According to the Houston Chronicle, unrestricted free agent Jeff Adrien has signed a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets.
Adrien spent the latter portion of last season with the Bucks after coming over from Charlotte at the trade deadline. He was included in the deal that brought Ramon Sessions to Milwaukee in exchange for Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour.
Adrien quickly emerged as a surprisingly productive forward as Milwaukee careened toward the lottery. In 28 games for the Bucks, Adrien averaged 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds while shooting better than 51 percent from the field. Over the final eight games of the season, he put up 14.3 points and 10.1 boards in 35.1 minutes.
With the way the Bucks’ offseason has shaken out, bringing Adrien back was never really an option. Milwaukee’s roster is currently full – including Chris Wright’s unguaranteed deal – and adding Adrien to an already-crowded frontcourt wouldn’t make much sense for either side. Although he was impressive at the end of the year, nearly all of his damage came after Ersan Ilyasova, Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders had been shut down for the season.
Nabbing Adrien for the veteran’s minimum – which should pay him just under $1 million next season – is excellent value for Houston, a team in need of interior toughness off the bench. Though he’s only 6-7, Adrien averaged 15.3 rebounds per-48. Denver’s Kenneth Faried, by comparison, averaged 15.1.
Houston also signed former Memphis forward Joey Dorsey on Tuesday, who is a remarkably similar player to Adrien. The two will battle for frontcourt minutes behind Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas.