Player News - Rockets

Date: Team: Pos:

James Harden said on Tuesday that he hopes to play in the Olympics in 2016.

He had a nice run at the FIBA World Cup, averaging 14.2 points per game in a stellar 60.2 effective field goal percentage. On the other hand, Harden also admitted his defense was "pretty bad" on Tuesday, but it didn't hurt his output last season. He was the best player in fantasy after the break and should be off the board in the top five picks.
Sep 30 - 7:36 PM

The Rockets intend to pick up their fourth-year contract option for PF/C Donatas Motiejunas.

Head coach Kevin McHale has criticized Motie for poor rebounding and a lack of physicality, reflected in his career rebounding rate of 11.9 percent. Although Motiejunas effectively defended pick-and-rolls last year, but he was atrocious in isolations and against spot-up shooters. With a likely backup role behind Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones, he doesn't have enough breathing room to be drafted in typical fantasy leagues.
Sep 30 - 5:42 PM

Rockets coach Kevin McHale said that the PF position is "open for competition," citing the need for more rebounding and physical defense.

"We had two of the top rebounders in the league last year with Omer [Asik] and Dwight [Howard] and we were still like 20th in rebounding. What does that say about the other guys? Not much," McHale said. Jones will need to fend off Donatas Motiejunas during training camp, but he started 71 games last year and is the favorite to do so again this season. In other news, the Rockets intend to pick up Jones' $2.5 million fourth-year contract option, which is an easy decision, but they won't do so until the Oct. 31 deadline.
Sep 30 - 5:38 PM

James Harden told reporters on Tuesday, "I know at times my defense is pretty bad."

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, and Harden vowed to improve on the defensive end of the court. We'll believe it when we see it, as we're too used to seeing Harden drift fecklessly around on defense. The good news is that his shortcomings don't prevent him from being a solid top-6 fantasy pick in nearly all formats.
Sep 30 - 3:47 PM

When Patrick Beverley was asked if he has a chip on his shoulder heading into this season after last year's playoff loss, Beverley responded: "Mountain, [I have a] mountain on my shoulder."

We love Beverley's competitiveness, and with Jeremy Lin out of town, Beverley should be able to get all the minutes he can handle at the point guard position. However, Beverley averaged just 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.4 steals through 31 minutes of action with the Rockets last season, so he'll need to be more aggressive in looking for his shot to expand his fantasy value. Still, there's enough upside there for Beverley to be worthy of a late-round selection in standard leagues.
Sep 29 - 6:33 PM

Dwight Howard said that he expects James Harden to have "one of his greatest seasons."

Howard said that Harden was down about his play following the 2013-14 season, and he thinks that will motivate James to be even better this season. A video of Harden's atrocious defense went viral last year, so perhaps Harden is looking to step things up a bit on that end. However, from a fantasy perspective, whether he's playing that turnstile defense or not, he's an elite asset for his offensive prowess and worthy of a first round selection.
Sep 29 - 2:32 PM

The Rockets signed F Kostas Papanikolaou to a two-year, $4.8 million deal on Tuesday.

Papanikolaou was originally drafted by the Knicks in 2012. He's coming off a championship season with FC Barcelona, where he averaged 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in 25 minutes per game. Rockets VP of personnel Gianluca Pascucci said that Papanikolaou is "pretty good in transition and finishing," and he expects him to "improve and become a solid shooter." He should serve as a glue-guy off the bench, a role which isn't conducive to fantasy value.
Source: NBA.com
Sep 23 - 2:28 PM

Bruce Bowen blamed coach Kevin McHale for James Harden's struggles on the defensive end during a recent interview.

"I remember [Harden] in OKC," said Bowen. "In fairness to James, yes, [his defense] has been terrible, but what are the principles in Houston? I’m very disappointed in their team concept. That’s what I don’t see. So, if there are no rules and regulations, how do you hold anyone accountable? ... Go back to OKC and they’re playing the Lakers, he guarded Kobe pretty well." That's an interesting take from the defensive-stalwart Bowen. Despite Harden's lackluster play on defense, his offensive prowess makes him a top-five asset in fantasy leagues.
Sep 22 - 5:28 PM

Kostas Papanikolaou is excited to be making the jump to the NBA this season, and he's expected to officially sign sometime next week once his buyout with the Olympiakos becomes official.

"I don’t like to say I’m a scorer or a rebounder," said Kostas. "I try to do everything that I can in each game, play tough first of all and bring my energy and give my team whatever they need. If this is a loose ball, there will be a fight for the loose ball. If there is a crucial rebound, there is going to be a crucial rebound." Kostas will fight for minutes in a crowded Houston backcourt, and he's not really worth monitoring in standard leagues.
Sep 19 - 7:03 PM

Rockets acquire G Jason Terry in trade

The Kings will receive Alonzo Gee, Scotty Hopson, and a trade exception in exchange for Terry and two second-round draft picks in the trade that was finalized on Wednesday. The 2009 and 2011 Sixth Man of the Year only averaged 4.5 points in 35 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season and won't be worth fantasy owners' attention in 2014-15.
Source: ESPN
Sep 18 - 12:07 PM

Dwight Howard's driver's license has been suspended in Florida for a failure to pay a fine, according to court documents.

The report states that Howard racked up 12 citations for failing to pay highway tolls, 10 tickets for running red lights in Orlando, four speeding tickets, and one ticket for failing to update his home address. He paid all of the tickets except for one, which led to the suspension, and it shouldn't be hard for him to come up with the $285 he owes -- he's set to earn $21.4 million with the Rockets this season.
Sep 17 - 8:33 AM

Jason Terry's pending trade to the Rockets is expected to be finalized on Wednesday, according to Jason Jones.

The deal was put together in back in late August and will reportedly send Terry to the Rockets for Alonzo Gee and possibly some non-guaranteed contracts. None of the included players are expected to be worth owning in fantasy leagues this year.
Sep 16 - 11:40 PM

Coach Kevin McHale said he wants some toughness from Donatas Motiejunas.

"[Motiejunas] knows what he has to do if he wants to play," McHale said. "I told him you gotta rebound at a high level and you have to defend with some physicality." The Rockets lost a lot of their frontcourt depth with Omer Asik now in New Orleans and Chandler Parsons in Dallas. Terrence Jones is a strong bet for a breakout season while D-Mo is more of a late-round lottery ticket in deeper leagues.
Sep 11 - 8:50 PM

Francisco Garcia has officially retired from international play.

Following the Dominican Republic's loss to Slovenia at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball, Garcia decided to call it quits on international play. "I’ve played my last games with Dominican National Team. I am proud of having played 11 years with the national team," said Garcia. The 32-year-old will be back in a similar role with the Rockets this season after averaging 5.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.3 three-pointers during the 2013-14 campaign and does not warrant fantasy consideration in standard leagues.
Source: Sportando
Sep 11 - 12:45 PM

James Harden is OK after falling off his Segway during an off day at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Barcelona.

The video of Harden trying to do a spin and then falling off his Segway can be found in the link below and it's nothing for the Houston Rockets or his fantasy owners to worry about. Harden has had some defensive lapses during the tournament, but has flashed the offensive prowess that should have him being selected in the top-five of fantasy drafts this fall.
Source: Sportando
Sep 9 - 10:58 AM


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