Carl Landry Admits Being 'Blindsided' by Trade from Houston
While the ultimate result was obviously not a desirable one, the improvement of Landry's comfort level is something that's important for the team as they rely on him for production as a key member of the starting lineup. And the fact that he's settling in so quickly -- without any real time to get to know his new teammates -- is a big plus.
"Really, I've never had a practice with these guys yet," Landry said. "I was a little bit more comfortable out there, and it's only going to get better. My coach said [Saturday] it was probably one of the worst games you'll see for the remainder of the season for me. But the jitters weren't there as much today."
Before being dealt to Sacramento, Landry was a poster-boy for the mythical genius of Rockets GM Daryl Morey. Houston traded for him on draft night in 2007 after Seattle drafted him 31st overall, and Landry was putting up starter's numbers off the bench for the Rockets this season.
Because of both his stellar production and his popularity within the organization, Landry admitted that the trade that sent him out of town was somewhat of a shock -- especially given the fact that he was in the discussion for some post-season honors while playing for the Rockets.
"Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, the fans were really liking me," Landry said. "I was a fan favorite in Houston -- like you said, I was kind of blindsided. But at the same time, I think everything happens for a reason. It could be a blessing in disguise, I mean, great chemistry on this team, great group of young guys, and I'm excited to be here."
The Kings do have a nice young core of players: with rookies Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi in the starting lineup, the team is going to improve sooner rather than later. And with Landry now firmly starting with them, after spending his entire career coming off the bench, it's likely that his season averages of 16 points and 5.5 rebounds per game are going to improve as well.