Eddie House opts to re-join the Heat

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Sleep easy, Heatians: Eddie House isn’t going anywhere. According to Mike Wallace of ESPN.com’s Heat Index, House has accepted his player option for next season and will spend the 2011-2012 campaign — in whatever length the lockout allows — with the Heat.

House’s option is worth approximately $1.4 million next season, per Storytellers Contracts — a reasonable cost for an effective spot shooter. House’s skill set is quite limited, but Miami will retain him on the cheap and have another backcourt option in case their other plans (namely, the recently drafted Norris Cole) go sour. This isn’t the kind of move that alters any sense of the team or the league’s balance (as good as House is at what he does, shooters of his breed are a very replaceable NBA commodity), but one that nonetheless makes a decent amount of sense for all parties involved.

Mario Chalmers may or may not be with the Heat next season. Cole is an incredibly intriguing prospect, but still unproven as an NBA-caliber player. Mike Bibby likely won’t be re-signed. All of that leaves House as a possible fail-safe; even if Chalmers ends up on another roster, Miami will — at the very least — have Cole and House to fill in minutes alongside Dwyane Wade in the Heat backcourt. Free agency will undoubtedly bring an entirely new set of options to the table, but House is the safe incumbent. He’s far from ideal, but he can manage to be productive in limited minutes if need be, and will fade into the background without consequence if Miami comes up with a superior rotation player.

Report: Rockets lure assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik out of retirement with ‘significant raise’

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After a slow start, the Rockets got assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik to come out of retirement.

How?

The usual way employers attract someone to a job.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Fertitta was alarmed enough to personally recruit defensive guru Jeff Bzdelik, who retired just before training camp, to return, offering what sources say was a significant raise that pushed his salary to a range that ranks among the NBA’s highest-paid assistant coaches.

Good for Bzdelik using his leverage. He looked like a defensive whiz last season, and Houston slipped without him. Of course, personnel matters, too. There’s no guarantee these Rockets – minus Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute – reach last year’s defensive level.

Bzdelik has been back around the team, but isn’t working full-time yet. It’ll take a while to assess his impact on Houston.

And good for Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta paying up. Fertitta is still trying to determine the right amount for him to spend, but the team is better off if he’s willing to pay what’s necessary to attract the most desirable coaches.

Charles Barkley addresses Draymond Green-Kevin Durant dynamic (video)

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Want to hear an entertaining guy address an entertaining topic? Here you go.

Trae Young: I’ll be better than Luka Doncic

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Trae Young and Luka Doncic will be forever linked by their draft-night trade.

The Hawks took Doncic No. 3 then traded down with the Mavericks for No. 5 pick Young and a future first-round pick.

Young, via Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated:

“The thing with Luka,” Young says, “he’s a great player. I don’t understand why it can’t work out for both situations. I hear [Atlanta made a mistake] all the time. Luka’s a great dude, and I think he’s going to be a really good player. But at the same time, I’m going to be a better player. Just because of my ability to stretch the floor, get others involved, I think I’ll be better.”

Of course, Young was never going to say Doncic would be better than him. But Young didn’t have to address this so directly at all. By going out of his way to make such a bold statement, Young puts more pressure on himself.

So far, both Doncic and Young have impressed. I’ll still stick with Doncic, though. Enough to justify Dallas surrendering that extra first-round pick? That’s a far tougher call and the one the Hawks will be judged by.

Young doesn’t want that leniency, though. He’s aiming to be better than Doncic straight up and unafraid to say so publicly.

Markelle Fultz’s new free throw stroke is… different.

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Philadelphia’s Markelle Fultz is in his own head with his free throw stroke now. (And, likely much more than that, but we’ll stick with the free throws for now.)

Earlier this week Fultz double-clutched a free throw attempt and his stroke was a mess.

Each game that stroke seems to change and the latest one is… different. Very different.

As Vecenie notes, this is actually an improvement in terms of the release, but that doesn’t make it good. Fultz was 1-of-2 in his one trip to the stripe (as of this writing).

Still, I have never seen someone pass the ball back-and-forth between their hands as they go into their shooting motion like that. Very, very odd.