NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Rockets Won’t Fire McHale

The Houston Rockets won’t fire Kevin McHale … Luol Deng likely leaving Cleveland Cavaliers? … Michael Carter-Williams wins Rookie of the Year

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McHale Will Return as Rockets Coach

Kevin McHale will return as the Rockets coach for next season, a person with knowledge of the decision said today. McHale just completed the final guaranteed season of his contract, but multiple individuals with knowledge of the Rockets thinking have said management believes in him and wants him to have more time with a relatively new team that spent the season battling injuries.

via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle

This is somewhat of a surprise, considering the Rockets were just upset by the Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs. Houston managed to win just two games in their series against Portland, the same number of games that they won last postseason prior to adding Dwight Howard.

If the Rockets wanted to part ways with McHale, they could have since this was the final guaranteed year on his contract. However, Feigen reports that the team will pick up the 2014-15 option on his contract because they are confident in him and want some continuity on the sideline. Rockets owner Les Alexander is also reportedly a fan of McHale’s, which helps the head coach.

While this was a disappointing season for Houston and many critics felt that McHale was outcoached in the first round against Portland, he will have at least one more season to see if he can turn the Rockets into an elite team in the Western Conference. If Houston fails to go on a deep postseason run next year, the Rockets will likely try to bring in a new coach who can take the team to the next level.

IN RELATED: Houston Rockets Salary Cap Information

Deng Unlikely to Return to Cavs?

I’m assuming Luol Deng won’t be back. My sense is Deng would prefer to be on a more mature team that is ready to win. Furthermore, the Cavs are concerned about his back, legs and general physical condition after 10 years in the league.

via Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer

Deng will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and will have a long list of suitors, since he’s one of the better players who will be available.

A lot of people around the league agree with Pluto’s opinion that Deng will leave the Cavaliers, since the veteran small forward reportedly described the franchise as a “mess” last season and at 29 years old is at the point in his career where he wants to win now.

Cleveland has missed the playoffs in four straight seasons and while they have a solid young core that features Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson among others, most would agree that they are still a few years away from being a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers traded for Deng in the middle of the 2013-14 season, but his stay in Cleveland may be short.

In Pluto’s article, he adds that he believes Cleveland will try to replace Deng by bringing in another veteran small forward either through free agency or trade (possibly a draft-night deal).

IN RELATED: The 2014 Free Agent List

Carter-Williams Wins Rookie of the Year

Michael Carter-Williams, the Sixers rookie point guard, will be named the NBA Rookie of the Year, a league source with knowledge of the voting has confirmed to

The award is expected to be announced next week.

via Eliot Shorr-Parks of

Entering this season, Carter-Williams seemed like a long shot to win this award. He was the 11th pick in the draft and then he struggled in the Orlando Summer League, having a hard time against the tougher competition and turning the ball over a lot.

However, Carter-Williams stepped up in the regular season and had a smooth transition to the NBA. Even though the 76ers didn’t win many games this season, going 19-63, Carter-Williams is deserving of this award. He played well throughout his rookie season, averaging 16.7 points, 6.3 assists, and 6.2 rebounds on the year.

Plus, it’s not like his competition for the award won many more games, as Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo and Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke among others were on struggling teams as well. This was a relatively weak rookie class, compared to some past years.

Carter-Williams seems like a key piece for Philly going forward. The 76ers also have Nerlens Noel and Thaddeus Young as well as two top-10 picks in the 2014 NBA Draft as they continue their rebuild.

IN RELATED: Philadelphia 76ers Salary Cap Information

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