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.
Newest Phoenix Sun, Zabian Dowdell. A mere 48 hours after the Top 101 Ten Day Contract Candidates list was completed, the Phoenix Suns went and signed somebody that wasn’t on it. Clearly, 20 would not have been enough. With the second signed ten day contract of the season – the Clippers used the first to re-sign Jarron Collins – Phoenix called up guard Zabian Dowdell from the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League, re-signing a player they had only recently cut in training camp. Dowdell did not make the initial list, perhaps in part due to an oversight, but because his numbers thus far this season had not been overwhelming. Playing on the incredibly deep 66ers roster, Dowds averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.8 turnovers in 29 minutes per game, shooting 41% from the field and 31% from three, with 261 points on 230 shots. The assist to turnover ratio was nice, and the defence as present as ever, yet Dowdell’s individual scoring ability has not been there. Nevertheless, Phoenix now gives a regular season look to this long-coveted player for them, who should fit in nicely with an up-tempo game, and defend better than the Nash/Dragic point guard combo (which, while awesome, only impacts one end). In a bit to avoid another such occurence, here are some more names for the call-up list. Players who can be removed from the original list, however briefly, include Collins, Damien Wilkins (re-signed with Atlanta), Patrick Beverley (signed in Russia with Spartak St Petersburg) and J.R. Giddens (signed in Spain with Valencia). New players again listed in no order but alphabetical. Marqus Blakely – Blakely went to camp with the Clippers, despite interest from Atlanta, and picked up $35,000 for doing so. That’s more than he’s currently getting in the D-League, […]