The Rockets have traded Vassilis Spanoulis, a second round pick and cash to the San Antonio Spurs for the rights to Argentine power forward Luis Scola and 6-foot-10 center Jackie Butler.
ClutchFans has confirmed with a league source that the deal is as reported, though the Rockets can not mention it until 9pm Central time tonight. The pick given up by Houston will be a 2009 second-rounder.
The league source also confirmed to ClutchFans that the Rockets plan to have Scola on the team this season.
Scola is one of the most NBA-ready big men in Europe and has been for a few seasons now. Complications with a buyout in 2005 kept him from joining the Spurs.
|Luis Scola highlights with Tau Ceramica (Spain) and the Argentina National Team
The 6-foot-9, 230-pounder was named to the 2005-06 and 2006-07 All-Euroleague First Team and was a member of the Argentinean National Team, along with the Spurs Manu Ginobili, that won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Scola averaged 15.5 points (57.6% shooting) and 5.9 rebounds in just over 26 minutes a night for Tau Ceramica last season.
When I first heard of this trade I was floored. Yet another trade by Rockets GM Daryl Morey where the potential reward is very high and the cost is very low. This is nothing but a possible win for the Rockets, and Scola will hopefully be lured by the idea of coming to a strong team that needs a player at his position.
Scola also just turned 27 years old, so he joins a core of Yao Ming (almost 27 years old), Tracy McGrady (28) and Shane Battier (28), all at roughly the same age.