Friday , Jul , 20 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Rockets bring back Francis

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Steve Francis, who played his first five NBA
seasons in Houston, officially returned Friday when he agreed to a deal with
the Rockets.

Francis was sent to Portland from the New York Knicks along with Channing Frye
in exchange for Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau and Fred Jones in a draft night
trade on June 28. The Trail Blazers then bought out the remaining two years of
Francis’ contract for almost the full price, paying more than $30 million of
the $34 million owed to Francis over the next two years. The former All-Star
became a free agent after he cleared waivers.

“I’m definitely ecstatic about the opportunity to come back to the place that
I began this journey,” Francis said. “And possibly, we can make it to the
championship.”

The dynamic guard averaged a career-low 11.3 points per game in New York last
season, well below his career average of 18.4 points per game. He played
for Houston from 1999-2004.

“We feel like he’s a strong piece to get us deeper and farther in the
playoffs,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. “We think he’s going to
be a great fit for the team.”

HOU