Southwest Notes: Rockets, Rondo, Mekel, Conley

The Rockets were runners-up in the Rajon Rondo sweepstakes, but they’re set to land Corey Brewer, whom they’d reportedly been targeting for a while. Brewer is excited to reunite with Rockets coach Kevin McHale, who was behind Minnesota’s decision to draft Brewer seventh overall in 2007, as the swingman tells Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Still, Brewer made it clear wasn’t anxious to leave the Wolves and never asked for or wanted a trade, Zgoda tweets, which seems to conflict with an ESPN.com report indicating that he had requested that the Wolves send him to a contending team.

“Kind of mixed emotions just because I really love Minnesota,” Brewer said to Zgoda. “People don’t understand how much I love Minnesota. I wanted to end my career here. That’s why I signed back here. I thought it’d be possible, but I understand we’re going young. It’s going to be a few years, but the Wolves have great, young talent.”

Brewer, who has a $4.905MM player option for next season, can hit free agency this summer. Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • New Mavs point guard Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston, friend and former teammate Kendrick Perkins says, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports notes via Twitter. Rondo made several public statements indicating his fondness for the Celtics prior to the trade.
  • It’s unclear whether Brewer waived his player option as part of the Rockets deal, but Chase Budinger indicated that he wouldn’t do so with his $5MM player option when the Rockets gauged whether he would, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities hears (Twitter link).
  • Troy Daniels is disappointed that he’s leaving the Rockets as part of the Brewer trade agreement, he tells Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston, though he added that he’s hopeful that he’ll see more playing time in Minnesota than he has in Houston.
  • Pelicans coach Monty Williams confirmed that the team isn’t ruling out a new deal with Gal Mekel, whom New Orleans waived earlier today, observes Nakia Hogan of The Times-Picayune (Twitter link). That jibes with this morning’s report from David Pick of Eurobasket.com that the Pelicans hope Mekel clears waivers.
  • Mike Conley is a bargain for the Grizzlies, making just slightly more than $8.694MM this year on a contract that expires after next season, and an Eastern Conference executive tells Chris Mannix of SI.com that the point guard would garner at least $14MM annually on the open market.

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