Rockets, Knicks and Kings complete major three-team deal

ESPN has the details.

The Knicks will acquire McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez from Sacramento, sources said.

The Rockets get Kevin Martin, Jordan Hill and Jared Jeffries from New York and will have the right to swap first-round picks with New York in 2011 as well as take on New York’s 2012 first-round pick.

Sacramento obtains Houston’s Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey and New York’s Larry Hughes.

This differs from the Rockets/Kings deal I wrote about earlier in that Houston will take on Jeffries’ contract next season and in return get a prospect (Jordan Hill) the right to move up in the 2011 draft. In addition, the Rockets get the Knicks’ pick in 2012. I love this trade from Houston’s perspective.

The Knicks get to see if T-Mac has anything left in the tank and a decent young point guard in Sergio Rodriguez (6 points/3 assists in 13 minutes of PT for the Kings). More importantly, they free up enough cap space (~$30 million) two sign two big-name free agents this summer.

I’m not sure why the Kings wanted to get the Knicks involved. They’re taking on Hughes contract for this season, so I guess it will save them the trouble of buying T-Mac out.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Rockets on the verge of landing Kevin Martin?

Multiple media outlets have reported that the Rockets and Kings have struck a deal that involves sharpshooting off guard Kevin Martin.

…the Kings and Rockets have agreed in principle to a deal that would send Kevin Martin and three other players to Houston in return for McGrady and forwards Carl Landry and Joey Dorsey.

But that might just be the start.

As the teams hammer out the details today, there are reports the Knicks are still involved, intent on landing McGrady and unloading Jared Jeffries.

If no deal with the Knicks is made, the Rockets and Kings are still expected to go through with the swap.

The Rockets couldn’t come to terms with the Knicks because they were reluctant to take on Jared Jeffries’ contract without owning the Knicks’ future first rounders. They’ve reportedly coveted Martin all along, so when he became available, they went out and struck a deal with the Kings.

If it stays simply a Sacramento-Houston deal, the Rockets will have essentially landed Martin at the cost of Carl Landry and the undead body of Tracy McGrady. While Houston fans will be sad to see Landry go, they’ll be getting a dynamic shooting guard and one of the best scorers in the game. Alongside Aaron Brooks, the Rockets will have one of the great young backcourts in the league.

And the amazing thing is that it doesn’t appear that the Rockets will take on any long-term contracts other than Martin’s.

As for the Kings, they wanted a big man for Martin and they got a pretty good one in Landry, who is averaging 16-6 with 55% shooting. I’m not sure how he fits in with Jason Thompson and Omri Casspi, but he’s probably better than Thompson and Casspi can play small forward, so there should be room for all three. If the Kings are able to move T-Mac to New York, they’ll likely have to take on Jared Jeffries’ contract — he’s owed $6.9 million for next season — and will probably get a draft pick as well.

If the Knicks can clear Jeffries from the payroll, they’ll have enough cap space to sign two big name free agents this summer.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Nowitzki injured in collision with Carl Landry


A collision between Dirk Nowitzki and the Rockets’ Carl Landry on Friday night left the Mavericks forward with a gashed elbow and Landry with five cracked or knocked out teeth.

The Mavericks found pieces of two teeth imbedded in Nowitzki’s elbow and had to spend 30 minutes cleaning the cut before adminstering X-rays, which were found to be negative.


Mark Spears reports the following on his Twitter page

mavs EXTREMELY worried about dirks deep cut with broken teeth in it. while cuban optimistic, uncertain how long he will be out.


Picture after the jump…

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The NBA’s Top 10 Young Power Forwards

Here’s a quick list of the top 10 power forwards under the age of 26, ranked in the order of a combination of current performance and trade value (regardless of salary).

I’ll also list the player’s age and his Player Efficiency Rating. Keep in mind that I am ranking the player based on their listed position at ESPN. Maybe I’ll move some of these guys around the next time I publish these lists.

1. Chris Bosh, Raptors
Age: 24
PER: 22.67

Bosh has averaged at least 22 points and nine rebounds in each of the last four seasons. He shoots 50% from the field and 83% from the line, but I’d like to see more blocks (0.8) from a guy his size. Will he rendezvous with LeBron at MSG in 2010? They would make a devastating duo.

2. Josh Smith, Hawks
Age: 23
PER: 16.23

Smith is having kind of an off year so far as he works himself back from an ankle injury. It’s a tough call between Smith and the next guy on this list, but I have to go with J-Smoov due to his versatility.

3. LaMarcus Aldridge, Blazers
Age: 23
PER: 17.96

He’s not very strong down low, but for a big guy he can really shoot the ball. He loves the face up jumper, and looks to be a 17/7 guy for the foreseeable future.

4. Paul Millsap, Jazz
Age: 23
PER: 19.96

Millsap is averaging 18 points and 11 boards (shooting 57% from the field) filling in for the injured Carlos Boozer, which makes some wonder if the Jazz should bother to re-sign Boozer when he opts out after the season.

5. Michael Beasley, Heat
Age: 19
PER: 14.95

I see Beasley as more of a small forward, but he’s listed as a PF. He is averaging 14 points and five boards in 27 minutes. I’d like to see better assist (1.0) numbers, but that should come with time.

6. Marvin Williams, Hawks
Age: 22
PER: 15.74

Williams is another guy that can play either forward position. He has really improved his long-range accuracy this season (+29%), but is still scoring at about the same rate. With the departure of Josh Childress, I thought Williams was going to take a big step forward this season, but his numbers are pretty much the same across the board.

7. Charlie Villanueva, Bucks
Age: 24
PER: 17.49

Can Charlie V play for Scott Skiles? So far, the answer seems to be yes, even though Skiles prefers Luc Richard Mbah a Moute’s defense and rebounding. Villanueva is still a below average defensive player, but Villanueva can really light it up. He’s going to be a restricted free agent this summer, so it will be interesting to see what the Bucks do with him over the next 9 months.

8. Carl Landry, Rockets
Age: 25
PER: 19.19

For his minutes (21.3), Landry is one of the most productive big men in the game. He’s a great interior defender and his FG% is stellar (58%).

9. Brandon Bass, Mavericks
Age: 23
PER: 13.00

His biggest problem is that he plays the same position as Dirk Nowitzki. He’s strong as hell and has a nice face up game. It will be interesting to see how he flourishes once he’s somewhere where he’ll get 30+ minutes a game.

10. Kevin Love, Timberwolves
Age: 20
PER: 15.17

Granted, his 40% shooting is brutal, especially for a power forward, but Love is posting better than eight points and eight boards in just 24 minutes a game. With his passing ability, I thought that his assist numbers (1.2) would be better. Right now, it’s definitely looking like Memphis got the better of the Mayo-Love trade, but he should develop into a solid starting power forward.

So who am I missing? Before you jump all over me for leaving someone off the list, be sure to check the player’s age – all these guys are 25 or younger.

Other lists:

Top 10 Young Point Guards
Top 10 Young Shooting Guards
Top 10 Young Small Forwards

2008 NBA Preview: #6 Houston Rockets

Offseason Movement: The team acquired Ron Artest from the Kings in exchange for Bobby Jackson and draftee Donte Greene. Trading for Artest is a risky move, but one that the Rockets pretty much had to take. The window is closing on the Tracy McGrady/Yao Ming combination and the team had to make a bold move to shake things up. And any move that puts Ron Artest on your roster is a bold move. The Rockets also re-signed forward Carl Landry, who was very productive in limited minutes last season.
Keep Your Eye On: The Rockets’ injury report
If T-Mac, Yao Ming and Ron Artest can all play 75+ games and are healthy for the playoffs, this team will be very competitive. But as history has shown us, that is a HUGE “if.” Yao hasn’t played more than 57 games in any of the last three seasons and McGrady is averaging 61 games played over the same span. So the Rockets can’t really hope that the duo will stay healthy, they just have to hope that whatever injuries T-Mac and Yao do sustain aren’t of the season-ending variety.
The Big Question: Assuming health isn’t a factor, how will Ron Artest fit in?
With the acquisition of Artest, three of the Rockets’ top four players are actually small forwards. Luckily T-Mac can play off guard and Shane Battier can play a little power forward and come off the bench. Known for his…um…fiery personality, Artest rehabbed his image while with the Kings, and for the most part he was a pretty good citizen. Anytime you add a player of his caliber, the other guys are going to have to make an adjustment. The silver lining to the T-Mac and Yao injury concerns is that the team will probably need Artest to play a major role at some point this season.
Outlook: Along with T-Mac, Artest, Battier and Yao, the Rockets have a nice group of role players that helped the team catch fire last season after they lost their center. Luis Scola gave the team inside scoring and rebounding (though he was absolutely lost on defense) and Landry provided some much-needed toughness in the paint. Brent Barry provides some outside shooting, while Aaron Brooks is developing into a nice backup for starter Rafer Alston. The team can go nine deep, which gives them the necessary depth to withstand a short-term injury to one (or both) of their stars. If everyone is healthy for the playoffs, watch out for the Rockets. If T-Mac or Yao sustains another season-ending injury, the Rockets might elect to blow the team up and start from scratch.

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