HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – It wasn’t the trade for a marquee player Daryl Morey had coveted, but the Rockets general manager deserves kudos for his last-minute magic as the NBA trade deadline was about to expire Thursday.
Morey brought in two 37-year old veteran players in center Marcus Camby and point guard Derek Fisher, who could help push the Rockets to a playoff berth in the Western Conference. At the same time, Morey unloaded some unwanted players with seldom used point guard Jonny Flynn and center Hasheem Thabeet are headed to Portland in the Camby deal and reserve post Jordan Hill heads to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Fisher and Dallas’ conditional first round draft pick this year.
In two deals, the Rockets improved themselves for a playoff run this season and also got something for the future. All the Rockets, who currently sit at No.8 in the Western Conference with a 24-20 record, really gave up of value was a second round draft pick to Portland. Not a bad day at the office.
The Rockets improved their inside presence immensely with the trade for the 6-foot-11 Camby, who is still one of the best defensive centers in the league despite the fact he turns 38 next week. Camby, who owns a home in the Houston area and live here in the offseason, is averaging 3.8 points and 8.8 rebounds while playing nearly 22 minutes per game.
Camby likely will come off the bench behind Sam Dalembert initially but he can even be paired with Dalembert at time to give the Rockets an intimidating front court presence. The Rockets now have the rebounding and defensive presence with Camby that Hill never could give them with the consistency first-year coach Kevin McHale demands.
Fisher, who has won five NBA titles with the Lakers, could solidify things behind Goran Dragic until Kyle Lowry returns from his bacterial illness in the next two or three weeks. The only snag is there is a chance Fisher may opt out of his contract rather than agree to tge trade because of family reasons, according to an NBA source.
But if Rockets can talk Fisher into coming for at least the next couple weeks while Lowry mends then it was a great move. The likelihood is that Fisher remains with the Rockets just for the remainder of the season though he does still have a $3.4 million option for next season, but that could be bought out.
The Rockets called off a scheduled press conference Thursday to announce the moves and still had not given official word well into the evening. A press conference with Morey is expected at some point Friday.
In the meantime, the Rockets have much to celebrate going forward. They can potentially have multiple first round draft picks this June and cap room to go free agent shopping this upcoming summer.