The competition in the Western Conference is fierce, and Rockets GM Daryl Morey acknowledges that even in the wake of the Ty Lawson trade, his team isn’t the favorite, as Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle relays. Still, the Rockets made a key step forward, as Feigen examines.
“People always used to say our point guard position was terrible, the worst, whatever,” Morey said. “I always pointed out that Pat Beverley was a really good player. He’s just maybe suffering compared to all these perennial All-Stars we go against in the West. Obviously, we’re still going to be going against those very difficult All-Stars, but Ty Lawson is somebody who gives you a top-10 point guard in the league, somebody who can really help us.”
Here’s more from the Southwest Division:
- The Pelicans only made a “token offer” to Seth Curry that included a partial guarantee, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). A previous report indicated that they were close to a deal with him for a guaranteed contract. Curry signed a two-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Kings.
- New Orleans didn’t want to re-sign Jimmer Fredette, Wojnarowski says in the same tweet. The ex-Pelicans guard signed with the Spurs instead. Still, Fredette faces a challenge to find his niche in San Antonio, where he’ll have to prove he’s capable of replacing Marco Belinelli‘s shooting and beat out Kyle Anderson and Jonathon Simmons for minutes, as Jay Yeomans of the Deseret News examines.
- The three-year contract that K.J. McDaniels signed with the Rockets includes a team option on the final season and starts at $3.19MM, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. That first-year salary figure means Houston is essentially prevented from using any more of its mid-level exception without triggering an $88.74MM hard cap.
- Maurice Ndour‘s contract with the Mavericks is for three years, with this season’s salary and half of next season’s guaranteed, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter link).
- Nikola Milutinov, this year’s No. 26 overall pick, is negotiating with Olympiacos of Greece, sources tell Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia. The Spurs draftee had reportedly been close to a deal with Panathinaikos, another Greek team, but Panathinaikos landed Miroslav Raduljica instead. Regardless, the Spurs won’t sign him this season.