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Young Rocket Launching Out of Association?

A Daily Babble Production

Former Hawks forward Josh Childress is already gone to the European leagues.  Now, there is a chance the NBA could lose another promising young player.

It isn't probable, but it's certainly possible.  The Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen reported on Thursday that Rockets restricted free agent forward Carl Landry could consider leaving the NBA for any one of several overseas teams that have made inquiries about acquiring his services.  

From Feigen's report on agent Buddy Baker, it sounds like Landry is merely listening to all comers rather than leaning toward the foreign game, but the soon-to-be-second-year forward's future remains uncertain.

What is for sure is this: It would be a shame for the Association to lose one of the true steals of the 2007 draft so quickly.

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Drafted with the first pick of the second round a year ago, Landry played in just 42 games in his rookie campaign with the Rockets.  Though he averaged less than 17 minutes of run in those contests, it still proved to be enough for him to make the NBA's All-Rookie second team.  If there was one truth to be learned about the 24-year-old from Purdue last season, it was that he makes the most of every second he spends on the floor.

The guy just loves to play basketball.  Standing 6-foot-9 and 248 pounds, Landry became a terror inside at both ends of the floor in short order for the Rockets.  He crashes the glass hard, rises up to block shots and has no complaints about battling bigger players on the defensive end.  On offense, Landry is everything a team could want for a guy who isn't a big-time scoring option.  He fights for loose balls, keeps possessions alive on the offensive boards and gets his share of put-backs and garbage buckets.  For a big dude, Landry showed a bit of explosiveness last season, too, lifting off for a few rim-rattling dunks (occasional of the facial variety) in his own right, and he saved a playoff win in Utah with a huh-yuge block on Deron Williams in the waning seconds.  The man can get up a bit.

That he is also incredibly productive doesn't hurt either.  Landry put up 8.1 points and 4.9 boards in his 16.9 minutes per game last season.  That carries out to 17.3 points and 10.5 boards (4.9 offensive) per 36 minutes, for which the description 'solid' would be quite an understatement.  As was mentioned above, Landry limited most of his shooting to dunks and clean-up lay-ins, and as a result he shot 66.1 percent from the field, a fairly impressive mark in its own right.

Good defender, good athlete, good defender, good team guy, highly productive:  There is no shortage of teams in this league that could use a guy just like Carl Landry.  Here's hoping one of them will get him so that NBA fans will be able to keep following him as his career continues to blossom.

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