Point guard Patrick Beverley is expected to sign with the Rockets after securing his release from the Russian club Spartak St. Petersburg, as first reported by Marco Calise of WorldBasket.com (Twitter link). The deal will run through 2015 and include a guarantee, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports the deal, which is close but not imminent, will likely include team options in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Beverley made reference to the move on Twitter this morning.
"I would like to thank Spartak staff and fans for a great 2 years!! There's no better team in the world!!! I love u all!! And Hello NBA," Beverley wrote.
The Rockets will pay the bulk of Beverley's $600K buyout from Spartak, Varlas reports. NBA teams can pay as much as $550K to buy out an overseas contract. Beverley was taken 42nd overall by the Lakers in the 2009 draft and traded to the Heat the same night. Miami brought him to camp in 2010, but waived him before the start of the regular season. The 2011/12 EuroCup MVP has averaged 11.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 rebounds per game in Russia this season, numbers that are down from last year.
Houston is at the limit of 15 players on its roster, so the team will have to waive someone to bring Beverley on board. Greg Smith's deal is partially guaranteed for $381K, though he has found a spot in the team's rotation. Scott Machado, whose minimum-salary deal is only guaranteed for $237K, seems more likely to go. The Rockets are already on the hook for guaranteed money to seven players who are no longer on the roster, and that doesn't include Luis Scola, who was amnestied this summer. Beverley is likely to spend time with the Rockets' D-League affiliate once he's signed, according to Feigen.