October 24, 2017 at 11:22 am

Rockets bring back old friend in Isaiah Canaan

The Rockets are adding some point guard help.

Former Rocket Isaiah Canaan is set to return to the Rockets, according to Chris Haynes.

The Rockets drafted Canaan early in the second round (34th pick) in the 2013 NBA Draft and he played nearly two full seasons with the Rockets before being shipped to Philadelphia in a deadline-day trade that brought K.J. McDaniels to Houston.

Canaan was a solid three-point shooter in Houston (38.1% in his second season) but has been about average over his career, hitting 35.2% from deep. The Rockets hope he can provide some point guard help with Chris Paul (knee) out for some time.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
July 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

Podcast: As they near a superstar trio, Rockets go up for sale

Les Alexander Chris Paul Carmelo Anthony

Needless to say, a lot has happened at the corner of La Branch and Polk.

The Rockets are right at the cusp of creating a superstar trio in Houston with fans going crazy on the board about the possibilities, then CEO Tad Brown added some bombshell news to the mix that could impact everything.

Leslie Alexander is selling the team.

David Weiner (BimaThug) joins Dave Hardisty (Clutch) to discuss the crazy summer of 2017 — the addition of Chris Paul, the pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and the shocking news that Alexander is putting the Houston Rockets up for sale.

Posted in Houston Rockets, Podcasts |
July 17, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Leslie Alexander is putting the Houston Rockets up for sale

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander

BREAKING: The Rockets have announced that longtime owner Leslie Alexander is putting the Houston Rockets up for sale.

Team CEO Tad Brown said Alexander would like to have more time for other pursuits.

“It can wear on you after decades. He’s tired,” says Brown of Alexander.

Brown will be “running the point” on finding a buyer, but it’s a big shock since Alexander has owned the team since 1993. He just extended the contracts of general manager Daryl Morey, superstar James Harden and added Chris Paul. The plan is to try to add Carmelo Anthony as well.

“It’s been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years,” said Alexander. “I’ve had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, been named to All-Star and All-NBA teams, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and done so much for our franchise and our fans.”

“The Houston community has been home to me; I will continue to support the charities I have made commitments to throughout the years. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the fans, partners, city officials and employees who care so deeply for this team. I’ve made this decision after much deliberation with my family and friends, and do so knowing the franchise is in great shape with the players, coaches and management team in place.”

Certainly from a franchise value standpoint, the Rockets’ value has soared over the last decade. Alexander bought the team for $85 million in 1993. Forbes recently ranked the Rockets as the 8th most valued franchise in the NBA, estimating its worth at $1.65 billion. Given that there are only 30 of these, the team will likely sell for more than that. Alexander may see this as a good time to maximize the value of his investment.

Alexander has been a terrific owner, largely unappreciated. He has always thought big, chasing superstars every season. While making sure he’s involved, he largely stays behind the scenes and lets his basketball people go to work. You never saw his ego get involved in battles with Mark Cuban or others.

To expect that in a new owner, one who will pay likely over $2,000,000,000, is probably expecting too much. Changes are coming.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
July 11, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Rockets to hold rally inside Toyota Center for Chris Paul

Chris Paul Houston Rockets Rally

The Houston Rockets will introduce Chris Paul at a press conference at 2:00pm this Friday at Toyota Center, and while the press conference itself will be attended only by the media, the Rockets have big plans for the fans at the same time.

The Rockets will be opening the Toyota Center bowl to fans on Friday for a Chris Paul event. It’s totally free, including parking at Toyota Tundra Garage. The scoreboard will be lowered and the team will run the entire press conference on the board for the fans, then Chris Paul will come out to see the fans.

The Rockets will have hot dogs and nachos available for just $1.00 each as well as entertainment so get off work early on Friday and come out. The doors open at 1:30. It’s going to be a good one.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
July 8, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Rockets sign James Harden to richest extension ever, will pay him $228 million

James Harden contract extension

The Rockets have made it official, signing James Harden to a four-year extension that will keep him in a Houston Rockets uniform until 2023.

“Houston is home for me,” said Harden in the Rockets official press release.

With the extension, the largest ever in the NBA, the Rockets will pay Harden $228 million over the next six seasons. He is due over $59 million for the next two, with the four new seasons worth roughly $169 million. He will be paid just under $47 million for the 2022-23 season.

Signing the extension does not impact the Rockets’ cap situation for this season or next.

“Since he arrived in Houston, James has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game,” said Rockets owner Les Alexander.

That’s a lot of bank for a guard who will be 34 years old at the end of the extension, but Harden is an MVP-caliber talent and the impact to the organization is not just felt on the floor.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
July 2, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Nene is back! Rocket center agrees to three-year deal

Cooler heads prevailed.

Nene will return to the Houston Rockets after agreeing to terms on a three-year, $11 million deal.

It was touch and go for a few days after both Nene and the Rockets learned that the four-year, $15 million deal they had originally agreed to was not legal under the new CBA. Both parties had misinterpreted the deadline of the new over-38 clause. It was reported that Nene was back to “square zero” and was looking at other teams and options.

The concern was that the Rockets would have to dip into the mid-level exception if they were going to sign Nene, but that wasn’t the case as Nene agreed to the non-Bird three-year deal, letting the extra four million bucks go.

Nene was a key contributor last season for the Rockets as he worked extremely well with James Harden on pick-and-rolls and in post-up situations. He was a monster in the playoffs, averaging 13.6 points on an absurd 84.8% shooting (!) in the first round against the Oklahoma City Thunder, providing a great counter to the physicality of Steven Adams and Taj Gibson. Unfortunately, he suffered a left groin tear in Game 4 against the Spurs and was lost for the remainder of the season.

Houston’s roster right now is starting to take shape with James Harden, Chris Paul and Eric Gordon in the backcourt (I mean… “WOW!”), Trevor Ariza and PJ Tucker covering the wings and smallball four spots and Clint Capela and Nene manning the five.

The next question will be what happens with the traditional four and Ryan Anderson.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
July 1, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Rockets add defense, sign PJ Tucker

PJ Tucker Houston Rockets

The Rockets are looking for defensive depth and they got some Saturday night, signing former University of Texas Longhorn PJ Tucker.

Tucker signed a four-year deal worth $32 million, according to Yahoo! Sports. The years and dollar amount are nearly identical to the 2014 contract the Rockets signed with Trevor Ariza, but the Rockets will be using their mid-level exception this time around.

Tucker is a 6-foot-5, 225 pound guard-forward who brings toughness and attitude. Built like a Mario Elie, Tucker is known for his defense with the Phoenix Suns and most recently the Toronto Raptors.

With the loss of Patrick Beverley, the Rockets certainly were in need of a bulldog and the 32-year old Tucker is definitely that.

“I love his emotion, I love his grit, love his fire, I love his passion, everything about him,” said his now-former coach Dwane Casey last season. “There’s nothing about P.J. Tucker that I don’t like.”

Tucker is roughly an average three-point shooter, hitting over 35.1% from long range for his career, but he did hit 24-60 (40%) in his 24 games with the Raptors last season. He will certainly get open looks with the Rockets.

But it’s defense that Tucker will really bring.

“For me, being able to take someone out of their game and be able to stop a main player on another team is bigger than scoring any amount of points or anything else,” said Tucker last season. “It’s part of the game that’s not glorified and people don’t always want to do but it wins games.”

If you look at the West, teams are trying to roster at least two strong wing defenders to play the Warriors. The Spurs have Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The Thunder now have Paul George and likely bring back Andre Roberson. The Wolves will roll out Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins. The Rockets hope Ariza and Tucker can be their fire extinguishers.

Here is a highlight video from a couple of seasons ago, showing the kind of defense Tucker plays.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
June 28, 2017 at 11:22 am

Stephen A. Smith says Carmelo Anthony will sign with Rockets if bought out

Stephen A. Smith Chris Paul Carmelo Anthony

News of the Chris Paul trade had barely broken before reports started coming out about how others wanted to join the party in Houston.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported on Wednesday that Knicks star Carmelo Anthony will sign with the Rockets if he gets a buyout from the Knicks. Anthony and Chris Paul are close friends.

“If Melo pulls off getting waived by the New York Knicks, getting bought out of his contract, he will go to Houston in all likelihood, joining Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston. That’s what I’ve been hearing over the last hour,” said Smith.

You can watch the full video below:

Posted in Houston Rockets |