All along it looked like the Houston Rockets were the leaders in the chase to sign Marcus Camby, and eventually, the trendy new pick to win the Western Conference got their hands on the veteran big man, signing him on a one-year deal.
Camby was owed by 7.5 million over the final two years of his contract when the New York Knicks traded him to the Toronto Raptors, but Camby had no intention of playing for a team with no playoff or title prospects, and negotiated a buyout with the Raptors in order to become a free agent.
Plenty of teams, including the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Clippers, showed interest in Campy, but the 17-year veteran settled for a team he played shortly for in 2011-2012, signing a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million.
Camby played only 24 games for the New York Knicks last season, averaging 1.8 points per game, but the Rockets didn’t add Camby for his scoring. A lot of minutes aren’t in the books for the 39-year old, who’ll probably add rebounding and rim protection during his minutes on the floor, which will usually be next to either Dwight Howard and Omer Asik, although lineups in which he’s the only big man might be available for the Rockets.
Camby has been to the NBA finals once – in 1999, with the Knicks, and was hoping to get a second taste of that during his second run with the team. However, his injury and the Knicks simply not being good enough last season denied him of that opportunity, and his previous contract was something the Knicks were quite happy to offload, even if it did bring them Bargnani and his $12 million.
Camby averaged 10.4 minutes a game last season, and there will probably more than a few occasions this season in which even when healthy, he won’t show up on the court for the Rockets.