Late Wednesday night the Rockets traded Mike James and Bonzi Wells for Bobby Jackson. Here are the details from the Chronicle.
The Rockets may not be finished dealing until the trade deadline at 3:00pm Eastern on Thursday. But if Jackson stays as a Rocket, I’m actually surprised Houston would trade Bonzi for a 34-year old point guard who is definitely on his last legs. I would have preferred Sam Cassell, who is older, but can still hit the big shot in the clutch. Maybe BJ can, too.
Bonzi was a bargain to the Rockets at $2.284 million per year. Sure, he was likely going to opt-out of his contract after this season, but the Rockets could have certainly used him for this season’s playoff run. He was always a streaky shooter, but he seemed to bring an intangible to the Rockets when they were struggling offensively. Insert Bonzi into the lineup when they can’t make a shot, and he was able to right the ship more often than not.
I also think his rebounds and assists will be missed. The fact that he gave the Spurs fits in the playoffs a couple of years ago might also be missed in this year’s playoffs. And trading him to a division rival can come back to haunt the Rockets very soon.
As far as Mike James goes, I think he an still be an asset to New Orleans. He was outplayed early in the season to lose a chance at getting any minutes in Houston. He’ll get more playing time in New Orleans, and he could become a really good surprise for them. I don’t think his shooting slump in Houston was the beginning of the end of his career — I think it was just a slump from which he’ll break out once he gets some minutes.
I would say the Hornets’ chances of doing some damage in this season’s playoffs got a little better. Hopefully it won’t be against Houston.