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Chron: Rockets land Posey in 3-team trade (With Quotes from players on the trade)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Sane, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. Sane

    Sane Member

    Jun 29, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I realize this may be posted in the "KT to be traded?" thread, but it's unfair for people to have to look through the 6 pages to come across that. This also contains the Rockets summary and new quotes.

    It's hello to Posey, so long to Thomas

    Rockets land swingman in 3-team trade
    Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle

    While not quite the blockbuster move the Astros managed by signing free-agent infielder Jeff Kent, the Rockets managed to pull off a deal Wednesday that could have a significant impact on their season.

    Faced with a logjam at power forward, Houston sent Kenny Thomas to Philadelphia in a three-team deal that landed the Rockets swingman James Posey from Denver.

    Thomas, who will be a restricted free agent at the end of this -- his fourth -- year, was dealt to Philadelphia, which sent forwards Art Long and Mark Bryant, along with a first-round draft pick, to Denver. Posey, the 18th pick in the 1999 NBA draft, comes to Houston, which also shipped a second-round pick to the Nuggets.

    "It gives us more of a balance. It gives us protection at (small forward) and also at (shooting guard)," said Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson. "Everybody knows we had an overload at the power forward spot, which has been talked about quite a bit.

    "We've been looking at different things we could do, and this was the most obvious thing we could do without waiting a whole lot longer. It's something we think will add to the team."

    The 6-8 Posey said he expects to be in Houston today.

    "I'm excited," he said. "It all came as a surprise to me, but I'm really looking forward to it. I already know a lot of the guys there, so that part (getting adjusted) will be easier. The Rockets are making some good moves, and I think they're moving in the right direction.

    "But I wasn't expecting this at all. I was halfway to the arena (Denver's Pepsi Center) when I talked to my agent (Mark Bartelstein), and he told me to turn around and go back home. And that's what I did."

    Thomas declined comment, but his agent, Mark McNeil, said his client, the 22nd pick in the 1999 draft, was happy with the move. Thomas, a 6-8 power forward out of New Mexico, spends much of his summer in Philadelphia and is familiar with the 76ers organization and its players.

    "They (the Sixers) are getting a hard worker and a team player," McNeil said. "He's excited. He's real familiar with Philadelphia. He watches the Sixers closely and plays with their players in the summer. It's a great opportunity and a chance to get over the hump."

    For Posey, a fourth-year player out of Xavier, the move means a transition from a Denver team that was in the midst of an extensive rebuilding program to one that appears to have turned the corner with the recent additions of Yao Ming and Eddie Griffin.

    "It's tough just sitting there and being on the losing side every game," Posey said. "I've been there a long time, so I've been through it (losing) for a few years. But now I'm going to Houston, which I think is a team on the upswing."

    Posey, who had been averaging a career-high 14.1 points for the Nuggets, sees himself as a player who will help the Rockets' transition game.

    "I think I'm a very versatile player who is able to defend a lot of positions and is a good transition player," said Posey, who was averaging 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists at the time of the trade. "What I do depends on what they (the Rockets) want from me.

    "I get my energy off the defensive end of the floor, and I like to run. And with Steve (Francis), Cuttino (Mobley) and Yao Ming, I think the Rockets are able to get up and down a lot."

    Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich was excited to get Posey, who works out at the team's Westside Tennis Club practice facility during the summer.

    "This guy we're bringing in, James Posey, is a guy we've been watching a lot," Tomjanovich said. "I see him every morning when I go to work in the summer. He's a hard-working kid, he's professional, and he covers two positions. I've watched him on tape, and I think he helps us have a lot more depth at two positions."

    Rockets summary

    Trade a surprise

    Rockets players arrived at Compaq Center without a notion that Kenny Thomas, a starter for most of the past two seasons and a first-round draft pick in 1999, had been traded, going to Philadelphia in a three-way deal.

    But when the shock wore off, several players could see potential benefits to their status, and to the roster, in acquiring offseason Westside Tennis Club teammate James Posey from Denver.

    Cuttino Mobley found out only seconds before he was handed a cell phone with Posey on the other end of the phone.

    "We hang together in the summer time all the time," Mobley said. "It's huge to come from Denver. And Kenny is going to a great situation. They wanted him in Philadelphia for a long time. It's a shame, too. You don't want to lose a guy like that. But it's something that happens."

    The trade immediately elevated Eddie Griffin to a starter's spot for Wednesday's game and moved Maurice Taylor back into the playing rotation.

    "I was shocked," Griffin said. "I had no clue. I guess they'll throw me in there. I guess they have faith in me. And Posey is a real good `3' (small forward). It's good for Kenny. It's a good deal."

    Taylor did not play in two games, then missed the three prior to Wednesday because of the flu.

    "I don't want to take it selfishly as something for me," Taylor said. "That's a hard thing to go through for me. I was not going to rah-rah it up.

    "He's a well-liked guy. He's been here as long as I've been here. It definitely means that I have to step up. It means they have faith in me coming back from the injury. But I'm not going to act like it's a happy time for me that a guy got traded."

    Slowly but surely

    For the Rockets' youngest player, Eddie Griffin, going against the Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal on Wednesday provided -- if nothing else -- a primer on the virtue of patience.

    Griffin did not, however, want to look at O'Neal's growth from a spot player in Portland to All-Star in Indiana as a sign of anything that would pertain to him.

    "There's a lot of players in this league at the age I am, 20, who started out slow and picked it up," Griffin said. "They worked on their game. But I try not to worry about everybody else's situation. I try to worry about mine. Just because they got better, it doesn't mean I'm going to get better. I've just got to do what I've got to do."

    In his first four seasons in Portland, O'Neal averaged 10.3 minutes and 3.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

    "Just look at our young guys; a couple of them are playing already and helping our team," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Look at (Tracy) McGrady his first year and how little he played (18.4 minutes per game). Hopefully, our guys are going to keep growing, but they're helping us right now and growing.

    "(O'Neal) had years he just sat there and sat there. All that patience worked out for him. He is one of the most efficient players in the league right now. He's got a good mid-range shot. He's very active with the left hand. He's an All-Star and an All-Star for many years to come."
  2. Apollo Creed

    Apollo Creed Contributing Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Really classy comments by Mo Taylor, I'm impressed.

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