Lowry, Scola get qualifying offers

HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets have extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola.

By making the offers, the Rockets retain the right to match any offers that Lowry or Scola might receive after free agency opens on Thursday.

General manager Daryl Morey has said that owner Leslie Alexander wants both players back next season. The 6-foot-9 Scola started all 82 games for Houston last season, averaging 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds. The 6-foot Lowry averaged 9.1 points and 4.5 assists backing up point guard Aaron Brooks.

The Rockets also exercised their option to extend the contract of forward Chuck Hayes through next season. The 6-foot-6 Hayes also started every game last season, averaging 4.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

On Tuesday, All-Star center Yao Ming said he would not opt out of his contract and play for the Rockets next season.