Odds & Ends: Rockets, McLemore, Horford

The future looks very bright for the Rockets, and Jonathan Feigen of Ultimate Rockets hears from GM Daryl Morey that the organization is set on building around the current core of players: “We’re very excited about the foundation…We were careful to make sure all the key pieces could stay. People are going to see mostly the same team back next year because of that." Considering that they're a young team that pushed the Thunder to six games after being down three games to none – along with the emergence of Patrick Beverley - it's difficult to disagree with the optimism in Houston. Here are a few more miscellaneous links we've gathered up tonight: 
  • Eric Prisbell of USA Today reports that NBA draft hopeful Ben McLemore's AAU coach received cash and other benefits in order to help influence the former Kansas Jayhawk to leave college after one season and declare for the draft. 
  • Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler tweets that Al Horford is a player that the Hawks would like to keep rather than trade as the team handles a roster that could be in heavy flux. 
  • Kyler also says that the front runners to sign Josh Smith this summer will be the teams that miss out on Dwight Howard (Twitter link). 
  • Magic CEO Alex Martins doesn't foresee a long rebuilding period in Orlando and is confident that the team can return to title contention in the near future (John Denton of Magic.com). 
  • Hawks GM Danny Ferry feels that the 2012-13 season was a very significant year in terms of taking the initial steps toward becoming a contender and likes the flexibility that his team has moving forward (ESPN via the Associated Press). 
  • Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group looks back on the 10 most important moves the Warriors made to build the team that starts the second round Sunday against the Spurs.
  • According to a report from Sportando, Leones de Ponce of Baloncesto Superior Nacional in Puerto Rico have released Garret Siler and replaced him with Mike Harris

Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors contributed to this post. 

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