Player News - Rockets

Date: Team: Pos:

The Hawks and Celtics will reportedly be the first two teams to have a face-to-face meeting with unrestricted free agent Dwight Howard.

Howard will reportedly meet with as many as five teams during free agency, but it's extremely unlikely he returns to Houston with Mike D'Antoni now running the show there. The Heat could also be in the mix to sign D-12 if they're unable to retain Hassan Whiteside. Aside from horrific free throw shooting, Howard should be able to put up quality statistics wherever he lands. For what it's worth, the Celtics reportedly will not aggressively pursue Howard, but they're open to signing him at "the right price."
Source: ESPN
Jun 29 - 9:44 AM

The Hawks are considering making a run at free agent Dwight Howard, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Stein reports the Hawks are also interested in Kevin Durant (who isn't?), but the team has not been granted a sit down with KD so a run at Howard seems much more likely. Howard could serve as a contingent plan for his hometown team if Al Horford bolts in free agency and would continue to provide solid fantasy value for owners who are willing to stomach his abysmal free throw percentage.
Jun 28 - 11:51 AM

Donatas Motiejunas said he likely won't play for Lithuania in the Olympics because his back still isn't 100 percent.

"The specialists told me that it is necessary to strengthen it and I have to make specific exercises," Motiejunas said. "I still hope to play for Lithuania but I am aware that I may not play for the National Team." His back has been a major red flag for a while now and it's not a great sign that it's still bothering him two months after the Rockets' season ended. If anything, the durability issues should keep his price down as he enters restricted free agency.
Source: Sportando
Jun 26 - 10:01 AM

General manager Daryl Morey was encouraged Chinanu Onuaku switched to being an underhanded free throw shooter.

"I think it shows he's the most compliant kid in the history of college basketball," Morey said, "because I bet coach [Rick] Pitino has told 500 kids to do that, and he's the first one to say, 'OK I'm going to try it.'" Morey also joked Onuaku will fit right in for being a sub-par foul shooter. The No. 37 pick may have also slipped in the draft due to a heart issue discovered in May. He's a very good athlete and could make an impact at Summer League.
Jun 25 - 5:52 PM

Alessandro Gentile was nearly traded to the Knicks prior to the draft according to a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Rockets currently own his draft rights, but it's not clear what the Knicks were offering. The 23-year-old Gentile said that he wants to join the NBA next season, and the report adds that three different NBA teams will try to acquire him when free agency begins on July 1.
Source: Sportando
Jun 25 - 9:54 AM

Chinanu Onuaku said that he hasn't had anymore issues since he had a procedure last month to correct a heart arrhythmia.

"I'm great. It's no problem at all," Onuaku said. "I feel I have more energy on the basketball court. It was [scary] at first, but when they told me that many guys have had it and they all played, I was fine." It sounds like Dwight Howard is leaving Houston as a free agent, so Onuaku projects to be the backup center behind Clint Capela at the moment.
Jun 24 - 1:54 PM

The Rockets have agreed to a multi-year deal with undrafted Gonzaga F Kyle Wiltjer.

The deal is assuredly non-guaranteed. The Rockets can retain Michael Beasley for $1.4 million next season, they have Sam Dekker and Clint Capela under guaranteed deals, and both Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas are restricted free agents. Even if Wiltjer earns an invite to training camp, he's doubtful to make the regular-season roster.
Jun 24 - 1:29 AM

Texas PG Isaiah Taylor has agreed to a partially-guaranteed contract with the Rockets.

Houston also inked undrafted PG Gary Payton II to a deal soon after the draft ended, as they're eager to add youthful guards to their existing group of Patrick Beverley and Jason Terry. Taylor has elite quickness but his NBA outlook is clouded by a shaky jumper (42.1 percent as a junior), limited 3-point range (30.6 percent) and a lack of length (6'4" wingspan).
Jun 24 - 1:21 AM

The Rockets are expected to sign undrafted guard Gary Payton II to a three-year deal.

Payton improved his stock considerably during his final two seasons in college, showing shades of his father's intensity en route to Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Pac-12 as a junior and senior. He has good size for a PG (6'3", 185 lbs) and impressive athleticism, but iffy ball-handling and poor shot selection hampered him offensively. Patrick Beverley's name has been mentioned in trade rumors, and it's conceivable that Payton will work his way into a reliable role for Houston next season.
Jun 24 - 12:24 AM

The Rockets used pick No. 43 to select Chinese center Zhou Qi.

Qi has a ridiculous 7'8" wingspan and was viewed as a potential first-round pick, having led the Chinese Basketball Association with 3.2 blocks per game last season. The biggest hurdle to his NBA success is bulking up, as the promising 20 year old weighs under 220 pounds. He's expected to spend another season in China before negotiating a buyout, and it'll take a while before he warrants fantasy owners' attention.
Jun 23 - 11:36 PM

The Rockets have selected Chinanu Onuaku with the 37th pick in the Draft.

A minor heart concern last month may have caused him to slide, but Onuaku was impressive at Louisville last year with averages of 9.9 points, 8.5 boards, 2.0 blocks and 0.8 steals in 24.6 minutes. He is only 6’10" and doesn’t have much mobility to play at the four, but a 7’3" wingspan and 250-pound frame should help. With Dwight Howard unlikely to re-sign with the Rockets as a free agent, Onuaku could provide some depth at center behind Clint Capela.
Jun 23 - 11:22 PM

James Harden said that he hasn't spoken with Dwight Howard regarding Howard's decision to opt out of his contract and test free agency.

"He's his own man, he knows what's best for his career," Harden said Thursday. "I haven't really talked to him, he'll make whatever is the best decision [for him]." Harden also went on to say that he will recruit Kevin Durant as an unrestricted free agent, so it doesn't sound like he has much interest in continuing his partnership with D-12.
Source: ESPN
Jun 23 - 5:30 PM

The Rockets are reportedly trying to move into the first round, and they may be willing to move Patrick Beverley to do so.

Beverley makes for an excellent backcourt pairing with James Harden, so it'll be interesting to see if this report comes to fruition. He tends to get a lot of open looks playing alongside Harden, so a move away from Houston wouldn't necessarily be a positive for his fantasy value.
Jun 23 - 5:22 PM

James Harden said he's spoken to Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni about being more of a playmaker.

That sentence is music to fantasy owners ears after Harden averaged 29.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 2.9 three-pointers in 2015-16 and should thrive in D'Antoni's fast-paced offense. Harden added that he is going to try to recruit Kevin Durant to Houston, but he'll remain a top fantasy option in 2016-17 regardless of his success in that pursuit.
Jun 23 - 1:57 PM

The Rockets are gauging trade interest on Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, and K.J. McDaniels, according to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated.

The Rockets will likely play a big part of the NBA Draft trade landscape and it looks like they'll try to involve Ariza, Beverley, and/or McDaniels in potential deals. While Ariza delivered top-40 value in nine-category fantasy leagues, his value could take a hit if his role is diminished on a new team.
Jun 23 - 1:42 PM


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