Houston Rockets acquire Derek Fisher

The Los Angeles Lakers have traded veteran guard Derek Fisher to the Houston Rockets in exchange for forward Jordan Hill, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Rockets also will receive the 2012 first-round pick the Lakers acquired from the Dallas Mavericks in the Lamar Odom trade.

via Lakers trade Derek Fisher to Rockets – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.

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Houston Rockets acquire center Marcus Camby

The Houston Rockets have agreed to terms on a deal to acquire veteran center Marcus Camby from the Portland Trail Blazers, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

The deal that has been submitted to the league office for approval, sources said, calls for Houston to send guard Jonny Flynn, center Hasheem Thabeet and a future second-round pick to the Blazers for Camby, who has maintained an offseason residence in Houston for some time and has always liked the idea of playing for the Rockets.

via Houston Rockets have deal to acquire Marcus Camby, sources say – ESPN.

I like this deal a lot.  Camby leads the league in rebounds per 48 minutes and is a massive upgrade to our bench.  I’ll have a full writeup later today with my thoughts once all the deals are in.

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The latest on Dwight, trades

For those of you just getting into work, Dwight Howard apparently has shifted course once more, telling RealGM in an exclusive interview that he plans to opt-in.  This has just been beyond bizarre and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the story take yet another turn in the next ten hours.  But for now, Howard is staying with the Magic and the Rockets will turn to their other options.  As the saga develops, the whole situation reeks to me of a man conflicted by emotions of greed and loyalty with matters made more complicated by other parties within the inner ranks.  I also don’t think Dwight fully understood the financial/legal ramifications of various potential routes of action.

Jonathan Feigen’s latest this morning is filled with various nuggets of information, chiefly that the Rockets are certain to make a deal.

Among the highlights:

The Magic, however, had not shown much interest in the Rockets’ roster. The Rockets have been among the most aggressive teams in trying to work a deal, but the Magic have generally looked the other way.

The Rockets have insisted they would not move Lowry even in a deal for Pau Gasol, their preseason target. One front office executive said he believed the Rockets would make that deal, arguing that they had to hold out something to offer at the last minute and Lowry is the only way to up the ante.

With Martin’s contract expiring next season, the Rockets believe they would be best served to get him going again, at least to some degree, and they have handled negotiations that way for weeks.

There was expected to be more talk about Lee and Martin today than anyone on the roster, with much of that heating up on Tuesday. The Bulls and Clippers have sought a shooting guard. Rick Adelman’s Timberwolves would love Martin, but will likely wait for him to become a free agent.

The Rockets still want to upgrade inside and went hard after Andrew Bogut, but their inability to close that deal might show an unwillingness to move Martin, and maybe Lee.

Goran Dragic seemed the most likely player to be moved in a deal like last season’s.

Finally, via Adrian Wojnarowski, with the news on Howard, the Nets now have turned to efforts to surround Deron Williams with talent.

in musings

Two nights ago, on the road and with their starting backcourt unavailable for duty, the Rockets defeated Oklahoma City—the team that most consider to be the Western Conference’s likely NBA Finals representative.

Inspecting it on a micro level, in the context of a single game, the win means very little. It’s one notch in the standings for a team that as of this moment probably has less than a 50% chance at making the postseason. But on the macro level, this win tells Daryl Morey (and, equally important, other general managers across the league) a bit about who this basketball team is right now. (For example: guys like Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee, and Chandler Parsons are capable of competing in big minutes, in big spots, against big-time competition. Not to say they were terrible before, but this game was a different substance.)

Taking into account Houston’s recent past, their innovative and adventurous GM, whispers from national NBA reporters, and the general wide open field standing in their way, it’s more than likely that this team strikes a deal before the arrival of today’s trade deadline. And looking at the roster, it’d appear the Rockets are in a wonderful position to do so. Their depth is truly outstanding; even the players they don’t play could be viewed by a rival executive as having upside if brought to a new environment. All it takes is one believer. Daryl Morey has plenty of options. Let’s investigate why. [read more…]

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The Howard Chase

After a wild day that saw speculation that Dwight Howard would waive his early termination option, reports have surfaced that multiple league executives believe that the Magic will now look to deal the center before tomorrow’s deadline.

The Rockets must now push all of their chips to the table.  If Howard walks in the summer, leaving $28million on the table, so be it.  But they must now swing for the fences.  This is what they’ve accumulated these assets for in the first place.

The team can offer Orlando some combination including Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Marcus Morris, Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas, Sergio Llull, and the New York Knicks’ draft pick, while still leaving enough of their veteran core intact to make a run this season.  If Howard left, they could finally rebuild and dislodge from mediocrity.  This is a bold move the Rockets must now make.

UPDATE:

Adrian Wojnarowski just reported that the Magic are working to trade Howard; while I’d imagine other teams are in the picture, the Nets and Rockets were the only two specifically named, both in this report and in others I’ve seen.

It looks like this may come down to a classic bidding war with the Nets able to offer Brooke Lopez, Marshoon Brooks, and draft picks, while the Rockets hold, as a reader put it in the comments, “the cornucopia of young talent” I mentioned above.

Three things that I think the Rockets have in their favor:

1. Potential spite: I could see the Magic taking a marginally lesser deal (caveat: only if its marginally lesser) just to not acquiesce into giftwrapping Howard to his preferred destination.

2. I could see the Magic not wanting to keep Howard within the conference and facilitating the creation of a star duo whom they would have to face for years.

3. I could see the Nets not wanting to put all their chips on the table, knowing they could also have a shot at Howard in the summer.  The Rockets, on the other hand, would be more willing to go all in as they know this is their only shot – he wouldn’t pick them in outright free agency.

This is getting crazy.

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