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Rockets miss out on free-agent point guard

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by thegame_2234, Jul 19, 2004.

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  1. thegame_2234

    thegame_2234 Contributing Member

    Jun 22, 2002
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    i took this from the Houston Chronicle i don't know if this have been post but i take it because it was good :cool:

    Rockets miss out on free-agent point guard
    Trade an option, but Lue remains valued incumbent
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

    One of these days — or weeks or months — Carroll Dawson will take a weekend off, and his days will be as empty as the Rockets' contribution to the NBA's July transaction lists.

    For now, the Rockets' general manager sits behind stacks of contract information. Statistics, analyses and tapes are within easy reach, all providing details about players he could bring to a roster unchanged since Dawson landed Tracy McGrady days before the start of free agency.

    The Rockets made no secret then about their offseason wish list. With Steve Francis in Orlando, they had one point guard, Tyronn Lue, under contract. With Kelvin Cato gone, they had no backup center, excluding power forwards Juwan Howard, Maurice Taylor and Clarence Weatherspoon.

    They had free agents and their representatives interested in a team on the upswing keeping their phones ringing and fax machines humming.

    After almost three weeks of sticker shock and signings, the Rockets still have one point guard under contract and no backup center, save the power forwards. Rather than taking a run at the free-agent point guards, they took a slow jog in their general direction and turned another way. Most of the guards they seemed likely to target were claimed. No signing is imminent.

    Brent Barry, Derek Fisher, Troy Hudson and Rafer Alston have been signed, some to contracts that could be featured in an NBA GMs Gone Wild video.

    The Rockets apparently decided the free agents available were not enough of an upgrade from Lue to be worth the $37 million Fisher received for seven years or the $28 million Alston got for five years.

    Lue suffices
    The Rockets went that route with the six-year, $18 million deal that went to Matt Maloney, then a starter, and the four-year, $18 million contract (guaranteed) that went to Moochie Norris. With Lue, 27, in place, they don't feel the urgency to make another move like those.

    "You're more flexible and have more control of your roster when you have two- and three-year contracts," Dawson said. "That's what you always shoot for, but you can't always have that advantage to where you're not locked in like a lot of people are. Tyronn Lue started last year. There's some good players out there, but to say they're an upgrade — I'm not going to say that."

    There are free-agent guards to consider. Charlie Ward, whom Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy often has cited as the epitome of the mindset he admires, is unsigned and, now that the flurry of signings has passed, could remain available long enough to come at a reasonable price. Bob Sura is more of a shooting guard but has developed as a point guard to be considered. Damon Jones and Mike James could help but might be too expensive.

    For now, the Rockets might be likely to seek trades, particularly if they are unwilling to spend significantly for players who don't represent a step up from Lue. They can seek trades while armed with a glut at power forward and a $6.9 trade exception left from last season's Glen Rice deal with Utah.

    Daniels a possibility
    One target could be the SuperSonics' Antonio Daniels. Seattle seems to be grooming Luke Ridnour to be the starter and sought Fisher. Had the Sonics landed Fisher, Daniels would have been expendable. But the pursuit of Fisher could indicate Daniels is no longer in Seattle's plans.

    Daniels, 29, is coming off perhaps his best season, having excelled at running an efficient offense. But unless a team is willing to take on one of Seattle's high-priced frontcourt players, with Daniels signed to a relatively modest contract, the Sonics might not feel a need to move him, particularly after Fisher went to Golden State.

    The Warriors, however, would seem to have more point guards than they can play, with Fisher joining Nick Van Exel and last summer's addition, Speedy Claxton. Van Exel lives in Houston and would likely welcome a trade to the Rockets. But there are questions about Van Exel's knees, and he is due $11.8 million next season, more than the Rockets are likely to take on and probably more than they would be willing to match with players they would have to send to the Warriors.

    The Rockets also could consider a trade for last season's early free-agent target, Kevin Ollie. They and many teams backed off when Cleveland offered Ollie a five-year, $15 million contract, but the Cavaliers could be ready to move him. However, if the Rockets balked at the length of Ollie's contract, they might have the same reaction this season.

    "You don't just try to go out and sign somebody," Dawson said. "You want to make sure the pieces fit. If it takes a little bit longer, we're going to try to do it the right way and try to get it done."

  2. hrockets2k

    hrockets2k Member

    Oct 28, 2003
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  3. JPM0016

    JPM0016 Contributing Member

    May 23, 2003
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