The Houston Rockets exited the trade deadline with a full roster, but the subsequent buyout of Jared Jeffries opened up the 15th spot. Houston initially used this flexibility to sign multi-time Rocket Mike Harris to a 10 day contract, and later opted to offer him a second one when the first one expired last week. However, they will not sign him for the remainder of the season.
Instead, with the spot opening up upon the expiration of Harris's contract yesterday, the Rockets have used it to call up Marqus Blakely from the Iowa Energy of the D-League.
Blakely, a combo forward from Vermont, began the season with the L.A. Clippers, with whom he had also played in summer league. He appeared in two preseason games with the team, and upon being waived, he went to the D-league, assigned to the Bakersfield Jam. Once there, Blakely averaged 13.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 0.6 blocks, before being traded by the Jam in late January to the Iowa Energy in exchange for a 2011 first round pick. With the Energy, Blakely has averaged 17.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks per game, shooting 70% from the floor. His 15 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks in 28 minutes led the Energy to victory in their first playoff game last week, a 103-96 win over the Utah Flash.
Blakely's contract with the Rockets will run for the remainder of the season and through 2013, as does the contract of Marcus Cousin, signed by the Rockets yesterday. Additionally, as was not the case with Cousin, Blakely has not been assigned to Houston's self-owned D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Yet.
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