Did The Houston Rockets Strike Out?
The Houston Rockets were as active as ever at the 2012 NBA trade deadline, though the results may not be as exciting as Houston fans might have hoped. Afer weeks of talking about Pau Gasol and even Dwight Howard possibly donning the red and white, the Rockets settled for a couple of smaller moves.
Houston’s first trade was with the Portland Trail Blazers, and sent Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn and a second round pick to Portland for veteran center and Houston native Marcus Camby. For Portland this was another significant step towards rebuilding on a day in which they all but dismantled their team. For Houston it was a chance to unload Thabeet, who was never going to play, and get a veteran center to spell Samuel Dalembert.
Camby is clearly one step away from retirement and would not hold up under extended minutes, but he’s a solid defender with a great deal of experience and a great presence in the locker room. This move doesn’t sell tickets, but the Rockets will win some games they might otherwise have lost with Camby in the mix.
Houston’s second trade was with the Los Angeles Lakers, and brought Derek Fisher to Houston in exchange for Jordan Hill. Houston also got the Dallas Mavericks draft pick which the Lakers acquired in the Lamar Odom trade.
Fisher helps Houston immediately, as the team waits for starting point guard Kyle Lowry to return from an abdominal ailment, though whether or not he will start is probably up for debate. Goran Dragic has been great starting in place of Lowry and will likely continue to do so. This is more a case of Houston being able to bring Fisher off the bench instead of Flynn, whom they traded.
The bigger picture for Houston here is that they needed some veterans in the locker room to help stop some squabbling and some of the dissension in the ranks between players and new head coach Kevin McHale. Fisher and Camby are consummate professionals and should help the Rockets focus more on winning basketball and less on roles with the team and off-the-court issues.
Their chances of making the playoffs just got better, as well, with Portland throwing in the towel.
UPDATE: Sources close to the situation tell HOOPSWORLD that Derek Fisher’s contract may be bought out, so this might be a temporary relocation for Fisher.