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Ric Bucher: Bonzi Wells to Houston

Bucher writes that Bonzi Wells had several other offers.

Denver, Boston, Charlotte and Miami also made offers but the Rockets did the best job of convincing Wells he was needed. The recruiting contingent included Yao Ming, GM Carroll Dawson, assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, coach Jeff Van Gundy, personnel director Keith Jones and Tracy McGrady, who called Bonzi directly to make his pitch.

I'm no GM, but as I wrote a few weeks ago, it seems to me that Houston is the perfect situation for Bonzi Wells. They could really use him, but as long as Tracy McGrady is healthy, they don't need him. That puts Jeff Van Gundy in the driver's seat in their relationship (although, on the other hand, if the team does a lot of losing, I suppose Van Gundy would lose that advantage, because the ownership can't stick with Van Gundy forever--at some point he has to win). And they have their star system in place, so there's little likelihood he will become a leader by default, which has proved problematic in the past.

What's more, if Rafer Alston proves he's everything he could be at the point guard, that's one of the most improved lineups in the NBA. I'm not a huge Juwan Howard fan, but still, with Battier and Wells on board, some shooting with size from the rookie Steve Novak (those Marquette guys are tough), and everyone healthy for a change... this team should play better defense, while also making it harder than ever to double team McGrady and Yao. That's a team that will sell a lot of tickets.