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Tilman Fertitta Comfortable With Paying Luxury Tax For Title Contender

Feb 16, 2018 11:02 AM

Tilman Fertitta is in his first season as owner of the Houston Rockets after paying $2.2 billion for the franchise.

“The NBA is a tough business, No. 1,” Fertitta begins. “And you can go from making money to losing money very quickly. Everybody has to remember, I did pay $2.2 billion for this team. I didn't pay $80 million for it, okay? And I'm not worth $20 billion (his reported wealth is $4.3 billion), but I have no problem paying luxury tax if I truly think that it truly gives me the chance to win the championship next year, okay? But believe it or not, we're not in the luxury tax today and we truly have a chance to win the championship this year.”

The Rockets head into the All-Star break with the best record in the NBA.

“I could put the greatest team together in the world, and (the team) could become unhealthy and somebody else is healthy, and we lose,” Fertitta continued. “I think that you always have to be realistic enough that - however we plan things, that doesn't mean it's going to happen the way we want it to happen. And I can go put a team together (of stars), and be paying $150 million or $200 million in luxury tax, and a couple of guys get injured and I get my ass whipped.”

Daryl Morey and Fertitta have developed a positive working relationship so far.

“It’s been fantastic; very smooth,” said Morey. “Plus, Tillman’s come in and already pushing us to do more things different ways – different ways we can invest to win, different ways we can upgrade things for players. He’s part of the planning process. It’s been great.

“We’ve talked through (the luxury tax). We’re going to be in the tax next year, and…nothing’s going to hold him back from putting together a championship team. He obviously has the money; he just paid the highest amount ever for a team.”

Sam Amick/USA Today

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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James Harden Becomes 6th Straight Different Pre-ASG PER Leader

Feb 15, 2018 3:23 PM

James Harden heads into the All-Star break as the sixth consecutive different leader in the NBA in PER at 30.6.

Russell Westbrook led the NBA in PER at the break last season and went onto win MVP. The players with an asterisk beside their name won MVP in that respective season.

Pre-ASG/Post-ASG/Total

17-18: James Harden: 30.6 

16-17
: Russell Westbrook*: 29.7 / 34.1 / 30.9

15-16: Stephen Curry*: 32.0 / 31.5 / 31.0

14-15: Anthony Davis: 31.6 / 28.8 / 30.7

13-14: Kevin Durant*: 30.2 / 28.2 / 29.5

12-13: LeBron James*: 31.1 / 32.3 / 31.5

11-12: LeBron James*: 31.5 / 30.0 / 30.8

10-11: LeBron James: 26.4 / 29.3 / 27.4

09-10: LeBron James*: 31.0 / 31.2 / 31.1

08-09: LeBron James*: 31.4 / 32.1 / 31.7

07-08: LeBron James: 29.3 / 28.6 / 29.0

06-07: Dwyane Wade: 29.1 / 18.2 / 28.1

05-06: LeBron James: 28.6 / 27.0 / 27.8

04-05: Kevin Garnett: 27.6 / 29.3 / 28.1

03-04: Kevin Garnett*: 29.0 / 30.3 / 29.5

02-03: Tracy McGrady: 28.3 / 33.2 / 30.3

01-02: Shaquille O’Neal: 29.1 / 30.1 / 29.6

00-01: Shaquille O’Neal: 27.8 / 33.2 / 30.3

99-00: Shaquille O’Neal*: 29.7 / 31.8 / 30.5

98-99: Shaquille O’Neal: 30.5 (no All-Star Game)

97-98: Shaquille O’Neal: 29.3 / 28.3 / 28.6

96-97: Michael Jordan: 29.0 / 25.9 / 27.7

95-96: David Robinson: 28.9 / 30.2 / 29.5

94-95: David Robinson*: 28.6 / 29.6 / 29.0

93-94: David Robinson: 29.3 / 32.3 / 30.6

92-93: Michael Jordan: 29.0 / 31.3 / 29.8

91-92: David Robinson: 27.5 / 26.7 / 27.2

90-91: Michael Jordan*: 31.2 / 32.0 / 31.5

89-90: Michael Jordan: 29.3 / 33.4 / 31.0

88-89: Michael Jordan: 31.7 / 30.3 / 31.1

87-88: Michael Jordan*: 32.4 / 30.9 / 31.7

86-87: Michael Jordan: 27.5 / 32.4 / 29.7

85-86: Magic Johnson: 24.6 / 22.7 / 23.7

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Rockets Finally Decide To Waive Troy Williams

Feb 14, 2018 4:17 PM

The Houston Rockets will waive Troy Williams to create a roster spot for Joe Johnson.

The Rockets initially expected to waive Williams and then began to reconsider other options on Tuesday.

Johnson secured a buyout from the Kings after his trade by the Jazz.

Williams is in his second NBA season but has only appeared in four games in 17-18. Williams is averaging 19.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in the G League. 

Williams went undrafted in 2016 out of Indiana.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Tags: Troy Williams, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Waiver

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James Harden: Chris Paul Saw Something In Me He Didn't See In Anybody Else

Feb 14, 2018 11:59 AM

James Harden and Chris Paul have had a successful start to their partnership that they themselves worked together to create last offseason.

“Obviously, Chris wanted to get out of LA and he chose here and so far, so good,” Harden said. “He saw something in me that he didn’t see in anybody else, or any other organization. So far, this year has been a fun one.”

Paul is endorsing Harden for MVP, declaring “it’s not even going to be close.”

“Have you been watching? A lot of people just get the alert on their phones. Double-double, triple-double, whatever,” Paul told Yahoo Sports, in response to question about Harden’s case for the honor. “I watch every game that comes on, every night. If you’re just getting alerts on your phone and see what the stats are, you don’t know what’s happening. I see the work that he puts in day in and day out. I see what our record is and how many games I’ve been out [11-7]. We got a ways to go but to me, I get a chance to see what he does for our team.”


Michael Lee/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Chris Paul, James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA

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Rockets Decide Not To Waive Troy Williams

Feb 13, 2018 1:09 PM

The Houston Rockets had planned on waiving Troy Williams to create a roster spot for Joe Johnson, but will now keep Williams.

The Rockets are making an alternate roster move to create a spot for Johnson.

Williams is in his second NBA season but has only appeared in four games in 17-18. Williams is averaging 19.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in the G League. 

Williams went undrafted in 2016 out of Indiana.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Troy Williams, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Waiver

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Joel Embiid, James Harden Named NBA's Players Of The Week

Feb 12, 2018 5:37 PM

Joel Embiid and James Harden have been named the NBA's Players of the Week.

Embiid led the 76ers to a 3-0 week with wins over Washington, New Orleans and the L.A. Clippers, all teams over .500. He posted averages of 26.7 points, 15.0 rebounds, 2.3 blocks in 30.1 minutes per game while shooting .484 from the field. 

Harden averaged 33.0 points, 6.8 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 1.25 steals while also hitting 18 3-pointers on 39.1% shooting last week while the Rockets went 4-0.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Houston Rockets, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA Award

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Rockets Sign Then Waive Bobby Brown

Feb 10, 2018 12:52 PM

The Houston Rockets signed Bobby Brown on Friday to a deal for the remainder of the season but will have to waive him to create a roster spot for Joe Johnson.

The Rockets honored their agreement with Brown and allowed him to get paid. The Rockets waived Brown in January to create a roster spot for Gerald Green but had planned on signing him at a later date.

The Rockets also plan on signing Brandan Wright.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Bobby Brown, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA Waiver

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Joe Johnson Agrees To Buyout With Kings, Will Sign With Rockets

Feb 10, 2018 12:47 PM

Joe Johnson plans on signing with the Houston Rockets when he becomes a free agent.

Johnson has finalized a buyout agreement with the Sacramento Kings. Johnson was traded by the Utah Jazz to the Kings at the deadline.

Johnson played for Mike D'Antoni earlier in his career with the Phoenix Suns.

Johnson has averaged 7.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 32 games this season.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Joe Johnson, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Rockets Optimistic About Buyout Market

Feb 9, 2018 10:29 AM

The Houston Rockets sat out the trade deadline but will seek depth pieces on the buyout market.

"We're feeling good about potential buyout players," Morey said. "Obviously, we'll see how that materializes over the next few days, but we think there are players who could be available that could help us. We'd be looking for depth. It would be hard to get someone who would play.

"It would be hard for us to get someone as good as Gerald (Green). He's playing extremely well. But there are some solid players, veteran guys who have helped veteran teams in the past, who could be available. We're optimistic about one buyout if not more that maybe would work."

Morey described how the Rockets joined an exclusive club of teams that find it hard to find a meaningful upgrade via trade due to the strength of their existing team.

"For teams who are already loaded, it's very hard to improve the rotations," Morey said. "Most teams were in future mode. Those are the deals that happened."

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Rockets Interested In Trading For George Hill

Feb 7, 2018 8:54 PM

The Sacramento Kings have received trade interest on George Hill from both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets.

The Kings could trade Hill in a one-for-one swap with Houston for Ryan Anderson, who is a native of Sacramento. Anderson has two more seasons left on his deal at $41 million.

The Kings want to maintain financial flexibility and the final season of Hill's three-year deal is partially guaranteed.

The Kings and Cavaliers have discussed a deal involving Hill for several weeks.

Jason Jones/Sacramento Bee

Tags: George Hill, Ryan Anderson, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Forbes Values Average NBA Franchise At $1.65 Billion
Every NBA team is valued at $1 billion or more for the first time in league history.

Forbes

Andre Drummond, James Harden Named Players Of The Week
andre Drummond led the Pistons to a 3-0 record by averaging 19.3 points, 19.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 3.3 steals and 2.7 blocks in 34.0 minutes per game.

RealGM Staff Report

Rockets Unlikely To Make Move Ahead Of Deadline
Daryl Morey also dismissed the possibility clearing cap space for 2018 before the deadline.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Warriors, Spurs, Heat Atop LeBron James' List, Won't Rule Out Lakers, Rockets, Cavs
LeBron James reportedly has the most respect for the Warriors, Spurs and Heat.

Chris Haynes/ESPN (via Jorge Sedeno)

Mike D'Antoni Named Head Coach Of Team Stephen
Mike D'Antoni earned All-Star Game head coaching honors for the second time.

RealGM Staff Report

Chris Paul Insists He'll Never Become NBA Coach
Chris Paul coaches his AAU team at the Peach Jam every summer.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

James Harden First Approached Chris Paul On Free Agency During Game Last Season
James Harden is said to have been an active recruiter of Paul in the weeks leading to an eventual opt-in and trade.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Rockets Not Interested In Trading Clint Capela For DeAndre Jordan
Clint Capela has emerged as one of the game's more promising role player centers this season.

Ian Begley/ESPN

Warriors Not Concerned With Rockets Despite Dropping Season Series
Kevin Durant did say he is impressed with the new Houston squad.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Clint Capela: We're Better Than The Warriors
James Harden said Houston's Saturday night win was important "for our swag."

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Trevor Ariza, Gerald Green Receive Two-Game Suspensions
Chris Paul and James Harden will not receive a suspension for their role.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Trevor Ariza Emerges As Instigator Into Clippers' Locker Room
League sources have described Chris Paul and James Harden as working to slow down Trevor Ariza's anger.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Mike D'Antoni Claims Blake Griffin Made Intentional Contact With Him
Mike D'Antoni and Blake Griffin had multiple confrontations during Monday's game.

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

CP3, Ariza, Harden Enter Clippers' Locker Room Seeking Confrontation
The Rockets attempted to confront Austin Rivers and Blake Griffin.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Rockets Release Briante Weber, Sign Markel Brown To Two-Way
Markel Brown had been playing for the Oklahoma City Blue of the G League.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Rockets Sign R.J. Hunter To Two-Way Contract
R.J. Hunter has averaged 19.2 points in 29.8 minutes on 43.2 percent shooting.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Rockets Unlikely To Make Major Move Ahead Of Trade Deadline
The Rockets improved their depth by signing Gerald Green this month.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Rockets To Sign Bobby Brown Later In Season
Bobby Brown in talks with teams in China.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Rockets Guarantee Contract Of Gerald Green, Waive Bobby Brown
Gerald Green will make $1.4 million for the season.

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Warriors Respect Houston's Moves, Not Singularly Focused On Them
Draymond Green said the Rockets are just one of many threats to the Warriors.

Chris Haynes/ESPN