Sunday , Jun , 24 , 2007 Oly Sandor

No Opting Out: Bonzi Wells Will Stay With Houston Rockets

Wells won’t be exercising his opt-out clause and will stay with the Rockets for another season … Houston’s prepared to look past last year’s meltdown because Wells’ scoring could take pressure off Yao and T-Mac … Click here for this story and analysis …

The Associated Press provides an update on Bonzi Wells’ status with Houston:

Veteran guard Bonzi Wells plans to stick with the Houston Rockets during the 2007-08 season, his agent told a Houston television station on Saturday.

"Bonzi has sent in the necessary paperwork and he is opting in, and he will play for the Rockets this coming season," Bill Duffy told KRIV.

 Even though Wells had signed a two-year contract with the Rockets, he could have opted out of the deal this offseason.

 Rockets spokesman Nelson Luis told The Associated Press on Saturday night that the team hasn’t received any paperwork so far from Wells.

New coach Rick Adelman’s arrival raised the possibility of Wells’ return to Houston. The temperamental Wells hardly played last season, sidelined with various injuries and a rift with coach Jeff Van Gundy.

But Wells had a productive 2005-06 season under Adelman in Sacramento and averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds in the playoffs.

My Quick Take: Wells’ career hasn’t been pretty. In , he earned a reputation as a pouter. In , he clashed with the NBA’s version of Mr. Rogers: Coach Maurice Cheeks. In , he helped send Hubie Brown, a legendary sideline boss, back to the broadcast booth. Mike Fratello, Brown’s successor with the Grizzlies, banned him from the arena.

Wells spent the 2005-06 season in Sacramento. And he was the Kings’ best player in their playoff series against the Spurs.

His timing was perfect. Wells was a free agent and expected to cash in on his post season performance. Sacramento offered 36 million dollars over six years. A generous contract, but not the home run Wells and his agent were expecting.

They turned it down. The market changed dramatically. No other team took a sniff. And Wells ended up signing a two year deal with the Rockets for six million dollars.

Wells never found his niche in Houston. He showed up out of shape. He clashed with Jeff Van Gundy, the Rockets’ former coach. And he left the team before the playoffs.

The Rockets’ new coach, Rick Adelman, worked with Wells in Sacramento. Adelman will probably give the emotionally-challenged wing another chance because he has talent.

It’s that simple. Houston needs a third scorer to take pressure off of Yao and Tracy McGrady. Wells can score. So his past won’t matter.

After all, Scottie Pippen once said Wells was the second-coming of Mark Aguirre. That’s high praise indeed. Aguirre was a prolific scorer at DePaul and then in the NBA.

But I think Houston will settle for Wells acting like a professional and keeping defenses from double-teaming and .

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