Houston Rockets: 5 Players Who Aren't Returning Next Season

Danny Dukker@DannyDukkerCorrespondent IIJune 22, 2012

Houston Rockets: 5 Players Who Aren't Returning Next Season

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    The Houston Rockets were a disappointing team this season, missing out on the playoffs by two games.

    There is always hope for next year or, at least that's what every fan tells himself every season. For the Rockets, 2012 is an important year to see where they should take their rebuilding project.

    However, there are five players who will not be joining Houston on their journey back to the postseason. Let's look at them.

Kyle Lowry

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    While the Rockets might not want to get rid of Lowry, his recent comments are pretty clear he wants out (via the Houston Chronicle). He obviously has had some issue with Kevin McHale as coach, and whether or not those issues can be sorted out remains to be seen.

    My guess is that the Rockets are going to move the coveted Lowry to the highest bidder. Teams will make nice offers for a young point guard like Lowry and Houston should listen.

Samuel Dalembert

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    This comes off recent reports from HOOPSWORLD that the Rockets are looking for a trade involving Dalembert. He's still a solid center and I think a team will offer a nice deal for him.

    Dalembert did not play too many minutes this season in Houston, but remains a player who can contribute solid numbers.

    My prediction is that Houston finds the right trade and Dalembert moves on to his fourth NBA team.

Earl Boykins

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    I don’t think we'll see too many sad faces over Boykins’s departure, but nevertheless, the short point guard will not be with the team next year.

    He only played eight games for Houston last season and barely played in any of them. Boykins turned 36 this month and does not have much to offer other than some veteran bench presence.

    I would bet most Houston fans won’t even notice his departure.

Marcus Camby

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    Camby is considered a top priority for the Rockets this year.

    However, a good defensive presence in the paint is a top priority for a lot of teams in the NBA, and I believe someone will lure Camby away with either more money or better guarantees.

    The Rockets could pursue another center in Spencer Hawes or Chris Kaman, who might be more expensive but would give them an offensive presence down low.

Courtney Lee

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    Courtney Lee enters the offseason as a restricted free agent, which should be encouraging for the Rockets. With that said, I do believe Lee’s defense and shooting ability will land him some nice offers.

    He's the type of player that provides good spark off the bench, which can be important to teams as evidenced by this year's postseason.

    Houston will match any offer he gets if they are serious about keeping him, but they don't seem to be really committed.

    I see Lee playing for a different team next season, one that has much higher aspirations than just a playoff berth.

    Thank you for reading and follow me on Twitter for sports talk!