Rockets sign Jeff Green to 10-day contract

The Houston Rockets yesterday signed veteran free agent forward Jeff Green to a 10-day contract.

The team will reportedly also soon add small forward DeMarre Carroll, once he clears waivers.

The 6-foot-8, 237-pound Green, now in his 12th NBA season, has played in 890 games with 543 starts, averaging 13.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 29.6 minutes per game.

This season, he played limited minutes for the Utah Jazz.

Last season, in 77 games with 44 starts for the Wizards, Green averaged 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.4 3-pointers made in 27.2 minutes per game.

Per the Houston Chronicle:

Green, 33, also fits in the Rockets’ recent history of late-season veteran additions, moves that have brought in Michael Beasley and Joe Johnson and generated mixed results. On Thursday, they are expected to sign veteran forward DeMarre Carroll when he clears waivers, according to two individuals with knowledge of the team’s plans.

Even if Green replaces Sefolosha as the backup center, that would still give the Rockets 10 players in the rotation, assuming coach Mike D’Antoni looks at Carroll down the stretch, too. That would seem to be more than he would play in the postseason, making the final eight weeks of the season valuable to experiment.

The Rockets are 34-20 this season, which is the 5th best record in the Western conference.

The team recently traded the only center who played real minutes, Clint Capela, and didn’t replace him with a similar player. Smallball or bust, apparently.

Rockets waive forward Gary Clark

The Houston Rockets have waived forward Gary Clark.

Clark was eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft and originally signed with Houston in July of 2018. In two seasons as a Rocket, he appeared in 69 games with two starts, while averaging 12.4 minutes played.

Following his senior season at Cincinnati, Clark was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He was also the AAC Defensive Player in each of his final two seasons with the Bearcats.

Rockets sign William Howard to two-way contract

The Houston Rockets signed forward William Howard to a two-way contract today.

Howard (6-8, 207) was playing for Salt Lake City in the NBA G League and is the eighth GATORADE Call-Up of the season. In 15 games for the Stars, Howard averaged 13.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.1 3-pointers made on 43.7% shooting.

Prior to joining the Stars, Howard was with Utah during training camp and the preseason. He spent the past seven seasons playing professionally in his home country of France.

Rockets give Chris Clemons a standard NBA contract

Earlier today, the Houston Rockets converted the two-way contract of guard Chris Clemons into a standard NBA contract.

Clemons (5-9, 180) was eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft and originally signed with Houston on July 3. He has appeared in 20 games for the Rockets this season and is averaging 21.1 points and 5.5 3-pointer made per 36 minutes played. Clemons has also averaged 21.6 points in five G League games for the Rockets affiliate, Rio Grande Valley.

As a senior at Campbell University last season, Clemons led the nation in scoring with 30.1 ppg. He finished his career with the third-most points (3,225) and the fifth-most 3-pointers made (444) in NCAA Division I history.

James Harden scores 60 points in 31 minutes vs Hawks

 

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James Harden had himself a game on Saturday.

Well, three quarters of a game.

Playing 30 minutes and 41 seconds and then sitting out the fourth quarter, the superstar Rockets guard shot 16 of 24, including 8 of 14 from three-point range, and hit 20 of 23 free throws for 60 points, eight assists and three steals.

The Rockets beat the Hawks easily, 158-111.

In the loss, Hawks guard Trae Young put up 37 points and seven assists.

According to ESPN.com, “it was Harden’s fourth career 60-point game, tying him with Michael Jordan for third most in NBA history, trailing only Kobe Bryant (six) and Wilt Chamberlain (32). Harden is the only active player who has scored 60 points more than once.”

The Rockets are now 13-6 for the season.

Austin Rivers signs with Rockets

 

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The Houston Rockets have signed free agent guard Austin Rivers for the remainder of the season.

Originally drafted 10th overall by New Orleans in the 2012 NBA Draft, the 6-4, 200 Rivers played one season at Duke.

Rivers, now in his 7th NBA season, has played in 437 games (132 starts), averaging 9.3 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game.

Last season, as a Clipper, Rivers averaged career highs of 15.1 points, 4.0 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.21 steals. He also averaged a career-best 2.2 3-pointers made on 37.8% shooting.

The 26-year-old started this season with Washington prior to being traded to the Suns on Dec. 17.

The Rockets are 17-15 this season and host the OKC Thunder tomorrow.

Chris Paul out with hamstring injury

Following an MRI yesteday afternoon, Dr. Steven Flores of Memorial Hermann has diagnosed veteran star Rockets guard Chris Paul with a Grade-2 left hamstring strain.

Paul will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks.

The injury was sustained during the second quarter of Thursday’s game against the Heat in Miami. It was a close game, that the Rockets wound up losing, 101-99. Paul played 12 minutes, totaling four points and four assists.

Paul has played in 26 games this season, averaging 15.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. He’s shooting just 41.5% FG, which is by far his lowest in years.

The Rockets are just 16-15 so far this season, which through Friday’s games would place them 9th in the Western conference. They have suffered a massive dropoff in defensive efficiency this season from last year.

Rockets waive Zhou Qi

The Houston Rockets have waived forward/center Zhou Qi.

Zhou Qi (7-1, 210) was the 43rd overall pick by Houston in the 2016 NBA Draft. He joined the Rockets in 2017-18 and had a career-high 4 blocks in the season finale at Sacramento. Zhou Qi spent the majority of the past two seasons playing for the Rockets single-affiliation G League partner Rio Grande Valley with career averages of 11.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks while shooting 51.3% from the floor.

In 2016-17, Zhou Qi led the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association to their first ever championship and was named Defensive Player of the Year. Zhou Qi is also a member of the Chinese Senior National Team and competed in the 2016 Olympics.

Brandon Knight making progress in recovery

 

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You remember guard Brandon Knight. He has talent. He played a few seasons each with the Pistons, Bucks and Suns. As recently as 2015-16, he put up 19.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game for Phoenix. Then got hurt in 2016-17 and hasn’t played since. Now he’s on the Rockets and hasn’t been heard from until pretty much right now, thanks to a big step in his eventual return. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Rockets guard Brandon Knight, who has been out since the 2016-17 season when he had knee surgery to repair a torn left ACL, took a major step in his comeback, playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ G League affiliate.

Knight, 26, had a follow-up surgery this summer, pushing back his return to the court after he was acquired along with center Marquese Chriss in the trade that sent Ryan Anderson and De’Anthony Melton to the Suns.

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Nene set to make Rockets season debut

The Rockets aren’t off to a good start this season. Their defense has dropped off considerably from last year. Having Nene in action to add depth to the frontcourt should help a bit. Not sure how much. But some. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Rockets center Nene is expected to make his season debut on Saturday against the Bulls, with the Rockets holding him out one more day on Friday in part because they are playing a back-to-back but also because he went through his most demanding practice on Thursday.

“The important thing is I feel better,” Nene said. “I feel good. I’ve been working. In the last two, three practices I did what I need to do to see the movement I’m going to use in a game, especially in my style, my game style. I feel OK.”

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