Player News - Rockets

Date: Team: Pos:

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

Dwight Howard is rumored to be interested in signing with the New York Knicks.

It's unclear how much interest the Knicks have in Howard as signing him to a big deal would eat up most of their cap space, but they could use his defense after dealing Robin Lopez to the Bulls. Howard should receive plenty of interest as an unrestricted free agent and can still be a valuable fantasy asset for owners willing to put up with his poor free throw percentage.
Source: ESPN
Jun 23 - 10:17 AM

The Rockets have reportedly tried to convince Dwight Howard to remain in Houston.

GM Daryl Morey spoke with Howard's agent, and Rockets' CEO Tad Brown spoke directly with Howard expressing his support, however, Howard still decided to opt out of his deal. The Rockets value Howard's defense and they're trying to sell him on Mike D'Antoni's offensive scheme, but with how things went with D-12 and D'Antoni in Los Angeles, it would be nothing short of shocking if he decided to remain in Houston.
Source: ESPN
Jun 22 - 10:50 AM

Alessandro Gentile said that his goal is to play in the NBA next season.

"My goal is to play in the NBA next year," Gentile told The Vertical. "I really hope this can happen. For me, Mike D’Antoni is like a legend in Italian basketball, an example for everyone. For him to coach me would be very, very nice." The Rockets own Gentile's draft rights, and they reportedly have "significant interest" in bringing him stateside, although they're unlikely to officially sign him until later in July after the major free agent decisions have been made.
Jun 21 - 6:56 PM

Dwight Howard has reportedly declined his player option for the 2016-17 season, and he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The Mike D'Antoni hire essentially queued the end of Howard's tenure with the Rockets, and it'll be interesting to see what kind of deal the big man can earn on the open market. Howard is now 30 years old, and his knees and back have started to become an issue, although with the infusion of money coming into the NBA he should be able to earn something close to the max.
Jun 21 - 6:01 PM


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