It was confirmed today by that the Houston Rockets are exploring scenarios that would bring them either Dwight Howard directly from Orlando or Andrew Bynum as compensation for their role in facilitating a deal.  Either acquisition would be a giant step for the franchise.

As several prominent national sources opined, talks with Brooklyn are in critical condition – any deal would be contingent upon a S&T of Brook Lopez; any acceptance by Lopez elsewhere of an offer sheet would take him out of play until December.

From the start, it made little to no sense that Orlando would accept Brooklyn’s rumored package.  I personally would actually pay money to not have Brook Lopez on my books at max dollars than to have him tying up that amount.  The latter scenario, which in a deal with Orlando would have been the Magic’s return for the league’s best center, is a recipe for mediocrity.  My suspicion is that word of those talks were leaked to drive up the price for competing bidders.

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Marcus Camby ended the 2011-12 season as a relevant big man in a league lacking such commodities, knowing he could contribute on a title contender on the final contract of his career, and still make a pretty good chunk of change doing so.

Looking at these parameters, Houston wasn’t a realistic fit. As presently constituted, the Rockets are A) not willing to sign anyone to a long term guaranteed contract, and B) not competing for a title. Thankfully, all the contenders that wanted to sign Camby were unable to do so at a price higher than the veteran’s minimum.

The result? An advantageous sign-and-trade with the Knicks that, as far as typically speck of dust deals go, was FANTASTIC for Houston. In return for roughly two months of Camby’s services, the Rockets received Jerome Jordan, Josh Harrellson, Toney Douglas, a second round pick in 2014, and a second round pick in 2015. Let’s break this haul down, shall we? [read more…]

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So we waited for about an hour and a half today before we were let in to the court.  Arriving at 11:30, I put in enough on the parking meter to last me till 2.  Lucky for me because I was expecting to get out of there by 1.

When we got in, they were doing what you see in the video above.  Exciting, I know.  (No danger of exceeding the two minute limit.)  Patrick Patterson, like yesterday, sat against the basket support and watched.  He pointed out instructions to Greg Smith from time to time when the latter would mess up.  At just like 24 or 25, Pat is now the elder statesman on this team.

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There weren’t many of us there today which came as a bit of a surprise.  I shot a little bit of practice footage and got a few interviews.  I’ll do more tomorrow for sure.

We’re only allowed to upload two minutes of practice footage online due to new league regulations.  What you see is the first two minutes I shot.  Not to be a tease but what happened afterwards was pretty good too.  Now that I think about it, I would honestly say that other than Game 7’s of playoff series’, summer league and the associated sessions is easily the most intense NBA-level or psuedo-NBA-level basketball in the entire world.  You hadguys with near NBA talent squaring off with NBA contracts on the line with Daryl Morey and Sam Hinkie in the house watching from the sidelines.  One head-turning possession could very well be the difference between just getting by financially and a six-figure salary.

Notice Jeremy Lamb break some ankles in the above clip.  Also notice Chandler Parsons take a charge, much to everyone’s mocking delight.

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Some housekeeping notes

  • First, here’s a link my interview from yesterday on WGSO 990AM.  We talked Hornets and Rockets and Eric Gordon.  It was a fun time so give it a listen.
  • I’m about to head to Toyota Center for the summer league presser.  Hoping to see Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Morris.  I was about to write that I am going to take the flipcam today but I don’t even see it on my desk in its normal spot.  I need to figure out how to get the framing proper on my Iphone – embarrassing because I typically had prided myself as at least reasonably tech savvy.
  • As a follow-up to my last two posts, it’s come to light in the past few days from some national sources what the Rockets are doing and that is pursuing Dwight Howard, still.  This has been met sarcastically by some observers but I still applaud the efforts.  I don’t ascribe to the rationale that “if she doesn’t want you, give up” because, when you’re the ugliest guy in the room, well, she ain’t coming on her own…
  • Money talks and Chris Webber didn’t want to be in Sacramento either.  I think the human mind has a way of rationalizing situations and making the most of that which had been originally undesired.  I can think of a lot of situations in my life personally where I entered something that I didn’t want, but after some time, came to be ok with it and accept it.  And none of those situations involved an extra $30million payday.  So I do think this is worth it.  I’m not saying Howard would stay.  But the odds are high enough to risk doing this.
  • To follow up on that point, and to reiterate, even if they don’t get Howard, I’m fine with a youth movement.  The only fear really is the team trading everything for someone like Josh Smith or Pau Gasol.
  • Finally a shout-out to a tormented Mavs fan whom I met yesterday at a close friend’s wedding reception.  The Mavs offseason is not so unlike that of the Rockets’ in terms of disappointment to this point, except that the tragedy of circumstances is exponentially worse.  Recall that they opted to let Tyson Chandler walk the previous summer–essentially disassembling (and emasculating) a defending champion–to plan for a greener future in the hopes of wooing Dallas native Deron Williams.  As you know, Williams reupped with the Nets and that was all she wrote for Dallas.  This coupled with other examples of misfortune (read: so many teams tanking for Anthony Davis and not getting the #1 pick), begs a question  only important on the internet: perhaps the bird in hand is always the better course?
  • Videos from today’s presser will be up later today or maybe tomorrow.

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