Tuesday , Dec , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Bobcats and Kings interested in Yao?

The Rockets have begun talks regarding a variety of options designed to motivate teams seeking cost savings to make a deal, a person with knowledge of the Rockets’ thinking said.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Houston Rockets have no interest in trading Yao Ming. They are, however, interested in trading his $17 million expiring contract.

His contract is in demand for two reasons. First, an expiring contract is useful during tough economic times –like now, for instance. Second, it would provide a franchise with financial flexibility before the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires July 1st.

The Rockets could rebuild around the assets they get for Yao, who’s likely out for the season with a foot injury.

For instance, the Charlotte Bobcats and Sacramento Kings are reportedly interested in the Chinese star. The Bobcats lack the youngsters to swing a trade, but the Kings could offer one or more of their blue-chip prospects.

Of course, the Kings and Rockets have history. These teams linked up for the Kevin Martin blockbuster at last year’s trade deadline.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Suppose the Rockets move Yao. They’d be interested in signing him as a free agent come summer, and he’d be interested in returning to the great state of Texas.

Yes, these two could part ways only to reconcile a few months later. So a trade would be straight business and nothing personal for the Rockets and Yao.

–Oly Sandor.

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