The Houston Rockets are surprisingly one of the worst defensive teams in the league today, even with the presence of two shot-blocking and rebounding big men in Dwight Howard and Clint Capela. With that in mind, it makes sense if the team sought players who can provide some defensive intensity should they want to make a final push for the playoffs this year.
Now here comes the news of them acquiring the services of the offensive-minded Chinese Basketball Association MVP Michael Beasley. Marc Stein of ESPN first reported that Beasley and the Rockets have agreed to a contract for the former Miami Heat player to join the squad for the remainder of the season. The deal accordingly is for the league minimum and that Houston has a team option for next season.
The same report said that the 27-year-old actually declined a much more lucrative contract offer from Maccabi Tel Aviv because he badly wanted to return to the NBA.
Aside from Beasley, the Rockets made another surprising move by signing another offense-first guard in Andrew Goudelock, who also happens to be a regular in the CBA.
Basketball observers, including casual Rockets fans are certainly surprised with the moves the front office initiated the past few days. The team is in disarray right now, from the firing of head coach Kevin McHale to the trade circus involving Howard. Everyone knows that this is James Harden’s team when it comes to offense. It’s just hard to imagine how Beasley and Goudelock would fit in the system where the ball ends up in Harden’s hands most of the time.
Beasley was a top NBA prospect when the Heat selected him as the No.2 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, but he never became a dominating player that everyone though he would be. He played for Miami for a few games in two seasons and had short stints with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Phoenix Suns, but eventually decided to try his luck in the CBA, where several former NBA players found success, most notably Stephon Marbury. He produced big-time numbers for his club, Shandong Golden Stars in the recently concluded season, where he ended up winning the MVP award. In his China stint, he averaged 31.9 points and 13.2 rebounds per game.