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Saturday, July 30, 2005
Swift: 'I'm ready to get it over with'

Associated Press

LEAGUE CITY, Texas -- Stromile Swift will sign with the Houston Rockets early next week, the free agent said Saturday.

Stromile Swift

"I'm ready to get it over with," Swift said before playing in Tracy McGrady's celebrity softball tournament. "It will relieve a lot of pressure."

Swift's agent told several Houston media outlets on July 18 that the Rockets had reached a deal with the player, but free agents could not be signed until the NBA completed a new collective bargaining agreement. That agreement was signed early Saturday.

Swift said he's excited about playing for the Rockets.

"This is a great group of guys and I felt that this was the best situation for me," he said. "It was just really an easy decision. This is a good team and a good organization."

Swift, the No. 2 pick in the 2000 draft, spent the last five season with the Grizzlies, first in Vancouver and then in Memphis. The 6-foot-10 player averaged more than 10 points and four rebounds last season.

Swift said McGrady and Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson played a role in helping him reach the decision. Dawson visited the player and at his family's home in Shreveport, La.

"T-Mac did a little bit of recruiting," Swift said. "That was pretty big for him to do that. That's the whole thing -- to feel wanted in a situation."

McGrady said he looks forward to Swift joining the team.

"We're just going to bring his ability out because we're definitely going to challenge him every day," McGrady said.