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Were Rockets interested in Deron Williams? Yes. Are they now? No, reports Ken Berger

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USA TODAY Sports

Ken Berger was out in Reno for the D-League Showcase, more to talk with league executives than to watch the action. Among the things he heard was this tidbit: the Rockets were very interested in prying Deron Williams away from the Nets --and teaming him with Dwight Howard-- but lost interest once D-Will's ankle woes resurfaced.

Those woes are now being treated, as they were last year, with PRP (plasma replacement procedure) and multiple cortisone shots. That doesn't give GMs a lot of comfort. "They're shooting him up like a race horse," one rival executive told Berger.  He said the exec believes the Rockets no longer are willing to take a chance on "Williams' fragile health."

Two days ago, the Nets team physician, Dr. Riley Williams III, offered a more positive view, saying there is no need for any "serious procedure," meaning surgery and that "I don’t think there’s anything going on with him that is a serious issue over the long haul and the guy wants to play."

As previously reported, the Rockets offered the Nets a deal focused on Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin for Williams, which a league source told NetsDaily was rejected out of hand by Billy King. Berger describes things differently, having "the Rockets and Nets briefly delving into the particulars of a deal."  The Rockets, it should be noted, have no extra first round picks to trade and GM Daryl Morey doesn't like to dump his own picks.

Berger doesn't mention that Asik has his own injury issues, that he hasn't played since December 2 with still unexplained knee soreness. That's limited Asik's appeal ... along with his --and Lin's-- $15 million balloon payments next year.

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