Dalembert agrees to join Rockets
Sam Dalembert agreed to a two-year deal with the Houston Rockets
The big man earlier said he would likely re-sign with the Sacramento Kings
The Rockets have been looking for a center since Yao Ming retired this summer
Free-agent center Samuel Dalembert has agreed to a two-year deal with the Rockets, a source confirmed to SI.com.
A source with knowledge of the deal said Dalembert will be paid approximately $7 million in the first season and the Rockets have a team option worth approximately $7 million in the second season that includes a $1.5 million buyout if it is declined.
"I'm thrilled that he'll be somewhere where he's really wanted, and where he's going to get an opportunity to flourish," said Dalembert's agent, Marc Cornstein.
The move was a bit surprising after Dalembert told Fox Sports South Florida on Tuesday that he was likely to re-sign in with the Kings. The report was met with confusion from Kings officials, with everyone from owners Joe and Gavin Maloof on down saying there was no mutual understanding that he would return. Minutes before news of Dalembert's agreement with Houston was first reported by ESPN.com, the Kings announced that they had rescinded their offer to Dalembert.
Meanwhile, the Rockets finally landed a big man after what has been a frustrating start to their season. They were thrilled at the prospect of landing Lakers forward Pau Gasol in the three-team Chris Paul trade nearly two weeks ago. But after NBA commissioner David Stern vetoed the deal on behalf of league-owned Hornets, the Rockets were left looking for more help in the frontcourt.
Houston, which has been very active in its attempt to remake its roster after the retirement of center Yao Ming, also pursued Nene heavily before he returned to Denver.