HOUSTON - The Houston Rockets and the NBA represent a constantly-in-motion thing... and Inside the Rockets, powered by Sports Illustrated, is here to chronicle it for you - news and rumors from H-Town and beyond ...
SEPTEMBER 22 CELTICS COACH IME UDOKA LIKELY SUSPENDED FOR SEASON:
With NBA training camp less than a week away, the Boston Celtics will be without their head coach Ime Udoka. As first reported by the Athletic, Udoka had an improper relationship with a female member of the team staff and is facing a season-long suspension.
Udoka, in his first season as head coach, led the Celtics to the 2022 NBA Finals after going 51-31 during the regular season.
SEPTEMBER 18 BULLS LAND KOSTAS ANTETOKOUNMPO:
Kostas Antetokounmpo, the youngest brother of NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, has signed a training camp deal with the Chicago Bulls and will compete for a two-way spot, as first reported by The Athletic.
Antetokounmpo's signing came two days after the Lakers re-signed Dennis Schroder on Friday.
Antetokounmpo spent the summer playing for Greece alongside his brothers, Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, during the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged 5.8 points on 69.2 percent shooting from the field.
SEPTEMBER 1 CAVALIERS LAND DONOVAN MITCHELL FROM JAZZ:
Another NBA domino has fallen. Thursday afternoon, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell from the Jazz, as first reported by ESPN.
The Cavaliers sent Lauri Markkanen, Ochair Agbaji, Collin Sexton, three unprotected first-round picks and two pick swaps to the Jazz in the deal.
By joining the Cavaliers, Mitchell ended his five-year tenure with the Jazz. During his time in Utah, Mitchell averaged 23.9 points while shooting 44.1 percent from the field, to go along with 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals.
AUGUST 26 LAKERS LIKELY TO MOVE ON FROM RUSSELL WESTBROOK:
The Lakers acquired Patrick Beverley from the Jazz late Wednesday night, which could have sealed Russell Westbrook's fate with the organization.
According to The Athletic, the Lakers will still pursue a trade for Westbrook. But in the event the organization fails to find a trade partner, the Lakers could send the former league MVP home.
Westbrook appeared in 78 games for Los Angeles, where he averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists during the 2021-22 season.
AUGUST 25 LAKERS LAND PATRICK BEVERLEY VIA TRADE FROM JAZZ:
Late Wednesday night, the Lakers acquired ex-Rockets guard Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz — as first reported by The Athletic. Beverley spent the 2021-22 season as a member of the Timberwolves but was a part of the trade packet that sent Rudy Gobert to Minnesota in July.
The Lakers drafted Beverley in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, but he opted to begin his basketball career overseas in Greece.
AUGUST 24 CHET HOLMGREN SUSTAINS TORN LIGAMENTS IN FOOT:
According to a report by The Athletic, Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren has potentially sustained torn ligaments in his foot. Holmgren suffered the injury Saturday evening during Jamal Crawford's CrawsOver Pro-Am contest in Seattle.
Crawford called the game off due to safety precautions following Holmgren's injury. Holmgren averaged 12 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and two blocks during his three-game appearance at the NBA's Summer League tournament in Las Vegas.
AUGUST 23 KEVIN DURANT RESCINDS HIS TRADE REQUEST:
In a statement released via social media Tuesday morning, the Brooklyn Nets announced that 12-time NBA All-Star and one-time league MVP winner Kevin Durant will remain with the organization.
Durant demanded a trade from the Nets in late June but rescinded his request following a meeting with Sean Marks, Steve Nash and Joe Tsai in Los Angeles on Monday, per The Athletic.
AUGUST 22 KNICKS OFFER MASSIVE PACKAGE FOR MITCHELL:
The New York Knicks have been frontrunners to land All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz, and the franchise has gone all-in on the plan.
According to The Athletic, the Knicks offered Evan Fournier, Obi Toppin and five first-round draft picks to the Jazz for Mitchell. Despite the massive offer, Utah rejected the trade proposal.
After another disappointing postseason outing, Utah has been on the verge of a rebuild and is open to trading Mitchell.
Utah's first significant move of the offseason came by trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in July. In the deal, Utah received Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, and the draft rights to center Walker Kessler while obtaining five first-round picks.
AUGUST 17 LEBRON JAMES STAYS IN LOS ANGELES:
As first reported by ESPN, LeBron James agreed to a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. James' extension is worth $97.1 million, making him the highest earning player in league history with $532M in guaranteed money.
Should he finish his contract in Los Angeles, the Lakers will mark James' second-longest tenure with one franchise. James spent 11 years playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2003-2010 and 2014-2018.
AUGUST 15 NBA SET FOR 2022 CHRISTMAS DAY:
The NBA is slowly releasing details for their most anticipated games for the 2022-23 campaign. As first reported by The Athletic, the NBA will have its annual five-game Christmas Day slate, highlighted by the Memphis Grizzlies taking on the Golden State Warriors.
The NBA Christmas Day slate will likely begin with an Eastern Conference match between the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks.
The league's other noteworthy Christmas Day games will feature the Los Angeles Lakers playing against the Dallas Mavericks. The Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Boston Celtics. And the Phoenix Suns traveling to Denver for a Western Conference match against the Nuggets.
AUGUST 13 NBA TO KICK-OFF 2022-23 SEASON WITH LAKERS AT WARRIORS:
The 2022-23 NBA season is a little over two months away, and the league has its first anticipated game of the year. According to The Athletic, the Golden State Warriors will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 18 inside The Chase Arena.
The opening night game between Golden State and Los Angeles will also be an immense celebration for the Warriors. Headline by Stephen Currey, the Warriors will receive their championship rings to observe their 2022 NBA Finals victory over the Boston Celtics in June.
AUGUST 11 NBA TO HONOR BILL RUSSELL WITH JERSEY RETIREMENT:
Nearly two weeks after his death, the NBA will honor the legacy of Celtics late-legend Bill Russell by retiring his No. 6 jersey for all 30 teams, as first reported by The Athletic on Thursday.
The family of Bill Russell announced on July 30 that Russell died peacefully at the age of 88.
AUGUST 8 KEVIN DURANT GIVES NETS OWNER ULTIMATUM:
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai met with disgruntled star Kevin Durant over the weekend in hopes of salvaging their relationship. According to The Athletic, Durant gave Tsai an ultimatum to choose between him or general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash while reiterating his trade request.
Durant requested a trade from the Nets on June 30. He averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 55 games during the 2021-22 season.
JULY 31 NBA GREAT BILL RUSSELL DIES AT AGE 88:
The family of Bill Russell has announced that the NBA legend died peacefully at the age of 88. To this day, Russell is often regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history, having guided the Boston Celtics to 11 championships (the last two as a player-coach) and earned 12 All-Star appearances and five Most Valuable Player Awards.
His defensive endeavors likewise became renowned throughout the basketball world, as did his efforts to fight racism (which were officially recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011). The NBA Finals' MVP Award was named in Russell's honor in 2009.
JULY 30 76ERS INVESTIGATED FOR TAMPERING:
As first reported by ESPN, the NBA is opening an investigation into the Philadelphia 76ers for possible tampering. At the start of free agency, the 76ers reunited Danuel House and P.J. Tucker with 10-time All-Star James Harden.
The league drew interest in the 76ers' ability to land House and Tucker following Harden's decision to decline his $47.7 million player option. The former league MVP (2018) re-signed with the 76ers for a two-year deal worth $68 million.
JULY 25 CELTICS EYEING KEVIN DURANT IN TRADE:
It's been nearly four weeks since Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, and the former league MVP winner is still a hot commodity.
As first reported by ESPN, the Boston Celtics have emerged as a potential suitor to land Durant. Per the report, the Celtics have offered All-Star forward Jaylen Brown as a centerpiece of the deal, but Brooklyn would like more assets back in the trade.
JULY 20 HARDEN AGREES TO DEAL WITH 76ERS:
James Harden's free agency came to an end Wednesday evening. As first reported by ESPN, Harden has agreed to a two-year $68.6M deal to re-sign with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harden declined his $47M player option in June to help the 76ers flexibility to enhance the team's roster through free agency. By giving up nearly $13M, Philadelphia acquired former Rockets P.J. Tucker and Danuel House.
JULY 14 SUNS MATCH AYTON'S OFFER SHEET FROM PACERS:
In a surprising turn of events, the Phoenix Suns retained their former No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton Thursday evening. The Suns matched the four-year, $133 max contract offer Ayton and the Pacers agreed to earlier in the day, as first reported by ESPN.
Ayton was taken with the top overall selection of the 2018 NBA Draft and has played a vital role in Phoenix's success the previous two seasons. Ayton has appeared in 236 games averaging 16.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.
JULY 1 TIMBERWOLVES LAND ALL-STAR BIG MAN RUDY GOBERT:
The Minnesota Timberwolves traded for All-Star big-man Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz Friday afternoon. According to ESPN, the Timberwolves sent four first-round picks, Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and Walker Kessler.
Gobert spent nine seasons with the Jazz after Utah drafted the French big-man with the No. 27 pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. Gobert averaged 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 611 career games with the Jazz.
JUNE 30 KEVIN DURANT REQUESTS A TRADE FROM THE NETS:
The Kevin Durant era in Brooklyn is coming to an end. As first reported by The Athletic, Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are working with Durant and his representative to find a new home.
Durant's wishlist includes the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat. Durant averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 55 games during the 2021-22 campaign.
JUNE 29 HAWKS LAND DEJOUNTE MURRAY IN BLOCKBUSTER TRADE:
The San Antonio Spurs have traded All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks, as first reported by ESPN. The Spurs exchanged Murray for Danilo Gallinari and multiple first-round picks.
Murray nearly averaged a triple-double for the 34-48 Spurs by notching 21.1 points, 9.2 assists and 8.3 rebounds across 68 games last season.
JUNE 29 JAMES HARDEN DECLINES PLAYER OPTION:
According to The Athletic, James Harden has declined his $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season. Harden will become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday but intends to return to the 76ers on a team-friendly contract. Harden averaged 21.0 points during his first campaign in Philadelphia.
JUNE 27 KYRIE IRVING OPTING INTO FINAL YEAR:
Despite rumors of a departure from the Brooklyn Nets, seven-time All-Star Kyrie Irving will opt into the final year of his contract worth $37 million for the upcoming 2022-23 campaign, as first reported by The Athletic. Irving will opt into his final year with the intent of playing for the Nets next season.
Irving signed with the Nets in 2019 after a turbulent two-year stint with the Boston Celtics. He has averaged 27.1 points across 103 games played as a member of the Nets.
JUNE 23 ROCKETS TRADE NO. 26 Pick to Timberwolves
Houston Rockets traded their No. 26 pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which resulted in the draft selection of Wendell Moore. Houston's deal that sent Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks is now a three-team trade. The Rockets also acquired a future second-round pick.
JUNE 21 FORMER ROCKETS COACH D'ANTONI TO MEET WITH HORNETS
Former Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni may be on the verge of landing another job in the NBA.
According to reports, D'Antoni is set to meet with Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets to discuss the franchise's head coaching vacancy.
D'Antoni was already one of two finalists for the job, alongside Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson. However, Atkinson withdrew his name from consideration, in order to return to Golden State.
JUNE 20 ROCKETS TO PLAY MAGIC IN 1ST GAME OF SUMMER LEAGUE
The NBA announced Monday the first handful of matchups for the 17th 2K23 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and there's some exciting games on tap.
The Houston Rockets, who own the No. 3 overall pick, will play the first game of Vegas Summer League action against the Orlando Magic, who have the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft Thursday.
The two teams will tipoff on Thursday, July 7 at 9 p.m. C.T. on ESPN. The Rockets and Magic have been the talk of the town leading up to the draft, making this matchup an exciting one for two teams that will have loads of young talent on the court for the start of Summer League play.
JUNE 13 FORMER ROCKET FACING JAIL TIME? Former Houston Rockets forward Montrezl Harrell has reportedly been charged with drug trafficking and is facing jail time following an arrest in the state of Kentucky in May.
Police reportedly found three pounds of marijuana in Harrell's car during a traffic stop.
Harrell is now facing a Class D felony and could be subject to up to five years of jail time, as well as a fine.
Harrell is currently a free agent after averaging 14.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for the Charlotte Hornets last season.
JUNE 5 QUIN SNYDER STEPS DOWN Another head coaching vacancy has opened up in the NBA. As first reported by ESPN, Quin Snyder has decided to step down as head coach of the Utah Jazz after eight seasons.
Snyder's decision to depart from Utah came a month and a half after the Jazz's first-round exit at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in late April.
Snyder took the helm as coach of the Jazz in 2014 and notched the franchise's second-highest winning percentage (58.5 percent), trailing only Hall-of-Famer Jerry Sloan. Utah went 49-33 in Snyder's final year as coach.
JUNE 3 CELTICS GO UP
The Golden State Warriors have lost before. But not quite like this.
The Boston Celtics took over the fourth quarter on Thursday night to capture a 120-108 win in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. ... all after the dynastic Warriors owned a 12-point lead in the final frame.
“It’s not ideal,” said Steph Curry, who had 34 not-enough points. "But I believe in who we are and how we deal with adversity, how we responded all year, how we’ve responded in the playoffs after a loss.”
It's true that Golden State has experience. But ... the Warriors have lost a Game 1 of a playoff series only twice in coach Steve Kerr’s eight-year run in charge.
So ... not quite like this.
JUNE 2 LEBRON IS A MONEY MACHINE
LeBron James has no shortage of NBA accolades — both on and off the court. From winning championships and MVPs, to climbing the league’s all-time scoring ladder, to helping kids with their education, James has pretty much seen and done it all.
On Thursday, James made history yet again… this time with his wealth. According to Forbes, James has become the first-ever active NBA player to become a billionaire.
“LeBron James – 18-time NBA all-star, 4-time NBA champion, 2-time Olympic gold medalist – has hit yet another milestone, this time doing something no other NBA player has ever done,” writes Chase Perterson-Withorn.
“After another monster year of earnings – totaling $121.2 million last year – Forbes estimates that James has officially become a billionaire, while still playing hoops.”
The Los Angeles star has a lot to think about when it comes to his on-court future, as the Lakers have fallen far from their 2020 championship form. But no matter where James ends his career, he’s going to continue piling up money in historic fashion.
MAY 29 CELTICS VS. WARRIORS FINALS The Boston Celtics have won their first Eastern Conference title since 2010 with a Game 7 win over the Miami Heat.
The Celtics won three road games during the series to advance, including tonight's series clincher.
The Celtics will now meet with the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals, beginning Thursday.
MAY 27 LAKERS HIRE DARVIN HAM AS COACH The Los Angeles Lakers have finally found their next head coach. As first reported by ESPN, the Lakers have hired Darvin Ham to take the helm as the franchise's new coach.
Ham and the Lakers agreed to a four-year deal, as he became the 28th head coach in franchise history.
Frank Vogel served as the previous coach of the Lakers from 2019-2022. He posted a record of 127-98 and coached the Lakers to the 2020 NBA championship.
Prior to his jettison this off-season, the Lakers went 33-49 during the 2021-22 campaign.
MAY 22 JUWAN HOWARD DECLINES LAKERS COACHING JOB Juwan Howard has quickly established himself as one of the hottest young coaches in the basketball world. He has helped the Michigan Wolverines regain their status as an elite college basketball program after registering a coaching record of 61–32 since 2019.
Howard's name became a hot commodity for a few head-coaching vacancies, but the former NBA All-Star isn't ready to make the transition from the colleague level to the pros.
Howard declined "overture" on the Los Angeles Lakers coaching vacancy, as first reported by ESPN. With Howard declining, Kenny Atkinson, Darvin Ham and Terry Stotts have entered the final round of interviews.
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