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Thursday September 25, 2008 3:15 PM

Rockets Decide to Match Offer for Carl Landry


Second-year forward should be ready to go for start of training camp

Jason Friedman
Rockets.com Staff Writer

HOUSTON - After months of speculation, the Carl Landry saga has finally reached its conclusion. The verdict: The explosive second-year forward will indeed be donning Rockets' red once again.

Less than twenty four hours after the Charlotte Bobcats signed Landry to a three year offer sheet - with the third year being a team option - Rockets GM Daryl Morey announced that Houston will match the deal.

"We’re really excited to have him back," Morey says. "We wanted to sign him long-term out of the draft last year; because we didn’t have mid-level we weren’t able to get that done. So now we’re excited to get that done and we’re going to have a great set of players in for training camp.

"We had a lot of time obviously to think about what range of money we would match and this fell into that. Also, training camp coming Monday, we want to get him in here and get the physical finished and get him here starting Monday for camp. There was a chance that this could drag out and we didn’t want that to happen. We felt like we had to get Carl in at a number that didn’t hurt our ability to maneuver long-term and we feel like this does that, so we were willing to wait and I’m pleased. I’ve said all along that it’d be nice if someone would just sign him so we could match and get this over with."

Landry burst onto the scene during the second half of the 2007-2008 season, using his tremendous athleticism to become a true force at the power forward position. The product of Purdue averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while posting eye-popping efficiency numbers which placed him at the top of last year's rookie class. And while some have raised concerns over the state of Landry's sometimes-troublesome right knee, the Rockets will have an opportunity to ensure its health when he arrives for his physical.

"Obviously, him having played for us, we’ve got a good sense of the state of the knee," says Morey. "But we feel like we’re in a season where we’ve gotta take risks and we’ve got to bring in all the best players possible. We feel like this has a chance to be a special season and we’re excited Carl will be a part of it."

One other important note to realize about this deal: Should the Rockets decline the option for Landry's third year, he will still be a restricted free agent.

Have a question for Rockets.com? Send it to Jason Friedman via email at: jasonf@rocketball.com.