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Rockets could be frontrunner for Marc Jackson if Hakeem leaves

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by The Cat, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. The Cat

    The Cat Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/sports/bk/bkn/987113

    Olajuwon remains no closer to choice


    Raptors seem ready to increase ante

    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle

    The Rockets have not lost Hakeem Olajuwon. But keeping him could be getting more difficult.

    With the Rockets' latest offer rejected, the Raptors have sent every indication they had one more trump card to play -- a willingness to guarantee a third season of a contract -- sources with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday.

    The Rockets had increased their offer to Olajuwon, 38, to a three-year deal worth $13 million, guaranteeing $10 million of the contract. Olajuwon since instructed his agent, Dan Fegan, not to entertain any further offers.

    But sources said advisers to Olajuwon have prevailed upon him to allow the Rockets another chance to keep him.

    But while the teams worked to close the deal and prepared for Olajuwon's decision, sources said Olajuwon was undecided about what he wanted to do.

    "Nobody can tell what Hakeem is going to do and that includes Hakeem," a source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said. "That much I can tell you with complete certainty. He's leaning toward not considering more offers and has felt that way for several days. That would indicate that he would be leaving. But he definitely has not made that decision."

    If the Raptors guarantee the third year of their offer, previously made with a team option, they could guarantee $15 million even without the Rockets agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal.

    But the Rockets had not cut off negotiations with Olajuwon's representatives, indicating a potential to tweak their latest offer, already increased from a one-year, $4.1 million deal.

    Fegan did not return phone messages Tuesday.
    But while the Rockets continue to place their emphasis on signing Olajuwon, a potential fallback plan has emerged in Golden State center Marc Jackson.

    Jackson, 26, a 6-10, 270 center, met with the Pacers on Tuesday and has been pursued by the Sonics and Warriors. But the Rockets could become the front-runner to sign Jackson, several sources said, if they choose to recruit him.

    The Rockets have spoken to guard Cuttino Mobley and draft pick Eddie Griffin about Jackson, a fellow Philadelphia product, sources said. Jackson was a high school friend and rival of Mobley's, is a close friend with Rockets free-agent guard Sean Colson and a role model to Griffin, a successor at Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High School.

    Jackson, considered the Rookie of the Year front-runner before a groin injury ended his season early, said in March he hoped the Rockets would try to sign him.

    "Oh man, that would be great," Jackson said. "With Cat (Mobley), Steve (Francis) Kenny (Thomas), they have some great young talent. That would be a great place to be."

    But because of their determination to sign Olajuwon, the Rockets have not completed evaluations of Jackson, sources said, and are unsure if he could be a replacement for Olajuwon.

    Jackson's agent, Joel Bell, was unwilling to comment.

    The Rockets have continued to focus their efforts on Olajuwon and have not set a deadline for him to reach a decision.

    "I think he understands completely how I feel," Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said. "I've made my emotions known, really known, to him. We very much want him to be here with us."

    Said Mobley: "Of course we need him. He's top 50 all-time. You see that, what he brings to the game. You saw that last year, before the All Star break, the old Dream. We need that.
    "Dream, we need you. We love you."

    But with Olajuwon's decision, if not his options, narrowed to the Raptors and Rockets, both teams have similarly narrowed their focus.

    "We don't have other priorities other than Hakeem right now," Raptors general manager Glen Grunwald said. "The opportunity to acquire someone of Hakeem's stature is something we can't pass up.

    "We remain interested and hopeful that something will work," Grunwald said, adding that he has seen Olajuwon workout twice. "It's obviously very significant for him to even consider leaving Houston, where he has spent his entire career and had an unbelievable amount of success."
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    [This message has been edited by The Cat (edited July 31, 2001).]
     
  2. Clutch

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    "if they choose to recruit him."

    I heard a few weeks ago the Rockets did not have interest in him.... we'll see how legit that is though. I mean why else is Jackson waiting?

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  3. Francis3

    Francis3 Member

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    Good. I think Marc was waiting this whole time to see what Hakeem was going to do.



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  4. RocksMillenium

    RocksMillenium Contributing Member

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    Hmmm, interesting. It would be nice to re-sign our own free agents, get Marc Jackson, and see if we couldn't get an extra big man.

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  5. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    You suck, CAT! I was just reading this.

    Also, interesting that the Rockets could "tweak" their offer.

    I heard recently that they liked Jackson but were convinced Hakeem would return and didn't bother to check into him much supposedly because they also thought he would sign with Golden State.

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  6. ZRB

    ZRB Contributing Member

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    They might as well renounce Dream and sign Jackson while they still can. Since there is zero chance of Hakeem returning, they should just get this over with. I am so looking forward to the end of the worst offseason in history.

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  7. RocksMillenium

    RocksMillenium Contributing Member

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    It was obvious Dream didn't want to return. Maybe he had his sights set on Toronto already since they're more of a half-court team. It would explain why Dream came out with the statement that he wanted to keep the team intact, and then turned around and asked for enough money where they COULDN'T re-sign their own free agents, forcing the Rockets hands.

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  8. JoeBarelyCares

    JoeBarelyCares Contributing Member

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    We'll have to top $4.5 million the first year to Jackson to keep Golden State from matching. This is more than the $4.1 million (first year) we are offering Hakeem. I guess Bullard would have to take less than his $2.96 million bird slot for us to sign Jackson, somewhere we apparently don't want to venture to re-sign Hakeem.

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    [This message has been edited by JoeBarelyCares (edited July 31, 2001).]
     
  9. The Cat

    The Cat Contributing Member

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    JBC,

    I read a recent report on the Sporting News that stated because the Warriors already had 14 guaranteed contracts, they were unlikely to match an offer to Jackson in the 3-4 million per year range.

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  10. ZRB

    ZRB Contributing Member

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    God, how awful it would be to lose Bullard. Hakeem just isn't worth the pain that would be caused by losing Bullard.

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  11. SteveFrancis3

    SteveFrancis3 Contributing Member

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    Sweet. [​IMG] That would be great if we could get him at 3-4 million.
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    You know it really isn't about that, ZRB. It isn't about money for Bull. His signing was a given with or without a Hakeem contract. If you want to blame this on anyone, it would be on Taylor.

    The Rockets have partial or full Bird rights to Anderson, Norris and Bullard. Only Taylor must be signed without going over the cap.

    It's not Taylor's fault either. They consider him integral to the team along with the rest. Hakeem just doesn't want to cooperate with that.

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  13. ZRB

    ZRB Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I know Jeff. I'm just disappointed that my favorite player ever to play in the NBA will no longer be playing for my favorite team.

    I will still be a Rocket fan, but something will be missing. Until the Rockets retire Hakeem's jersey, my heart will not be in the Rockets in the same way.

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  14. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    Oh man, I would LOVE to see Dream leave if we can get Jackson.

    DaDakota

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  15. huby_n1

    huby_n1 Member

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    I don't think it's worth it gambling on a player like Marc Jackson, after all he only played around 50 games in the NBA. Just say we sign him to a long term deal, it could really screw us over the next few years. We've already have Cato, and now Marc Jackson? I don't think so.
    What we can do is wait for a couple of years, when Tim Duncan is once again back on the market, and sign him through rest of his career. Title number 3 for H-Town!!!

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  16. jbond77

    jbond77 Contributing Member

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    Its pretty obvious my favortie player will leave my favorite team as well. That sucks, but its not like this is happening out of nowhere, the warning signs have been written from Day 1 Offseason and you know it ZRB! [​IMG]Once were over the shock.


    Marc Jackson looks good, especially with the more and more playground connection chemistry we have. Jesus, Eddies mentor was Jackson, Cuttio and all them grew up around each other in Philly. Sean Colson knows em [​IMG]. Moochie being Stevies rolemodel in DC, Walt from DC, and MO from Detroit. Hakeem isn't right for this team, although I do like the idea of him staying. One big playground Escalade and Hummer world of Master P and fogged up windows playing playstation two. You can't buy that kinda of generational chemistry.

    Add Jackson.

    He's been waiting for us and only us.

    Nov 4 is my birthday, and I always get a present that week.....the Houston Rockets. [​IMG]


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  17. Elvis Costello

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    Ok, ZRB..easy, easy..back away from the hyperbole bridge! The Rockets got what many considered the #1 pick in the draft. Hakeem is just in the mid-life crisis mode like a lot of people experience. I think it is clear that he just wants to see what it is like somewhere else. No crisis and the Rockets are not running him out, either. (see Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Patrick Ewing, Wilt Chamberlin and, shortly, Michael Jordan), While the Hakeem saga may suck, this is not "the worst off-season in history." That would be either the Astro's offseason of 1999-2000 or in Poland, summer of 1939. Slightly worse there...

    -Elvis!

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    [This message has been edited by Elvis Costello (edited August 01, 2001).]
     
  18. Swopa

    Swopa Contributing Member

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    Yeah, right, which is why he met with the Pacers today.

    Jackson has been waiting for a big-money offer, and only a big-money offer. Did you miss all the nice things he said about Seattle when they still had cap room?

    If Mussolini had $5M-plus under the cap, Jackson would be saying how impressed he was by Italian fascism.

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  19. r-fan-since-81

    r-fan-since-81 Contributing Member

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    We (The Rockets) could not go wrong by offering Marc a one year deal for, say about 4.6 Million. Which GS could not match. Rent his services for year. If he plays great, we give him an extention for 5 years. If he sux, o'well he is the best free agent available at the center position.

    Is this possible Krispee Kringle aka-Heypartner?

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  20. e-bull

    e-bull Member

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    getting MarC Jackson could be the best thing the Rocks could add as long as we get a)a viable big man in return from the dinos or b)the first rounder that has been mentioned, which will be in the latter part of the draft. Jacks can run the floor and will give us the only true inside prsence that the Rocks have been looking for. The chemistry would be awesome.

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