After signing with Milwaukee this offseason, James ranked third on the Bucks with a career-high 11.4 points per game and second on the team with 3.9 assists per game. The 6-2, 188-pound guard also stood second on Milwaukee with 58 3-pointers made and 152 3-pointers attempted for a 3-point percentage of .382. He set career highs with 28 points, eight 3-pointers made and 13 3-pointers attempted on Feb. 8 vs. Boston. He delivered a career-high 11 assists on Nov. 23 at the Lakers. Among NBA players without a start, he trails only Seattle’s Vladimir Radmanovic in scoring average. In 47 games, James led the Bucks in points six times and assists 13 times. He has scored in double figures 28 times, reaching 20 points on five occasions.
“Mike James is a talented point guard who gives us another offensive threat,” said Dawson. “We’ve been interested in Mike for some time now, and we really like the defensive toughness that he brings.”
In his fourth NBA season, James holds averages of 8.8 points, 3.6 assists and 0.93 steals in 211 career games with Miami, Boston, Detroit and Milwaukee. James began his NBA career as an undrafted free agent with the Heat, for whom he averaged 7.0 points and 2.8 assists in 93 games over a two-year stretch. Prior to last season, he signed as a free agent with Boston, where he averaged 10.7 points and 4.4 assists over the first 55 games of the year. James was traded at midseason of last year to Detroit, where he averaged 6.3 points and won an NBA Championship.
Hamilton, who was acquired in the trade with Mike James from the Milwaukee Bucks earlier in the day, was waived to make room on the roster for the newly acquired Baker and Norris.
Baker is averaging 1.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 24 games with New York this season. The 11-year veteran comes to Houston with career averages of 15.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in 780 games with Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston and New York. The 6-11, 240-pound forward earned NBA All-Star selections in four-straight seasons from 1995-1998. He also earned All-NBA Second Team recognition in 1998 after being named to the All-NBA Third Team the previous season.
Norris returns to Houston after averaging 2.6 points and 1.1 assists in 32 games with New York this season. The 6-1, 185-pound guard has averaged 5.4 points and 3.0 assists in 394 career games with Vancouver, Seattle, Houston and New York. The Rockets traded Norris to New York on Dec. 30 of last season in exchange for Clarence Weatherspoon. During his previous stay in Houston, Norris averaged 6.1 points and 3.3 assists in 306 games, appearing in each of the last 304 games with the Rockets.
Gaines leaves the Rockets with averages of 2.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in 10 games with Houston. After arriving in a seven-player offseason trade with Orlando on June 29, the 6-6, 205-pound guard spent time on the injured list with left foot, plantar fasciitis from Nov. 1-Dec. 2, left ankle tendinitis from Dec. 15-26 and left patellar tendinitis from Jan. 16-Feb. 24.
Taylor departs Houston having averaged 7.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in 38 games this season. The 6-9, 255-pound forward has missed the last 17 games with the flu and plantar fasciitis. Taylor has averaged 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 428 career games with the LA Clippers and Houston. Since joining the Rockets in 2000, Taylor has averaged 10.5 points and 4.7 rebounds in 249 games.
In a related move, Dawson also announced Thursday that the team has waived guard Rod Strickland and placed guard Bob Sura on the injured list due to an inflammation of scar tissue surrounding his vertebrae .
In 16 games with Houston, Strickland averaged 1.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Houston signed the 38-year-old Strickland on January 19, making the Rockets Strickland’s ninth team to play for in 17 seasons.
In his first season with the Rockets, Sura is scoring 10.8 points per game with career-high averages of 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.28 steals. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard stands as one of 10 NBA players to average five rebounds and five assists. Sura scored a career-high 35 points vs. New Jersey on Jan. 13, including a career-high six 3-pointers made.
The Rockets roster now stands at 15 players: Baker, Andre Barrett, Jon Barry, Ryan Bowen, Juwan Howard, James, Tracy McGrady, Dikembe Mutombo, Norris, Scott Padgett, Bob Sura, Charlie Ward, David Wesley, Clarence Weatherspoon and Yao Ming.