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A more mature Lucas

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by okierock, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. okierock

    okierock Contributing Member

    Oct 3, 2001
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    LAS VEGAS - John Lucas is the same player fans remember at Oklahoma State.

    Still knifing his way into the heart of the defense. Still threading the needle to teammates for easy baskets. Still stopping on a dime before pulling up to stroke that silky smooth jump shot. But, yet, he’s so much different now than ever before.

    “I’m much more mature now,” said Lucas from the Vegas Summer League, where he entered Tuesday’s games ranked second in scoring with 24.3 points a game and first in assists at 8.0 per game.

    Now, Lucas is also on the cusp of turning his boyhood NBA dreams into an early adulthood reality. Not the tease version he tasted last year, either, when the Houston Rockets signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts and gave him 13 games to get his feet wet.

    Lucas is silencing the critics and turning heads with his play in this year’s summer league. The right heads.

    “He’s proven to people that he’s an NBA player,” said Rockets summer league coach Tom Thibodeau. “I think the fact that he is playing well is only helping him. He has a lot of mental toughness and a lot of qualities that you would want in a player.”

    Houston’s coaches are not saying how close they are to signing Lucas. But perhaps helping Lucas’ cause, free-agent guard Mike James agreed to a deal with Minnesota on Tuesday. The Rockets had hoped to sign James.

    Lucas also has attracted interest from about eight other teams, including Toronto, Minnesota and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Hornets have yet to express an interest in Lucas, but Hornets general manager Jeff Bower watched Lucas over the weekend with great interest.

    “At this point in his career he’s a great third guard for a roster,” said Lucas’ father, John Lucas. “In about a year, he’s going to be a quality backup.”

    Lucas is confident his newfound maturity will make sure of it. Take, for instance, how much better a player he’s become since learning to control his pace during a game. No longer does he think he has to use his speed and quickness to blow past everyone.

    “That’s one thing everybody’s always told me is that I’m going to learn how to adjust,” Lucas said. “I’ve always been quicker than everybody. Sometimes being quicker than everybody is not always good because you can get yourself in trouble.

    “I never realized that until last year and the year before. When I slow down the game is so much easier. I see the court better than when I’m constantly going fast.”

    Now, Lucas wants to see a guaranteed contract from an NBA team. He averaged 2.3 points and 0.9 assists in 8.2 minutes per game during his 13-game stint with the Rockets last season. He’s also received a handful of invitations to training camps in October. But that means little to him at this point.

    “I already know I can get into a veteran camp,” Lucas said. “I got invited to some veteran camps before this week even started, so I want to be on a team by the end of this.

    Said the elder Lucas: “John’s been trained all his life to be a pro. He knows he belongs now.”

    Thibodeau said Lucas should be aided by the fact that most NBA teams prefer to have three point guards on their roster. Like most teams, the Rockets, he said, typically wait to see how their team’s roster shapes up in free agency before adding the final pieces.

    Lucas, of course, has long thought he could be that final piece.

    “I’m right there,” he said. “I always thought I’ve been right there. I just need somebody to give me that opportunity to show him.

    “It was a great experience playing in the league, but now I want to go there and I want to stick. That’s my mentality and my whole focus right now.”

    Lucas article
  2. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

    Jul 7, 1999
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    I think it's a no brainer that he makes the team as our 3rd point guard. Houston has nothing to lose at this point.
  3. richirich

    richirich Contributing Member

    Apr 23, 2003
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    Yeah, huge risk here: sign him to a minimal contract and if for some strange reason he doesn't make it to the beginning of the season package him with Juwan in a trade.

    But our management team uh couldn't possibly fathom strengthening the roster with a guy who just kicked @$$ in summer league. Or having a tradable asset other teams would want when you go out to try & dump JHo one more time..... :rolleyes:

    Moreyball. Pffffffffttt!
  4. prv1981

    prv1981 Contributing Member

    Jul 7, 2005
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    I really hope they do not let Lucas slip away too. He would be a great backup pg. He is already a better shooter than Rafer. Lock him up for a few years with a Chuck Hayes type contract and then the Rockets will not have to worry about their third pg for a couple of years.
  5. dfwrox

    dfwrox Contributing Member

    Jun 29, 2006
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    I hope CD will not mess this up like that damn trade on draft day...
  6. Rollazn

    Rollazn Member

    Mar 24, 2006
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    We already let James slip away - the Rocket organization better not mess this one up again. I think Lucas could be a very good point gaurd in a few years.

    For some reason I don't think the Rockets will sign him....
  7. roxfan123

    roxfan123 Member

    Mar 29, 2006
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    This better not be true. Otherwise I would expect a loooooooooooooooooot of dirty words in the forum.


    Jun 27, 2006
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    For some reason I don't think the Rockets will sign him....[/QUOTE]

    Me too! :(
  9. moestavern19

    moestavern19 Member

    Dec 8, 1999
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