|26 July 2006|
The Houston Rockets have signed Greece international Vassilis Spanoulis to a three-year contract.
The 23-year-old guard joins from Panathinaikos where he played a key role in helping the Greens beat rivals Olympiakos 3-0 in the Greek league finals last season.
Spanoulis will join up with his new Rockets team-mates in September after playing for his country at the FIBA World Championship in Japan next month.
Spanoulis will provide much-needed depth in the backcourt as he can play at both point guard and shooting guard.
"He's a very versatile ball handler," Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson told the team's official website.
"He's a good finisher and a very good prospect."
The Rockets acquired the rights to Spanoulis in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks after the 2004 NBA draft.
"He wants to be a great player," Dawson said.
"Everybody is going to like this young man because he is a very hard nosed player."
Spanoulis averaged 15.5 points and 3.1 assists in 21 games for Panathinaikos last season.
Prior to joining the Greens, he played for Maroussi Honda.
"We have watched his progress very closely," Dawson said. "It's a big adjustment to come to the NBA from Europe, but he is a hard worker."