Rockets sign Andersen to make up for loss of Ming
HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets have signed center David Andersen to a multiyear contract to help make up for the loss of Yao Ming. The Rockets acquired the rights to the 6-foot-11 Andersen in a trade with Atlanta on July 14. Houston scrambled to find a center after announcing in June that Yao was out indefinitely with a hairline fracture in his left foot.
Yao announced last month that he would have surgery to repair the injury, a decision that will likely keep him out all of next season. The seven-time All-Star underwent the procedure the following week.
Andersen was a second-round draft choice of the Hawks in 2002. He has spent his career in his native Australia and in Europe, most recently in the Spanish League with FC Barcelona, where he averaged 11.1 points and 4.1 rebounds last season.
Wallace rejoins Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Ben Wallace needed some help backing away from the idea of retirement and two old friends in Detroit were ready to help. The four-time All-Star was ready to walk away from the game when he was bought out by Phoenix in the aftermath of the Shaquille O’Neal trade. Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton, his former teammates with the Pistons, had other ideas. That was more than enough to convince Wallace that the time was right for his return to Detroit to reunite with the two other cogs from Detroit’s most recent heyday. Wallace, who played for the Pistons from 2001-06, signed a free-agent deal Wednesday.
Cavs sign free agent
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers signed free agent forward Leon Powe, who as a youth played with LeBron James on several AAU teams, to a two-year contract on Wednesday. But he won’t be playing with James anytime soon. Powe, who averaged 7.7 points in 70 games with the Boston Celtics last season, tore the ACL in his left knee during the playoffs and had reconstructive surgery on May 5. It was the third major medical procedure Powe has endured on the knee. He isn’t expected to be ready to play for the Cavaliers until February.
Clippers trade for Butler
LOS ANGELES — The Clippers have acquired shooting guard Rasual Butler and cash from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2016. Butler had the most productive season of his seven-year career in 2008-09, averaging 11.2 points and 3.3 rebounds while playing in all 82 games for the Hornets, who made the playoffs. He shot 40 percent from the floor and 37 percent from 3-point range to match his career averages.