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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bonz(a)i!

ESPN cites free agent Bonzi Wells' agent as saying that the Rockets have agreed with his client on a two-year contract worth $5 million, the second year of which is a player option, meaning Bonzi could head back out to the market as an unrestricted free agent after this season. This offseason has not exactly been a financial windfall for Wells, who turned down a five year, $36 million offer from the Kings and then subsequently fired his agent.
It is quite hard to criticize this move for the Rockets, who clearly needed to add as much perimeter firepower as possible after last season's brickfest. In Battier, Wells and Steve Novak, the Rockets have added three players who have shown the ability to consistently knock down the outside shot, which will hopefully open up driving lanes for T-Mac and operating room underneath for Yao.

A quick look at the likely depth chart (with players certain to make the roster in bold):

PG: Alston, Sura (if healthy), Lucas
SG: McGrady, Wells, Snyder, Spanouillis, Jacobsen, Head
SF: Battier, Bowen, Novak, Azubuike
PF: Howard, Hayes
C: Ming, Mutombo

One would have to call Azubuike (and possibly even Jacobsen) a long shot to be on the opening night roster. And by the way, ESPN lists Snyder as slated to wear #99 this fall. I expect Snyder to get the bulk of the backup minutes at the 2 until he proves unworthy, and at 6'6", 225 lbs., he can also play some 3 as matchups permit.

There is clearly a glut in the Rockets' backcourt. Luther Head would appear to be the odd man out, possibly in a trade for some additional frontcourt depth. The starting lineup may be as listed above, but late in games, do not be surprised to see a lineup of Alston, Wells, McGrady, Battier and Yao. Bring in another banger to back up Yao and Deke, and this has the makings of a team who has no business finishing out of the top four in the Western Conference. This, of course, assumes good health, but the addition of Wells will help soften the blow if T-Mac's back flares up again. Yao, however, cannot miss any significant time if the Rockets hope to contend.

1 Comments:

Blogger Tim said...

I'm not sure I like this move. Bonzi seems like a problem waiting to ruin the Rockets' season, but JVG did peacefully coexist with Sprewell in New York, so who knows? Definitely adds the offense that we thought was lost when Mike James decided to feed his family in Minnesota, but I'm going to reserve judgment on the fit until I see Wells lace 'em up at Toyota Center.

Fri Sep 29, 03:30:00 PM  

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