James White is headed to the Denver Nuggets, soon to be his fourth NBA team.
With White facing long odds to make the team, the Rockets traded White for the draft rights to Axel Hervelle, a 6-9 power forward from Belgium. Hervelle will likely remain with Real Madrid, where he is a teammate with guard Sergio Llull, a Rockets' second-round acquisition in June. He averaged 8.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in 21 minutes per game last season, and 6.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 19 Euroleague games.
You should know Conroy from the season he had with Albuquerque last year. In case you've forgotten, he led the D-League in scoring last year (unless you count Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who played in only eight games) while also averaging about eight and a half assists per 48 minutes. He also averaged four and a half turnovers pe4 48, which isn't great, but it's as good or better than several other point guards in the league, and Conroy also had the ball in his hands a lot.
Temple went undrafted out of LSU a few months ago, and he's a combo guard with decent size and athleticism and an aptitude for defense. Bringing the two of these guys is an interesting offense-defense combination, and while I'm a little skeptical that either of these guys will make the team given how many players the Rockets already have under contract, they each have something to offer the team if Houston's willing to give them an honest chance.
And there you have it. The James White Experiment has come to an end, and rightfully so. Aside from his dunk-tastic athleticism, I was skeptical that White could be of any significance to a team, given his, for lack of a better word, awkwardness when handling or shooting the ball.
If you look back to July's Summer League Recap post, I've been high on Conroy for quite some time now. He is a quick, athletic point guard with a knack for getting to the rim a-la Kyle Lowry. Given what he has accomplished throughout his D-League career, he certainly deserves a chance to compete for a roster spot. And while Jermaine Taylor and Chase Budinger seem to be obvious choices to make the team, you can never be too sure with rookies. Somehow, at some point, Conroy could become a Houston Rocket.
Looking back at that same recap, I wasn't quite as thrilled about Garrett Temple:
Temple didn't look comfortable as a point guard. He only had two assists in the 62 minutes that he played this week, to go along with nine turnovers. He won't be playing for the Rockets this season - his game, at least at the point guard position, isn't ready yet. However, I do think he will eventually find a way into The Association. Just not sure when that's going to be.
For defensive purposes, Temple is worth a look. The only problem with that is that our current point guards are quite good at defending as well. Again, I don't see a place for Temple, at least not on this roster.
I don't know anything about Axel Harvelle, though he does have a badass first name. Apparently Daryl Morey likes Real Madrid, because we've now got the rights to two of their players in Sergio Llull and Harvelle.
If anything, Morey has given the Rockets more options in the backcourt, which can't be comforting to Taylor or Budinger. They'll have to work to prove to the Rockets that their talent can carry over to the NBA.