

• This makes James Harden happy; he’s wanted a more offensive-minded guard next to him to relieve some of the playmaking pressure the beard faces. Lawsons’ quickness will help.

• Whether or not Lawson starts, the Rockets’ bench just got deeper.

• That said, I think this is an upgrade for the Rockets but not the massive one that some on Twitter claimed. There are two reasons holding me back. One is Lawson has personal issues to work out — he’s in a California alcohol rehab facility now and faces two DUIs from this year (he’s had three DUIs overall and there reportedly are other incidents). He will face a suspension of some length from the league. Lawson was a mess in Denver, showing up late to practice, not being motivated, and being the opposite of a leader. Lawson’s supporters say that in a new setting and given responsibilities on a contender he will get right and play well. I hope so, for his sake, but he has frustrated every NBA coach he ever had.

• My second Lawson to Houston concern is on the court — playing Lawson and Harden together would be a defensive liability. To me, it makes more sense to continue to start Patrick Beverley still and bring Lawson off the bench, just to make sure they still get stops. Coach Kevin McHale has some versatility and options in his backcourt to experiment with now, but the Lawson/Harden pairing may present problems.


• Denver’s primary goal this summer is a locker room culture change and moving Lawson was a key part of that plan — they see it as addition by subtraction. Even with the non-rotation players they got back, Denver wanted to make this move to keep Lawson away from their young, developing players. Expect a few more moves to follow as Denver reshapes its roster to something coach Mike Malone can work with.

• After that second 2015 DUI, getting a first rounder for Lawson — even one that has some healthy protections and likely lands in the 20s — is an accomplishment.

• Denver also cleared out a lot of cap space, giving them real flexibility going into next summer.

• Welcome to the Emmanuel Mudiay era in Denver. That’s a very good thing, he will be in the mix for Rookie of the Year and grow from there.

• Nick Johnson has shown some potential, and Kostas Papanikoloau is the kind of shot creator Denver needs now. Those guys may develop into something for the Nuggets (if they keep Papanikoloau, his deal is not guaranteed).

Report: Nuggets trading Ty Lawson to Rockets

Denver Nuggets v Houston Rockets

The Nuggets are supporting Ty Lawson’s rehabilitation.

Now, they can do it their preferred way – from afar.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

A mentally engaged Lawson offers a dimension the Rockets need.

He’ll handle playmaking duties, easing the burden on James Harden. When Houston needs defense, Patrick Beverley can play point guard. It’s an excellent 1-2 punch.

The Rockets pay a pretty low price to pay, especially depending on the protections of that first-round pick. But Houston doesn’t project to have a high draft pick any time soon, anyway.

Denver gets to move on – and not much else. A couple OK players and what’s likely a low first-rounder don’t really move the needle. But the Nuggets so badly wanted to move Lawson, that probably matters most to them. They could waive Papanikolaou and his fully unguaranteed $4,797,664 salary by Oct. 4, too.

The key is Lawson clearing up his issues with alcohol and getting his life in order. If he can, this is a huge win for the Rockets, and I think it’s a risk worth taking.

A chance to play for a better team might motivate Lawson to turn his attention to the court.

It’s official: K.J. McDaniels signs three-year, $10 million to stay with Rockets

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets

We’ve known for a few days that K.J. McDaniels was close to a deal to stay with the Rockets.

It’s now official — and at a price that is much better than what had been rumored initially.

McDaniels himself confirmed the deal on Twitter.

Jake Pavorsky of Liberty Ballers broke the story, and it has since been confirmed by others.

This is a portion of the Rockets’ mid-level exception, they still have some left. This deal is well below the market value McDaniels and his agent thought he might find on the restricted free agent market, but the reality is nobody completely believed the numbers he put up in Philly because… well, Philly.

At this price (especially if there are no options), this is a good signing. McDaniels — coming off a broken elbow that kept him out of the playoffs — could be a good fit with the Rockets. He’s an athletic wing who can score in transition and defend.

He’s just got to prove he can crack the rotation in Houston, where they have Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer, and Sam Dekker at the three, plus that James Harden guy eats up some minutes out there. McDaniels put up numbers and looked impressive in Philadephia, but they played fast and had limited offensive options, so he got touches. While the Rockets like to play fast, this team is loaded with better scoring options. McDaniels barely got off the bench last season in Houston.

Looks like he’s going to get a few years to prove he belongs.

Rockets sign Marcus Thornton to one-year contract

Leave a comment

James Harden said he wanted the Rockets to add a playmaker.

Re-signing Patrick Beverley and Corey Brewer were nice moves, but they don’t qualify.

Nabbing Marcus Thornton, on a smaller scale, does.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

the Rockets reached agreement on one-year deal with Thornton on Sunday, Thornton’s agent Tony Dutt said.

Thornton will sign a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum, a person with knowledge of the deal said.

Thornton is a good playmaker – as long as that definition is limited to for himself rather than for his teammates. He shoots 3-pointers well, and he can run the pick-and-roll. His ability to finish at the rim has declined, perhaps a sign of declining athleticism at age 28.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Thornton cracks Houston’s rotation.

At the minimum, he’s a bargain.