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CHRON: Rockets get two for '1'- used most of MLE

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by nobrainer, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. nobrainer

    nobrainer Member

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    Rockets get two for '1'
    Ward, Sura signed to play point guard
    By MEGAN MANFULL
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

    The Rockets weren't about to rush into anything. They didn't want to overpay for a point guard. And they didn't want to simply settle for someone.

    After months of negotiations, the organization is confident its patience paid off. Instead of landing one starting point guard, the Rockets landed two.

    Free agents Bob Sura and Charlie Ward signed with the Rockets on Monday, bringing veteran leadership, experience and depth to the backcourt.

    Ward, a favorite of coach Jeff Van Gundy's during their years together in New York, will likely get the starting job. The versatile Sura will likely be a key reserve at point guard, shooting guard and small forward.

    Add those moves to the franchise's blockbuster trade in June in which they acquired Tracy McGrady, and the revamped Rockets have only one goal in mind — winning a title.

    "I think what you're always trying to do is continue to improve and get better," said Van Gundy by phone. "Certainly, I thought this was a good step forward. Until you win a championship, you have to continue to improve and get better. I think (general manager) Carroll (Dawson) worked long and hard to get these deals done to where they were good players at the right price."

    The Rockets, who now have 13 players under contract for the coming season, signed Ward to a three-year deal and Sura to a four-year contract by using most of their $4.9 million mid-level exception. The two have 19 years of combined experience in the NBA, and they spent 1991-94 together at Florida State.

    Ward spent the first 9 1/2 years of his career in New York before joining the San Antonio Spurs midway through last season. Seven of his seasons in New York were spent with Van Gundy, including 1999 when Ward was the starting point guard who led the Knicks to the NBA Finals. He has averaged 6.3 points, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals throughout his career.


    Soaring with Hawks
    Sura has averaged 8.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists throughout his career with Cleveland, Golden State, Detroit and Atlanta. He spent the second half of last season with the depleted Hawks and averaged 14.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 27 games.

    "We had quite a few people to choose from, and we kind of sat back and made sure we got the right people," Dawson said. "We took our time and didn't just jump at the first thing. I think it paid off, because the result sitting here is pretty solid, and we're very proud and happy about the way it turned out."

    The Rockets have only one hole left on the team. They are still looking for a backup center, the role left vacant when Kelvin Cato was traded with Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley to Orlando in the deal that landed McGrady in Houston.

    Dikembe Mutumbo may fill that void. The Chicago Tribune reports the Bulls have talked to the Rockets about an Eric Piatkowski-for-Mutumbo deal.

    For now, the Rockets are simply thrilled they finalized their backcourt. So are Sura and Ward, who said their summers were nerve-racking as they waited to find out where they would play.

    Ward almost landed in Houston during the middle of last season after he was traded from New York to Phoenix and then released. But he eventually turned down the Rockets for San Antonio, where he felt he had a better chance for a title.

    The stint with the Spurs was disappointing for Ward, who didn't win a championship or see much playing time. After the season, Ward's top objective was to land in Houston.

    "Houston was (my) No. 1 team before the (McGrady) trade," Ward said, "and then the Father saw fit that the trade happened, and then it became even more the No. 1."

    Sura and Ward are already embracing their jobs as role players. They know the offense will be centered around Yao Ming and McGrady. But they also understand how critical their play will be in determining whether or not the revamped Rockets reach the postseason.


    Team play needed
    "It's going to take some time for us to mesh together and kind of figure out what each other does well," Sura said.

    Sura has only played in six playoff games. Ward has advanced to the postseason in seven of his 10 seasons. He said he understands his role and Van Gundy's plan.

    "Everyone has to play as a unit, as a team and everyone has to buy into that," Ward said.

    megan.manfull@chron.com
     
  2. H-Town Info

    H-Town Info Member

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    i cant believe rockets signed ward for 3 years.

    he derserves a 1-yr deal with team option for the 2nd
     
  3. Darrinlane

    Darrinlane Member

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    I disagree with you Htown. If he knows JVG's game....let him start here. At the very least.....we can let him be third string on the Texans. He did win the heisman.
     
  4. JusBleezy

    JusBleezy Contributing Member

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    lol We'll see how it turns out. I believe Sura may take the starting PG position midway through the season if he can show that he can handle it. Either way, the Rockets will be set once they sign a backup center. Things are looking up. :cool:
     
  5. Williamson

    Williamson JOSH CHRISTOPHER ONLY FAN
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    I don't mind Ward to a 3 year deal. I'd prefer two years but three is ok. Tyronn Lue's contract expires after this season so if need be we can always let him walk and sign a solid point guard next year and then move Ward to second and third string in the coming years.
     
  6. ctry2582

    ctry2582 Member

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    I don't get the whole, I can't believe we gave him a three year deal stuff.

    Who signs a one year deal nowadays, anyway?

    Just think, Ward has a good season, his contract is up, and the Rockets are inclined to re-up and sign him for even more than this current deal, or he just walks to another team with the Rockets getting nothing in return.


    If all else fails, like the guy above me said:

     
  7. ArtV

    ArtV Contributing Member

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    And we still have a hole to back up Yao. Why not spend half on Jones or James and half on a C backup? Now we HAVE to find a trade partner to swap little for big.

    Good planning CD...

    <font size="1">Can you tell I'm a little bitter by yesterday's news?</font>
     
  8. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    Uh - maybe CD already has that lined up, thereby justifying this aquisition?

    Lighten up...
     
  9. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
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    Oh, man. I went back and looked at Ward's "anti-semitic" comments and am persuaded that they weren't so horrible. It was just innocent ignorance with no malice or impropriety. But people who think God is running the NBA or any other sports league make me sad. God doesn't pick winners and losers, particularly when the stakes are just a game. And He sure doesn't get involved in the offseason.

    Anybody here think God sent Cuttino Mobley to Orlando?
     
  10. krosfyah

    krosfyah Contributing Member

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    I guess you missed the bit about the trade exception? Pike is also expendable. MoT is also highly tradable if we get a banger/rebounder in return.
     
  11. gotrock?

    gotrock? Member

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    I hardly think Ward comments could be considered "anti-anybody" and yes, God runs everything--he got rid of Steve and brought us T-Mac, didn't He?!?!:D :D :D
     
  12. john_l

    john_l Contributing Member

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    Of course, if you buy that, you've necessarily also got to accept that trading 3 first round picks for Eddie G was part of god's plan, which seriously calls into question the doctrine of infallability. Another question - do you think god understands the cap, or does He use realgm like everyone else...
     
  13. ArtV

    ArtV Contributing Member

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    Les won't have CD use the TE unless it's absolutely necessary - like the Deke deal may require it since I don't see CHI wanting another PG in Wilks and I don't think you can trade 2 players like Pike and AG with a TE. They may say we want Pike but we don't want your other scrubs, so use part of your TE.

    But these signings for 2 guards severely limit our options for a big man. Most teams are not going to let a decent 7'er go for nothing or next to nothing like our small scrubs. Sadly, the CHI scenerio may be our only hope and they hold the keys. I would have like a better pg than Ward like Jones and spent the rest of the money on a big man.
     
  14. Toast

    Toast Member

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    Ward the starting PG???

    When it happened, I kinda figured it'd be like Avery Johnson - coach/player type situation. I dunno if I buy Charlie Ward as the starting PG. If that's the case, what the hell do we have Lue for? Is he gonna see any minutes at all?
     
  15. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Old farts.
     
  16. idrockfan

    idrockfan Contributing Member

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    That is hilarious....


    Anyways. As a Christian, I personally get frustrated with guys who say stuff like that. God caused the T-Mac trade? please. People like that are always so eager to give God the credit for all of the good stuff. But then when something bad happens it's somebody else's fault. I think there is a lot more to FREE WILL than people think. Go watch Bruce Almighty and you'll see what I mean. Sometimes when good things happen, it's because people make good choices and stuff like that. And when bad things happen someone signs a white guy to a seven year deal for 24 million dollars. hehe


    Go Rockets
     
  17. theDude

    theDude Contributing Member
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    Those numbers Sura put up with the Hawks are very Francisesque.
     
  18. gotrock?

    gotrock? Member

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    For one, I agree idrockfan's quote was hilarious!! Number two, lighten up!! I believe in free will, as well, but anyone who believes in God has to know he is behind everything whether we understand it or not, if you don't you're a hypocrite or extremely shallow. In any case, this isn't a religious discussion board, so I'll keep the focus on B-Ball, in the future...Have a nice day!
     
  19. montevideo

    montevideo Contributing Member

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    If Ward brings his 'A' game and is a positive force on the team - I have no problem with a few 'G' words - as opposed to 'f' bombs.
     
  20. RocketManJosh

    RocketManJosh Contributing Member

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    Not to continue this D&D topic, but can you understand that some people believe God has an influence in everything (good and seemingly bad). I for one believe that God has a hand in everything that happens to me and everything happens for a reason. When I have any decision to make I believe that it is God that pushes me in one direction or another which I believe is similar to what Charlie Ward's thinking is. You disagree and that's fine, but why must you completely diss another person's beliefs just because you do not think the same?

    Sorry had to throw that in ... Back to the Rockets ;) ...

    I don't really like that we gave 3 years to Ward since I believe he could have easily been had for only 2 years ... I guess Ward and his agent knew that he was about the only real option left for a PG with experience.

    If we can pull out the deke trade, then I think the Rox will have played a nice hand of cards this summer and I will be very excited about next season. :D
     

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