Toot, toot. All aboard, the crazy train is leaving Houston, headed for LA. With Artest making a big splash during the current FA period and Yao Ming possibly getting the Misery treatment, the Rockets have a lot on their plate. But putting those issues aside for the moment, the Rockets also have one of the deepest and most talented Summer League squads. Morey has assembled a really talented yet rag-tag bunch, including a guy who sounds like a Finnish wonderboy, the D-League's nastiest dunker, and the best player/blogger this side of Paul Shirley. Excellent work Dork Elvis.
Houston Rockets 2009 NBA Summer League Roster
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate College/Country NBA Exp.
Hassan Adams F 6-4 220 6/20/84 Arizona 2
Rod Benson F 6-10 225 10/10/84 California R
Chase Budinger F 6-7 218 5/22/88 Arizona R
Will Conroy G 6-2 195 12/8/82 Washington 1
Marcus Cousin C 6-11 250 12/18/86 Houston R
Joey Dorsey F/C 6-8 268 12/16/83 Memphis 1
Charles Gaines F 6-9 225 10/15/81 Southern Mississippi R
Mike Green G 6-1 184 6/23/85 Butler R
Maarty Leunen F 6-9 220 9/3/85 Oregon R
Brad Newley G 6-7 201 2/18/85 Australia R
Jermaine Taylor G 6-4 210 12/8/86 Central Florida R
Garrett Temple G 6-6 190 5/8/86 LSU R
Darryl Watkins C 6-11 258 11/8/84 Syracuse 1
James White G/F 6-7 200 10/21/82 Cincinnati 2
Jump to get hit with some serious knowledge son
Here is the Rockets 2009 Summer League Squad (Don't forget to check each player's name for youtubage):
Hassan Adams - In his two short years in the NBA, Adams has been a serious journeyman. He got a DUI in his senior season at Arizona (which looking back now wasn't so bad), then was drafted by the Nets, scored 16 points for the Celtics one time, and then bounced around some more before getting waived and going to Europe. Well he's back, and while he never really impressed me on the court in the NBA, I do remember him having flashes of excellence at Arizona pre-DUI, here's hoping he can recreate those this summer. Bonus: McD's Dunk Contest: bad dunks, worse dancing.
Rod Benson - Rod Benson the player is what he is; a skilled big man who can rebound, play some D, and score here and there around the basket. But Rod Benson the movement is another thing altogether. Boom Tho is one of the most interesting characters around, whose stories of overseas and domestic ball are a thing of legend. He is one of the finest writers I know. Here is Scott's take on Boom Tho:
I dominated his s*** in Madden 09 on an absurd TV that took up half his apartment. The first time we played he was terrible, but he got better. It didn't matter though, he got dominated.
And that is that. Bonus: I think, but this is confusing.
Chase Budinger - Coming out of High School Budinger was touted as a highly skilled and athletic SF with great size and mobility. He even shared Co-MVP of the Mcdonalds AA game with Kevin Durant!!! But during his three years at Arizona he proved to be nothing but inconsistent and gunshy in big games. Budinger's strongest asset in the NBA will be his jumpshot and size. On the downside, his physicality and slashing/handling abilities have been questioned. The Rockets roster is definitely in flux at the SF position, so Budinger may or may not have a shot at sticking with them this season. Bonus: If this NBA thing doesn't pan out he can play pick-up volleyball at the local park.
Will Conroy - Having played at Washington with the likes of Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson, Will Conroy is used to playing at a high level. Conroy is a speedy, scoring PG who is very strong going to hoop. Will has played in the D-League for two years now and been kicked around by a few NBA teams, never quite sticking. Conroy's time in the D-league has been well spent though, as he has turned into a dynamic scorer and assist man, including a breakout 53 point performance against the
Colorado 14ers Frisco Unnamed. If you're looking for character, Conroy also won the D-League sportsmanship award this year, which confirms that the D-League loves irony. Let's just put it this way, Conroy is not the coolest of cats. Given that the Rockets roster already contains speedster Aaron Brooks, I don't see a place for Conroy with Houston this year, but Will is solid enough to land somewhere.
Marcus Cousin - Local (sort-of) big man out of U of Houston, who originally played at Seton Hall before transferring before the 2006-07 season. The UH Athletics page says his hobbies include playing basketball, which is good because this is what Summer League is all about. I really don't know much else about Cousin other than he is a long and big, and inconsistent scorer/rebounder in the C-USA last year. He's kind of a long shot to make an NBA roster, but he may be able to latch on with a D-League squad after the summer.
Joey Dorsey - His real name is actually Richard Elmer Dorsey, which if I was him I'd stick with Elmer. We all know what Dorsey brings to the table: shot blocking, defense, and rebounding. He's played with the Rockets last season and spent some time in the D-League with the Vipers and pretty much did what we expected him to do. Dorsey should be on the Rockets bench this year if not in the rotation, as his defensive skill will be needed. My only hope for Dorsey is that he's learned when to keep his mouth shut and when not to get ejected from Summer League games. Bonus: FTW
Charles Gaines - After releasing his third solo album in 1999 and landing at #2 in the pop charts, Charles Gaines....oh wait a minute. I was thinking of Chris Gaines, Garth Brooks alter-ego and bizarro pop artist. Sorry Chuck. Charles Gaines on the other hand played at Southern Mississippi and Southern Missouri in college, and eventually went undrafted. He has spent time in the CBA, D-League, and overseas. Despite his journeyman status, Gaines is a solid PF who plays good defense and averaged 15/10 in the D-League with the Toro's last season. Gaines was one of the last cut form the Spurs camp last season and looks like a likely candidate to actually make the roster this season. Bonus: On the bright side, Chuck didn't write this crap.
Mike Green - This guy is a 6'1" PG out of Butler who apparently played in the 1974 ABA All-Rookie game. All kidding aside, Green's game is that of a polished floor general, someone who can get teammates good shots, take care of the ball and score within the flow of the offense. I truly don't know a lot about him, but his numbers from the Turkish league he played in last seem to suggest that he continued to distribute and score at an elite level last season. While Green is not an elite athlete, he does have good quickness and a powerful first step. There aren't a lot of PGs on this roster, so Green may get some nice burn next week.
Maarty Leunen - Daryl Morey apparently sent Luenan overseas after drafting him last season to "develop." And by develop I mean get screwed out of a paycheck and gain no NBA exposure, should have played in the D-League(sigh)...okay rant over. Luenan played Center at Oregon, despite being about 6'9" and 215 pounds soaking wet. He's still considered a developing player, as he is not an overly physically gifted athlete and does not have a great post game. Maarty looks like a lock for a fringe NBA player who can possible fill a role as a 10/5 guy down the road. But I'm not quite sure he's there yet. Bonus: For no reason besides I like it.
Brad Newley - Wait, we're sure this is a real basketball player right? Because used car sales come to mind.... Brad Newley is actually the SG that played along side Patty Mills for Australian's national team last summer. At 6'7", Newley is a thin, but athletic guard that has shown flashes of NBA skill, including his showing at the Olympics, but is questionable as a viable NBA player yet. Newley's quickness is a bit of an issue, especially on defense, but his shooting touch and general size should lend him to the NBA game.
Jermaine Taylor - After measuring out as one of the strongest athletes in this year's draft Taylor was hoping to garner second or possibly first round selection. Washington selected him early in the second round and quickly dealt him to the Rockets. Lucky for them, Jermaine Taylor is definitely an NBA talent. Measuring 6'4.5" and with a nearly 40" max vert, Taylor is an impressive athlete with decent handles and a college 3pt jumpshot. At UCF he was consistently double teamed and not allowed to use his slashing abilities as often as you would assume considering his physical gifts. While Jermaine can be turnover prone and needs to develop his game on the defensive side of the ball, he still looks like a big-time sleeper from this year's draft.
Garrett Temple - Formerly Tyrus Thomas's running mate at LSU, Garret Temple is an initruiging prospect for NBA teams. While he possess NBA size and quickness, his game is that of an unpolished combo guard. Temple is quite left hand dominant and does not possess an overly impressive jumpshot. I think he seems to be destined for time in the D-League and may never really sniff the NBA. Although if he does make it onto an NBA roster, his name is an immediate marketing ploy!!!
Darryl Watkins - (Seriously check out his youtube clip, if only for that annoying little kid yelling). I roomed with a Syracuse fan while I was in college. And in one of my fondest memories, I distinctly remember him, dressed completely in bright orange, screaming at the top of his lungs, "G** Dammit Darryl Watkins, you need to dunk that you freaking moron." Needless to say Watkins has NBA size and upside at 6'10" 240 to be a contributing player off the bench, but his skill level is still questionable.
James White - James "Flight" White was a sensation in the D-League last year; playing tenacious defense, getting his jump shot in line, and throwing down some vicious dunks. We at RU have been singing his praises all year long. White has improved in almost every catagory during this past season, culminating in his signing with the Rockets long-term. Clearly Morey knows what he is doing, as White will be a player in the league for awhile. His defensive upside and freak athleticism, coupled with improved skill level really set up White for success in the future. Bonus: You really didn't believe the "freakish athlete" part did you?