Rockets Add Camby, Pick To The Mix
Breaking down Houston's deadline day moves, along with insight from GM Daryl Morey
HOUSTON - Two of the Rockets biggest needs heading into this years trade deadline: interior defense and rebounding.
In one fell deadline day swoop, they managed to address both issues while barely touching their current rotation, maintaining most, if not all, of their future flexibility and adding a first round pick for good measure.
Thursday afternoon, Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey produced a pair of deals, acquiring center Marcus Camby from Portland for Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet and a future second-round pick, while also netting point guard Derek Fisher and a first-round selection from the Los Angeles Lakers for Jordan Hill (that pick by the way is top-20 protected through 2017 and is unprotected after that it comes via Dallas; the Lakers acquired it as part of their December deal involving Lamar Odom).
In Camby, the Rockets add a long, smart and experienced player who still ranks among the best low-post defenders in the league. His Synergy Sports numbers in that area are off the charts, as hes conceded a paltry .574 points per post-up possession this season, while limiting opponents to 37.2% shooting in such situations. Meanwhile, the soon-to-be 38-year-old also ranks No. 1 among all centers in rebound rate; an important consideration given this note in SI.coms Zach Lowes breakdown of the deal:
(Samuel) Dalembert averages just short of 25 minutes per game, and during those 25 minutes, the Rockets grab about 52 percent of available rebounds and defend at the level of about the ninth- or 10th-best defense in the league. For the other 23 minutes, Houston grabs only 48 percent of available rebounds, defends at a bottom-10 level and actually scores less efficiently on offense, per NBA.coms stats database.
Camby, in other words, should be an excellent option to fill the void when Dalembert sits, ensuring the Rockets see little to no drop-off when their starting center takes a breather. Houston already boasts a top-10 offense; pair that with a defense that can consistently stop teams at a similar level and now youre talking about a team that should not just be able to make the playoffs, but one that now possesses the potential to do some damage once it gets there (to that point, check out NBA.coms Fran Blineburys tweet after the deal went down: Who likes Camby to Houston least? Probably OKC Thunder who could be looking at a tough 1st round opponent that has already beat them twice.).
Again, that the Rockets were able to make this move and add another first-round pick to their arsenal (even though its a late first-rounder, bear in mind what Morey has been able to do with such selections in the past Parsons, Budinger, Brooks, Landry, etc.) while leaving their core rotation and significant future flexibility virtually intact is what makes this savvy bit of maneuvering such a no-brainer from the Houston standpoint.
The Rockets strengthened their bid to make a playoff push while maintaining the ability to produce even brighter days to come. Balancing the big picture and present day is always a delicate dance for every team; that Houston was able to do so helps explain why the Rockets feel as if this years deadline day was a win-win situation for both the franchise and its fans.
Friday morning, Daryl Morey met with the media to address the Rockets' deadline day moves. What follows is a transcipt of his media availability session:
DM: Were excited to do the trades we did yesterday. I think Marcus Camby is somebody were really excited about what he can bring to our bigs rotation. Hes a really effective defensive player. People are obviously very familiar with his game having been in the league for quite awhile. I think people arent familiar with how effective he still is. Hes the No. 1 defensive rebounder this year, the year before, the year before that. He was recently Defensive Player of the Year, recently top defensive teams and still was giving Portland quality minutes; their defense was very good when he was in there.
So Im excited to add Marcus to the team for our playoff push and we also were able to pick up a first-round pick that we think will help us upgrade in the future so we were able to upgrade the team now and going forward which were excited about.
Are you able to update us on Derek Fisher?
DM: Right now I can just say that the trade obviously happened and beyond that I cant comment.
What about your reported interest in Anthony Carter?
DM: I would say I cant comment on that right now, either. I wouldnt be able to address that. We did also waive Terrence Williams today that was another transaction we did today. Weve got a very strong wing rotation right now and we wanted to give Terrence an opportunity to play somewhere in a contract year.
More player movement in the NBA now than in the past?
DM: I think player movement is actually pretty similar now as the past theres just more attention, more media. I think were a team thats never happy with where were at until were up there with the top championship contenders so that requires that we continue to not be happy with where were at and continue to make moves. Mr. Alexander sets a great approach and gives us the resources to do that.
You have two open roster spots right now. Do you have a plan or hope on how to use them?
DM: Were constantly evaluating as folks here know. Were almost always at 15 (players on the roster) and thats because were always trying to maximize whether its looking at a young player or shoring up depth or things like that, so I would be surprised if we didnt bring in some folks but I dont have any names right now to talk about.
Are their goals or positions or traits you might be looking for?
DM: No, I think were always looking for upside with our roster spots thats one thing, and also depth.
How much did Kyles illness affect how you approached the trade deadline?
DM: We expect Kyle to be back. Obviously its a blow to our playoff run to not have him. I think hes our top win-impact player frankly. Goran has been unbelievable though so thats (helped). I think the way everyones really stepped up with him out has been great and then weve had Kevin Martin out, too, so our guys have really stepped up and were excited about that but well also be happy to get Kyle and Kevin back and available. I think we dont really have the exact timing for Kyle; hes got to finish these antibiotics and then well see what the doctors advice is from there.
What is Kevin Martins status?
DM: Hes got a hurt shoulder. He didnt practice today and were hopeful to get him back soon.