Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed four players — Bobby Brown, Gary Payton II, Isaiah Taylor and Kyle Wiltjer — in advance of training camp, which takes place at Toyota Center Saturday, Sept. 24 through Saturday, Oct. 1.
Houston’s preseason opener is home against the Shanghai Sharks on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. The Sharks play in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and are owned by Rockets legend Yao Ming, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this month. It is the first time a professional team from China is facing an NBA team in the United States.
Bobby Brown finished his career as Cal-State Fullerton’s all-time leading scorer. He appeared in a total of 113 NBA games across two seasons in 2008-09 and 200-10 and spent the past two years playing in the CBA. In 2015-16, Brown averaged 29.2 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds for the Shenzhen Leopards.
Gary Payton II was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft and played for the Rockets in the Samsung NBA Summer League. As a senior at Oregon State, Payton II averaged team highs of 16.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals. According to Stats, Inc., he was the first Division I player to average at least 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals in a single season dating back to 1996-97, which is as far back as their data tracks.
Isaiah Taylor was an early entry candidate for the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Texas. He started all 92 of his games played during his career with the Longhorns and was named First Team All-Big 12 as a junior after earning Third Team honors as a freshman and sophomore. Taylor also played for the Rockets in the Samsung NBA Summer League.
Kyle Wiltjer was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft following his senior season at Gonzaga and was a member of the Rockets entry in the Samsung NBA Summer League. He began his collegiate career at Kentucky and was a member of the Wildcats championship team in 2012. Wiltjer was named All-West Coast Conference First Team in both of his seasons with the Bulldogs, averaging 18.6 points and 6.3 rebounds.