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goku
08-15-2008, 07:57 PM
The Houston Rockets entered the summer with one goal in mind: to find a third scoring option to help Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady carry the offensive load. They wanted someone "like Corey Maggette," according to an insider, but they understood that Maggette was out of their price range. Still, they wanted someone who could score from anywhere and defend the perimeter, a description that fits Ron Artest perfectly. Now all they really have left to do is take care of some of their own free agents and they're basically ready for the 2008-09 season . . .and it should be a good one for the Rockets.

Players Added Via Free Agency

Brent Barry
Grade: B
Brent Barry is certainly past his prime and seems more like a courtesy add than a move that will help the Rockets get past the first round of the playoffs. Rick Barry and Jon Barry retired as Rockets . . .Brent should, too, right? Barry does bring some intangibles, beyond the occasional three-pointer. He has a brilliant basketball IQ, got some hardware from his time in San Antonio, and should contribute more in the locker room than he does on the court.

Players Acquired Via Trade

Ron Artest: Acquired in a trade with the Sacramento Kings for Donte Green, Bobby Jackson, and a 2009 draft pick.
Grade: A+
The NBA's most successful teams have three offensive threats. Whether it's San Antonio (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker), Boston (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen), or the LA Lakers (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom), the great teams have three. The Rockets needed a third All-Star caliber player to help carry the load, but also as insurance for the frequency of injuries to their existing Big Two of Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. If Yao and McGrady are healthy, Artest makes the Rockets serious contenders next season. The fact that they got him cheap is a bonus.

Players Added Via the Draft

The Rockets were very busy on draft night, actually picking Nicolas Batum (25) and Maarty Leunen (54), but wound up making a couple of moves that mean Batum landed in Portland and then in Europe. Here's who Houston actually wound up with after the draft:

Donte Greene
Grade: A
Drafted at 28 by the Grizzlies, Greene had a big showing at the Las Vegas Summer League and apparently caught the eye of Geoff Petrie, as he became the centerpiece of the trade for Ron Artest.

Joey Dorsey
Grade: B+
Drafted at 33 by the Blazers, Dorsey has yet to be signed by the Rockets due to contract issues. Dorsey did take part in a couple of summer league games before sustaining a minor injury and looked solid, if a little rough around the edges. The Rockets believe the 260 lb. Dorsey can play the center position, despite being just 6'9", and hope to have him signed before training camp.

Maarty Leunen
Grade: B
Leunen's going to play another season in Europe, but he certainly looked good in Vegas. He had a game-winning play in Houston's first game of the summer league and went on to show some nice all-around skills that will make him an asset to the Rockets when he makes it back over to the NBA. Based on what we saw in Vegas, it won't be long before Leunen becomes a household name in Houston.

Business To Be Done

Carl Landry: The first order of business has to be Carl Landry. The Rockets are staking much of their future in the development of Landry, who has yet to sign because his camp and the Rockets are still far apart in terms of understanding what he's worth. Landry is a restricted free agent and the Rockets have made it clear they'll match any offer he receives. Part of the reason they recently traded Steve Novak to the Clippers for draft considerations was to clear some cap space for Landry.

Dikembe Mutombo: Another reason for making the Novak deal was to clear some cap space for Mutombo, who is willing to play one more season as long as it's for more than the vet's minimum. Mutombo played amazingly well for Houston after Yao Ming was lost for the season and is a key element in their hopes of being contenders next season. The Rockets simply must limit Yao's minutes, and to do that they need someone they can rely on at the five. Dorsey isn't ready to take on that responsibility, making Mutombo a very important part of next season.

It's very likely the Rockets make another move - possibly dealing Luther Head - to acquire some cap space so they can sweeten their offers to Mutombo, Dorsey, and Landry.

Total Offseason Grade: A
The Rockets were among the top teams in the NBA last season before injuries caught up with them. Losing Yao Ming hurt, but when Rafer Alston went down during the playoffs it was more than the team could overcome. The Artest move was a master stroke by GM Daryl Morey and his team, and if Yao and McGrady are healthy it could prove to be a championship move. Of course, that's a big "if," especially considering Yao is now being forced to play at a very high level in the Olympics despite being only about 60% healthy. Frankly, with the addition of Artest the Rockets could still be very, very good even if Yao is watching from the sidelines

Jay22Redd
08-15-2008, 08:13 PM
Good

JOSETHEALLSTAR
08-15-2008, 08:34 PM
nice :]

bball1217
08-15-2008, 09:51 PM
I agree an A off season for the Rockets!

Storch
08-15-2008, 10:29 PM
Yes, the rockets deserve an A so far. Theyre built to win a ring now! As a laker fan, im jealous of the steal you guys got with artest coming in. :clap:

ii77daman
08-15-2008, 10:52 PM
is it jus me or does the olympic tv schedule suck?cant find a list that would show what game is played at what time and what channel...

can anyone tell me what time china vs germany will b tommrow?and what channel?