Houston Rockets – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2020-08-04T03:26:28Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Harden, Antetokounmpo Battle Over MVP Voting]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167438 2020-08-02T22:16:57Z 2020-08-02T14:59:29Z
  • Ahead of their meeting tonight, McMahon examines the history of the feud between Rockets star James Harden and the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, which began with last year’s MVP race.
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    Jovan Alford <![CDATA[House To Start In Place Of Eric Gordon]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167166 2020-07-30T02:25:48Z 2020-07-30T02:25:48Z
  • With Eric Gordon being sidelined for two weeks with an ankle injury, Danuel House will be inserted into the Rockets’ starting lineup, per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). This season, House has started in 47 games for Houston, while averaging 10.2 PPG and 4.2 RPG. He is also shooting 36.3 percent from three-point range.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Eric Gordon To Miss Time With Ankle Injury]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=167028 2020-07-29T22:02:09Z 2020-07-29T14:55:33Z Rockets guard Eric Gordon may be sidelined for up to two weeks after turning his left ankle in the team’s final scrimmage Tuesday night, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. X-rays were negative, and Gordon will be re-evaluated today.

    The injury occurred late in the second quarter when Gordon landed awkwardly after jumping to make a pass. He was helped to the sidelines by teammates and wasn’t able to place much weight on the ankle.

    “Hurts a little bit. He doesn’t really swell, so we won’t know until tomorrow the extent of it,” coach Mike D’Antoni told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle after the game. “He’s going to be out a few days.”

    D’Antoni moved Gordon into the starting lineup when the team reconvened in Orlando. The versatile guard has been through a difficult season since signing a four-year, $76MM extension in September. He missed six weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in mid-November and struggled with his shot after returning. Gordon is averaging 14.5 PPG, the lowest in his four years in Houston, and is shooting a career-worst 37% from the field.

    There was optimism that Gordon turned a corner during the hiatus, as he reported to Orlando 12 pounds lighter, which he credited to diet changes and alterations to his workouts. He is considered a vital cog for the Rockets to succeed with their extreme small-ball lineup.

    “To me it just makes sense that you do it, because one, Eric is probably our best perimeter defender,” D’Antoni said in explaining the decision to start Gordon. “So when another team has a superstar in there, he has to guard that. Two, if you don’t start him, then he’s resting for 12 minutes when he is not tired to start the game or in the second half.”

    D’Antoni hasn’t decided who will take Gordon’s place as a starter while he is out of action. Bontemps notes that Ben McLemore started the second half last night, but Danuel House, who started 47 games this season, is also an option.

    “We’ll see,” D’Antoni said. “It’s an easier rotation because Danuel has to back up (Robert) Covington at the 4, but Danuel could probably start. We’ll see what happens.”

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Financial Effects Of Pandemic Likely To Impact NBA Offseason]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166883 2020-07-27T20:55:05Z 2020-07-27T20:55:05Z A number of team owners around the NBA are feeling the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, for instance, has seen business fall off precipitously at his restaurants, hotels, and casinos, while Heat owner Micky Arison has had to temporarily shut down his Carnival Cruise Lines.

    While some team owners have been hit harder than others by the effects of COVID-19, there’s an expectation that the pandemic will have a league-wide impact on spending this offseason, as Windhorst writes. Some teams may have to make difficult financial decisions that could result in unexpected player movement.

    “With few exceptions, no one wants to make long-term commitments right now,” one general manager told ESPN. “You can already feel it coming.”

    In addition to the teams that may feel pressure to dump pricey contracts or avoid expensive free agent commitments, some clubs may face financial constraints in the draft. Although selling second-round draft picks remains fairly common, no NBA team has sold a first-round pick since the Nuggets did so with the No. 27 selection in the 2013 draft, according to Windhorst. Some people around the league believe that teams will consider the possibility again in 2020.

    “I suspect first-round picks will be for sale in this draft,” a team executive said. “We haven’t really seen that in a decade.”

    Here are a few more noteworthy details and quotes from Windhorst’s examination of NBA teams’ finances:

    • Warriors owner Joe Lacob has told his fellow owners that he’s exploring a deal with Goldman Sachs to raise up to $250MM to manage expenses, per Windhorst. Sources tell ESPN that other team owners are considering ways to raise capital as well, with some – including the Rockets – pursuing legal action against companies that have denied coronavirus-related insurance claims.
    • Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta recently took out a $300MM loan and is more leveraged than many other owners, since he purchased the franchise fairly recently, but he continues to insist he’s not looking to sell any shares in the team. Brokers who have approached him representing potential bidders have been told the same, reports Windhorst.
    • Nets owner Joseph Tsai recently sold about 25% of his shares in tech company Alibaba, according to Windhorst. Other owners might not have similar opportunities to raise capital. “I don’t know what will happen, but I may lose $50MM next season,” one owner told Windhorst. “If that happens, I have three options: I could borrow the money, I could sell part of the team or I could do a cash call and me and my partners would have to write checks.”
    • NBA rules allow team owners to borrow $325MM against the equity in their franchises. A majority of NBA teams – including the Warriors – have maxed out that credit, sources tell Windhorst.
    • Although the Buss family’s pockets aren’t as deep as some of their fellow owners, the Lakers bring in about $200MM annually from their local TV deal and aren’t expected to have any issues re-signing Anthony Davis, writes Windhorst.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Mbah A Moute, Rivers]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166879 2020-07-27T19:42:36Z 2020-07-27T19:42:36Z Speaking today to reporters for the first time since reporting to the NBA’s campus and clearing quarantine, Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute confirmed that his arrival was delayed because he had contracted the coronavirus, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

    Mbah a Moute signed with the Rockets on July 7 as a substitute player replacing Thabo Sefolosha, but didn’t arrive in Orlando until last Wednesday. According to Feigen, Mbah a Moute said today that he dealt with “chills (and) body ache” while battling COVID-19, adding that the recovery was “tough.”

    Meanwhile, Mbah a Moute’s teammate Austin Rivers hasn’t tested positive for the coronavirus, but remains quarantined in his hotel room after briefly leaving the Orlando campus last week. Rivers, who returned on Saturday, is scheduled to complete his four-day quarantine period on Tuesday and should be ready to go for the Rockets’ first seeding game this Friday vs. Dallas, Feigen writes for The Chronicle.

    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Rockets’ Austin Rivers Returns To Campus]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166694 2020-07-26T21:30:49Z 2020-07-25T20:30:37Z Rockets guard Austin Rivers is back on the Walt Disney World campus, two days after leaving for an “urgent family matter,” writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Rivers posted the news today on his Instagram account.

    Players are permitted to leave the campus, but they must quarantine for four to 10 days once they return. Feigen notes that the four-day wait takes effect only if players test negative for the coronavirus for seven straight days before returning. Those tests can include the ones taken at the WDW complex if they’re away for fewer than seven days.

    Rivers wasn’t present for last night’s scrimmage and will sit out Sunday’s contest with the Grizzlies, Feigen adds. His status for the final scrimmage on Tuesday and Houston’s first seeding game on Friday has yet to be determined.

    Rivers was a valuable contributor off the bench in his first full season with the Rockets, averaging 8.5 points in 60 games while playing 23.4 minutes per night. He has a $2.4MM player option for 2020/21.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Rockets’ Rivers Leaves Campus Due To Urgent Family Matter]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166533 2020-07-24T20:14:21Z 2020-07-24T14:51:58Z 9:51am: Rivers expects to return to Orlando sometime this weekend, tweets Charania. Assuming he only requires a four-day quarantine period, Rivers should have a chance to be active for Houston’s first seeding game next Friday.

    9:28am: Rockets guard Austin Rivers has left the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World in order to attend to an “urgent family matter,” reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

    Based on the NBA’s protocols, Rivers will be subject to a quarantine period of at least four days when he returns to Orlando. He’ll have to remain quarantined for up to 10-14 days if he doesn’t return daily negative coronavirus tests for each day that he’s off campus (or each of the last seven days, if he’s away for more than a week).

    Unless Rivers’ absence is brief, it seems unlikely he’ll be available for Houston’s first seeding game on July 31 vs. Dallas. However, he still has plenty of time to return and get back up to game speed before the playoffs begin (around August 17). The Rockets are hopeful he’ll be able to return soon, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

    Rivers is the fourth player known to have left the campus for a personal emergency. Pelicans forward Zion Williamson, Clippers center Montrezl Harrell, and Clippers guard Patrick Beverley have also done so.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Luc Mbah A Moute Arrives In Orlando]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166453 2020-07-23T15:24:00Z 2020-07-23T15:24:00Z Another Rockets veteran has reported to the NBA’s campus, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link), who hears from a source that forward Luc Mbah a Moute arrived in Orlando on Wednesday.

    James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Mbah a Moute didn’t initially travel with the Rockets to Orlando, but Harden and Westbrook have since arrived and started practicing with the club. Mbah a Moute will have to go through a brief quarantine period and return a pair of negative COVID-19 tests, but after that, Houston should be at relatively full strength.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Westbrook Returns To Practice, Mbah A Moute Cleared To Travel]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166374 2020-07-22T16:10:13Z 2020-07-22T16:10:13Z The Rockets announced some good news on Wednesday, as Russell Westbrook participated in his first summer practice after clearing quarantine, while Luc Mbah a Moute has been cleared to travel and should arrive soon at the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus.

    As Tim MacMahon of ESPN reports, Westbrook spoke to reporters before Houston’s Wednesday practice, indicating that he’s “thankful and blessed” to be able to get back on the court after recovering from the coronavirus. Westbrook, who said he only experienced very minor COVID-19 symptoms, added that he was able to do conditioning workouts at home while quarantined.

    According to MacMahon, head coach Mike D’Antoni said today that Westbrook may play in the Rockets’ first scrimmage on Friday against Toronto, though that hasn’t been decided yet.

    “Whatever he wants is cool,” D’Antoni said. “He knows his body. Again, we’re not talking about just a normal athlete. We’re talking about a super athlete, and I sometimes underestimate it. I know today I might have a hard time getting through practice, but he might not have any problem. We rely on him and the medical staff to make an informed decision, and whatever that decision is, we’ll go with it.”

    Meanwhile, D’Antoni also provided an update on Mbah a Moute, indicating that the veteran forward could arrive in Orlando as soon as Wednesday (Twitter link via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle).

    The Rockets signed Mbah a Moute as a substitute player for Thabo Sefolosha, but his arrival has been delayed by a couple weeks, reducing the likelihood that he’ll earn regular minutes once the seeding games begin next week.

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[NBA Announces Official Rosters For Summer Restart]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166155 2020-07-20T22:42:24Z 2020-07-20T22:08:40Z The NBA has announced the official summer rosters for each of the 22 teams involved in the resumption of the 2019/20 season. A total of 350 players make up the 22 squads, with only eight clubs carrying the maximum allowable 17 players. The Trail Blazers have the smallest summer roster, with just 13 players.

    Injured players who didn’t make the trip to Orlando – such as Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant – don’t show up on the official rosters list, but injured players who traveled with their teams – including Mavericks big man Dwight Powell and Pacers swingman Jeremy Lamb – are included, even if they won’t play this summer.

    Besides players who are injured, voluntarily opted out, or were ruled out after contracting COVID-19, there are a few more notable omissions on the list, which we’ll round up here:

    • Houston Rockets: William Howard
      • A two-way player, Howard recently reached a two-year deal with ASVEL Basket in France, so it makes sense that he won’t be playing for the Rockets this summer.
    • Los Angeles Clippers: Johnathan Motley, Mfiondu Kabengele
      • As previously reported, Motley and Kabengele didn’t travel to Orlando with the Clippers and won’t be playing this summer.
    • Milwaukee Bucks: Cameron Reynolds
      • The Bucks only brought one of their two-way players (Frank Mason III), as Reynolds doesn’t show up on their official roster. The reason for his absence is unclear.
    • New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Gray
    • Philadelphia 76ers: Ryan Broekhoff
      • Broekhoff was signed as a substitute player to fill the Sixers’ open two-way slot, but later announced that he hadn’t traveled to Orlando because his wife, who is “high risk,” tested positive for COVID-19. Based on his omission from Philadelphia’s roster, it appears that Broekhoff won’t be joining the club after all.
    • Phoenix Suns: Tariq Owens
      • The Suns left one of their two-way slots open and apparently didn’t bring their lone two-way player to Orlando. The reason for Owens’ absence is unclear.
    • Portland Trail Blazers: Moses Brown
      • Despite only having 13 players available in Orlando, the Trail Blazers won’t have Brown – their second two-way player – with them. The reason for his absence is unclear.
    • Washington Wizards: Gary Payton II

    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Russell Westbrook Set To Arrive At NBA Campus]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=166128 2020-07-20T18:15:42Z 2020-07-20T18:14:48Z Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, whose arrival at the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus was delayed due to a positive COVID-19 test, is traveling to Orlando today, head coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters, including Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

    He’s been working, and he feels good,” D’Antoni said of the former MVP. “If you look at Russell, his worst day, he’s probably in better shape and stronger than anybody we have. I would think he’ll come here and be ready to go.”

    D’Antoni expressed some skepticism that Westbrook will be ready to play on Friday when the Rockets face the Raptors in their first inter-squad scrimmage. Once the star point guard arrives at campus, he’ll have to return two negative coronavirus tests at least 24 hours apart, meaning he’s unlikely to participate in his first practice until later this week.

    With the Rockets assured of a playoff spot, the club will likely focus on getting Westbrook back to full speed in time for the start of the postseason.

    Meanwhile, D’Antoni added today that he’s unsure when recently-signed forward Luc Mbah a Moute will be able to join the club at Disney. However, a source tells Feigen (Twitter link) that it should happen “soon.”

    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[James Harden Joins Practice After Delay]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165929 2020-07-18T15:56:49Z 2020-07-17T23:45:49Z The Spurs enter the NBA’s restart in 12th place in the Western Conference and coach Gregg Popovich has made it clear he’s more concerned with player development than a playoff run, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News reports. “For us in our specific situation, development is more important than anything,” Popovich said. “I’m not too concerned with trying to figure out how to match up with the Lakers or Clippers or Celtics or Raptors or Rockets or Nuggets or anybody else.” San Antonio’s postseason chances have already been dimmed by the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge (shoulder) and Trey Lyles (appendicitis).

    • Russell Westbrook is still trying to clear COVID-19 protocols but the other half of the Rockets’ dynamic backcourt has returned to the team. James Harden practiced on Thursday after his arrival in Orlando was delayed due to family issues, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. “I pushed myself through it,” Harden said.
    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Harden Set To Practice; Howard Signing With French Team]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165683 2020-07-16T17:04:38Z 2020-07-16T17:04:38Z
  • James Harden, whose arrival at the Walt Disney World campus was delayed, is expected to practice with the Rockets for the first time on Thursday, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The club is still waiting on Russell Westbrook and Luc Mbah a Moute.
  • French club ASVEL Basket announced today in a press release that it has finalized a two-year deal with swingman William Howard. It’s an unusual update, since Howard technically remains on a two-way contract with the Rockets — at least for now. Presumably, Howard is on track to join ASVEL Basket when his current deal expires.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Tyson Chandler Not Sure Whether He’ll Retire After Season]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165597 2020-07-15T16:44:09Z 2020-07-15T16:44:09Z Rockets center Tyson Chandler is on an expiring contract and will turn 38 years old this fall, but he’s not sure whether he’ll call it a career after this season, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

    As MacMahon notes, Chandler originally thought he would retire last summer, but decided he still had the desire to continue playing and signed with Houston after the club recruited him for weeks. After another year in the NBA, he hasn’t yet made a decision on what his future holds.

    I’ll do myself some justice, not get ahead of myself and wait for that moment to come,” Chandler said.

    The second overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft, Chandler has appeared in a total of 1,160 career regular season games, including 26 for Houston this season. The veteran big man has also played in 75 postseason contests, winning a championship with the Mavericks in 2011 and earning an All-Star nod with the Knicks in 2013.

    While Chandler doesn’t play a major role on the small-ball Rockets, he’s essentially the only option the team can turn to if it wants to match up with an opponent by using a traditional center, especially with Isaiah Hartenstein no longer on the roster. Forwards like P.J. Tucker, Jeff Green, and DeMarre Carroll typically serve as Houston’s de facto centers.

    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[James Harden Arrives At Orlando Campus]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=165554 2020-07-15T11:08:49Z 2020-07-15T01:45:47Z Rockets All-Star James Harden arrived at the NBA’s Orlando restart campus on Tuesday evening, five days after most of the rest of his club touched down, per a video tweet from the team’s official Twitter account.

    The 2018 NBA MVP did not travel with the rest of the Rockets for undisclosed reasons. Harden is averaging 34.4 PPG, 7.4 APG and 6.4 RPG in 61 games this season, his eighth All-Star campaign in Houston.

    Tonight’s arrival is in line with the targeted mid-week estimate that Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said the team had been aiming for as recently as Sunday, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Before Harden can join his teammates at practice, he will have to quarantine within his hotel room. Next, Harden will have to test negative for COVID-19 over three straight days and undergo a physical conditioning test, per Rachel Nichols of ESPN (Twitter link) and Marc Stein of the New York Times (Twitter link).

    Despite the arrival of Harden, the Rockets will continue to be without a few players for now. Harden’s fellow All-Star guard Russell Westbrook announced yesterday that he did not travel with the team because he tested positive for COVID-19. Westbrook hopes to join the Rockets once he recovers.

    Forward Luc Mbah a Moute also did not travel with the Rockets last Thursday for undisclosed reasons. Additionally, after accidentally breaking the campus’s quarantine restrictions, Mbah a Moute’s fellow forward Bruno Caboclo has been forced to re-isolate for seven more days.