Houston Makes A Big Impact

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: July 1, 2008

Houston RocketsHOUSTON — The Houston Rockets took their time, made the 25th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and waited into the early morning hours to announce their trade as they selected Joey Dorsey (Memphis) and Donte’ Greene (Syracuse) as the newest members of the Western Conference contenders.

Greene, a 6-foot-9 forward, was selected as the 28th pick by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. Dorsey, a 6-foot-7 forward who had a excellent performance in the South Regional that was held earlier this year at Reliant Stadium, was selected by Portland as the 33rd pick.

Both young men were acquired in a trade with the Rockets.

In addition to the two former players who grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Houston also drafted Maarty Leunen, a 6-foot-9 forward, who was selected at the 54th spot in the second round.

Both Dorsey and Greene could not hold back the excitement of being drafted and being a Houston Rocket.

“I can’t wait to get on the floor with Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, and all of the other players on the team,” Dorsey said. “I am so excited. I’m just living a dream right now!”

Dorsey, 24, should be on the court immediately next season. He is projected to make an immediate impact. He is a physical player who runs the floor well. He is known for clearing the boards, which will be a big plus for the Rockets.

Greene, 20, entered the league after just one season at Syracuse. He was one of many freshmen that were drafted in the first round. He averaged 17.7 PPG and 7.1 rebounds for the Orangemen. Greene is also noted for his shot-blocking ability.

The Rockets, who originally drafted 19-year old forward Nicolas Batum from France quickly made the trade that landed Dorsey and Greene. In the end, it was the separate deals that completed a three-way transaction that sent Batum to the Portland Trail Blazers, Kansas’ Darrell Arthur to the Memphis Grizzlies, and Dorsey and Greene to Houston , along with a second-round pick from the Grizzlies in the 2008 NBA Draft.

“In our opinion Joey Dorsey is the best defensive big man in the country,” Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said. “He anchored the best defense in the country in Memphis , and he was the player on that team who made the largest impact.”

“At the wing spot we need size, athleticism and shooting,” Morey stated. “Greene has all those things. He’s got a good chance to really contribute over time.”

Leunen will play overseas this season. He’s someone who the Rockets will keep the rights to.

In other Rockets news, the team named Craig Ackerman as the new radio play-by-play announcer for the team. Ackerman will take over for the legendary Gene Peterson and Jim Foley, who stepped aside after 21 years together on the Rockets Radio Network.


— The Rockets extended a qualifying offer to restricted free-agent forward Carl Landry. This offer establishes the Rockets right of first refusal. Restricted free agents may sign an offer with any team, but Houston will have the ability to match any offer given to Landry, a 6-foot-9 forward out of Purdue, averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds in 42 games.

— The Rockets will host a 3-on-3 tournament on Saturday, July 12th .The Rockets Blacktop Battle 3-on-3 Summer Tournament will be held at the Chinese Community Center. The tour is presented by Amerigroup Community Care.

— On Sunday, July 27th, the Rockets will hold auditions for the 2008-09 Rockets Power Dancers at the Toyota Center.

— Former Memphis freshman guard Derrick Rose is going home after being chosen as the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. Rose, who grew up on the city’s South Side is only 19 years old. He led a contigent of freshmen basketball players that was drafted. The best part about this selection is that Rose’s mother will be able to see her son play at home again. She was the first person he called after he led the Memphis Tigers to the South Regional Championship and a trip to the Final Four in San Antonio.

— There was a lot of wheeling and dealing on draft day and here’s a look at some of the other trades that were made. They include:

* O.J. Mayo (USC) and Antoine Walker to Memphis Grizzlies.

* Kevin Love (UCLA) to Minnesota Timberwolves.

* Richard Jefferson (New Jersey Nets) to Milwaukee Bucks.

* T.J. Ford (Toronto Raptors) to Indiana Pacers.

* Jermaine O’Neal (Indiana Pacers) to Toronto Raptors.

* Brandon Rush (Kansas) to Indiana Pacers.

* Jarrett Jack (Portland Trailblazers) to Indiana Pacers.

* Jerryd Bayless (Arizona) to Portland Trail Blazers.

* Mario Chalmers (Kansas) to Miami Heat.