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The Rockets yesterday (Sunday, January 14) signed free agent guard R.J. Hunter to a two-way contract.

Hunter (6-5, 185) was originally the 28th overall pick by Boston in the 2015 NBA Draft. Over the past two seasons, he appeared in 39 games for the Boston and Chicago, while also spending time in the NBA Development League.

This season, Hunter has been playing for the Rockets single-affiliation NBA G League partner Rio Grande Valley, averaging a team-high 19.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.7 steals. He is averaging the third-most 3-pointers made (3.7) of any G League player with at least 20 games played.

Hunter finished his collegiate career as Georgia State’s all-time leading scorer with 1,819 points in just three seasons. He was Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.

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The Rockets are about to face a serious test in the coming weeks. News today came out that superstar guard James Harden suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain during yesterdays game against the Lakers. He’ll miss two weeks of action, and then will be re-evaluated by the team to see if he’s ready to return.

There’s no guarantee that two weeks will be enough time for Harden to fully heal.

According to the Houston Chronicle, “The Rockets have gone 13-0 with the starting lineup available, but when Harden sits out - starting Wednesday in Orlando - P.J. Tucker will be the only player to have played in every game.”

It’s always fun to see how a star player performs against his former team. But that gift will not be presented to us on Friday. Here’s the LA Times reporting:

Friday night was supposed to a matchup between the new-look Clippers and former teammate Chris Paul, who requested a trade to the Houston Rockets last summer because he no longer wanted to be a part of the team’s future.

But that matchup will not happen because Paul is out after straining his left adductor during Wednesday night in the loss to the Lakers…

It just won’t be the same without Blake Griffin (left knee), Danilo Gallinari (partially torn left glute), Wesley Johnson (sore left foot) and Patrick Beverley (season-ending right knee surgery).

Besides Paul being out for the Rockets, they won’t have forward Luc Mbah a Moute (dislocated right shoulder). He joined the Rockets as a free agent after spending the last two seasons with the Clippers. The Rockets also have listed center Clint Capela as doubtful with a bruised left heel.

Full article

The Houston Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the second quarter of yesterday’s game against the Hornets.

He will be re-evaluated in around one week.

The Rockets are having a fantastic season. They have the best record in the NBA, and have played fantastic basketball, especially with Chris Paul healthy and in the lineup.

Ryan Anderson should return soon

The Rockets are one of the best teams in the NBA this season, and they should have a key piece back in action soon. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Ryan Anderson should return soon from back issue

The Rockets listed forward Ryan Anderson as questionable to play against the Utah Jazz on Thursday, with his availability to be determined how the tightness in his lower back responds to two practices since he left Sunday’s game. But Anderson has improved so much since his back “locked up” that he was cleared to practice on Tuesday at UCLA.

“It’s feeling a lot better,” Anderson, who had a neck injury in the 2013-14 season, but has not had issues with his back, said.

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Chris Paul recently returned to action for the Rockets. That’s big news. And it obviously affects the rotation. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

With the Rockets at full strength for the first time since the season-opener, they began spreading the playing time across the rotation extended by one player with the return of Chris Paul.

Paul on Saturday was still limited to just 24 minutes. Luc Mbah a Moute, in his first game back after sitting out in Phoenix with an illness, played just 21 minutes, including the final minutes after the benches were cleared. But even Saturday, the Rockets got a taste of how things will change.

Only James Harden, who played 36 minutes, logged more than 30 minutes. His time will likely decrease once Paul is up to his usual playing time with Harden returning about two minutes earlier in the second and fourth quarters than he would have had Paul been cleared to play more.

Full article

Chris Paul Rockets return should be soon

The Rockets (9-3) have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season, and they’ll soon have Chris Paul, who has played just one game for them so far, back in the mix. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Chris Paul may return for Rockets in near future

Rockets guard Chris Paul remains out for the Rockets, but looked significantly closer to a return as he joined the team for Friday’s light practice.

The practice was not much of a test of his readiness to return, still not projected until next week. Friday’s practice between games and before a back-to-back was more of a walk-through than a full practice and not as much of a test as his workouts have been.

Full article

Rockets sign Isaiah Canaan

Rockets sign Isaiah Canaan

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Isaiah Canaan.

Canaan (6-0, 201) began his career with the Rockets in 2013-14 and has since played for Philadelphia and most recently Chicago last season. He has appeared in 185 career games with 60 starts.

While playing for the Sixers in 2015-16, Canaan averaged a career-high 11.0 points and ranked 15th in the NBA with 176 3-pointers made. Over a two season span from 2014-15 through 2015-16, he joined Mirza Teletovic as the only players to have averaged at least 2.0 3-pointers made while playing fewer than 24.0 minutes per game.

Canaan has hit at least three 3-pointers in a game 56 times during his career, including four or more 29 times, and a career-high 8 for Philadelphia at Oklahoma City on March 4, 2015.

Trevor Ariza out with foot sprain

The Houston Rockets announced today that forward Trevor Ariza suffered a left midfoot sprain in the game against Memphis on Monday, Oct. 23. He will not play during the team’s three-game road trip and will be re-evaluated by team doctors after the team returns to Houston.

Rockets center Nenê will miss the game at Philadelphia on Wednesday, Oct. 25 with left Achilles soreness. He will be day-to-day moving forward.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Briantê Weber to a two-way contract. Weber will immediately be transferred to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA G League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Weber (6-2, 175) was eligible for the 2015 NBA Draft following his senior season at Virginia Commonwealth University. Over the past two seasons, he has played for Memphis, Miami, Golden State, and Charlotte.

Last season, Weber was named All-NBA D-League Second Team after averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 3.3 steals in 31 games for the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

NBA rosters have expanded from 15 to 17 players with the additional spots available for players under two-way contracts. Teams may have up to two players under two-way contracts who will spend the bulk of the regular season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are eligible to sign two-way contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

Rockets waive Daniel House Jr and Cam Oliver

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has waived forwards Daniel House, Jr. and Cam Oliver.

House was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft following his senior season at Texas A&M and spent most of last season with Washington.

Oliver was an early entry candidate for the 2017 NBA Draft following his sophomore season at Nevada. He played for the Rockets at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

The Houston Rockets have waived George de Paula, Chris Johnson, Tim Quarterman, and Isaiah Taylor.

De Paula was an early entry candidate for the 2017 NBA Draft. He spent the past four seasons playing professionally in his home country of Brazil.

Johnson is a four-year veteran who last played for Utah in 2015-16. He spent last season with the Rockets G League affiliate, Rio Grande Valley.

Quarterman was an early entry candidate for the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Louisiana State. He appeared in 16 games as a rookie for Portland last season.

Taylor was an early entry candidate for the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Texas. He spent most of 2016-17 playing for Rio Grande Valley and appeared in four games for the Rockets late in the season.

Rockets sign guard George de Paula

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent guard George de Paula (POW-la).

Although not confirmed, the deal is probably non-guaranteed and just for training camp.

De Paula (6-6, 194) was an early entry candidate for the 2017 NBA Draft. The 21-year-old spent the past four seasons playing professionally in his home country of Brazil. De Paula, who also goes by “Georginho,” played for the Rockets in MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2017.

The Houston Rockets have re-signed guard Bobby Brown and signed free agent guard/forward Chris Johnson in advance of training camp, which will take place from Tuesday, Sept. 26 through Monday, Oct. 2.

Brown joined the Rockets prior to the start of last season after spending the previous six years playing overseas. Over his final 14 games played in 2016-17, Brown shot 50.0% from the floor. He shot 40.0% from 3-point range during the regular season and 45.5% in the playoffs.

Johnson is a four-year veteran, most recently appearing in 70 games for Utah in 2015-16. He spent last season playing for the Rockets G League affiliate, Rio Grande Valley, averaging 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds. Johnson was also the Rockets second-leading scorer at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2017 with 14.0 ppg on 50.0% shooting.

The Rockets five-game preseason opens on Tuesday, Oct. 3 against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. and concludes at home against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, Oct. 13. For the second straight year, the Rockets will host the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association at Toyota Center on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Sachin Gupta has re-joined the Houston Rockets, in the role as Special Advisor. In this role, Gupta will work closely with Morey and his executive staff of Gersson Rosas, Monte McNair, Eli Witus, and Jimmy Paulis.

“Sachin’s fingerprints are all over this team, from his first six seasons with the Rockets to contributions he’s made this past year,” said Morey. “Given what he brings to the table and how seamlessly he fits in with our group, we’re excited to have him back into the fold.”

“I am so proud to once again be part of the Rockets family,” said Gupta. “This is truly one of the elite organizations in sports, both on and off the court, from top to bottom. What they’ve built over the past several years is incredible and I’m excited to be back helping them in their pursuit of a championship.”

Gupta originally joined the Rockets in 2006 as Morey’s first hire and remained with the team for six seasons before leaving in 2012 to pursue his MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. During that time, Gupta served as a consultant for Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Sam Hinkie, and after completing his degree joined the Sixers full-time as Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2014.

This past season Gupta aided the Rockets during the trade deadline, draft, and free agency periods, playing an important role in the acquisition of nine-time All-Star Chris Paul.

Prior to working in the NBA, Gupta spent two years at ESPN, where he developed the widely popular NBA Trade Machine. Originally from the Boston area, Gupta holds a degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.

Rockets backcourt expectations

James Harden did it all last season for the Rockets. He was truly two players in one: a great point guard and an amazing shooting guard. If he wasn’t scoring, he was probably setting a teammate up for a good shot in proper position.

Now, Chris Paul enters the mix. That’s a good thing, right?

Well, sure. Probably. He’s CP3. Still plays like himself. Getting up there in age, but not washed up yet.

And common sense says if you add a talent like Paul to any team, they should improve.

Things should work out. But there may be some minor, temporary growing pains. Because as good as Paul is, can he do a better job of creating than Harden did?

There’s no actual real problem here. It’s more of a fascination, in seeing how the chemistry develops. The team, even if they take a temporary half-step back before advancing forward, should certainly be as good as they were last season.

Should be a fun show.

Rockets sign Demetrius Jackson to two-way contract

The Rockets have signed free agent guard Demetrius Jackson to a two-way contract.

Jackson (6-1, 201) was the 45th overall pick by Boston in the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Notre Dame. He appeared in five games for the Celtics last season, spending the majority of 2016-17 assigned to their D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. In 32 D-League games, Jackson averaged 14.8 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.

In his NBA debut, Jackson had 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in 11 minutes of play vs. Denver on Nov. 6, 2016. He averaged 9.3 points, 4.0 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.00 steals while shooting 46.4% from the floor and 50.0% from 3-point range for Boston in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2017.

About Two-Way Contracts

NBA rosters have expanded from 15 to 17 players with the additional spots available for players under two-way contracts. Teams may have up to two players under two-way contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League (formerly NBA Development League) and not more than 45 days with their NBA team. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are able to sign two-way contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

Rockets re-sign Troy Williams

rockets

The Rockets have re-signed forward Troy Williams.

The team originally signed Williams to a 10-day contract on March 10, before securing him for the remainder of 2016-17.

In six games with three starts as a Rocket, Williams averaged 9.7 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 50.0% from the floor and 38.1% from 3-point range. He had a career-high 21 points while shooting 6-of-9 from behind-the-arc in his Rockets debut at Phoenix on April 2.

Williams was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Indiana University and signed as a free agent with Memphis. He appeared in 24 games with 13 starts for the Grizzlies prior to joining Houston.

The 22-year-old also spent time in the NBA Development League this past season and won the D-League Slam Dunk Contest held during NBA All-Star Weekend. At the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2017 in Las Vegas, Williams ranked fifth in scoring among all players with 22.0 ppg.

Rockets sign Luc Mbah a Moute

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent forward Luc Mbah a Moute (BAH-ah-MOO-tay).

Mbah a Moute (6-8, 230) was originally the 37th overall pick by Milwaukee in the 2008 NBA Draft. In nine seasons, he has appeared in 621 games with 438 starts, including a career-high 76 for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2016-17.

This past season, Mbah a Moute shot 50.5% from the floor, including a career-best 39.1% from 3-point range. He would have ranked tied for fourth in the NBA in steal-to-turnover ratio (1.76) had he qualified, and has more steals (236) than turnovers (219) over the past four seasons.

Mbah a Moute has received votes for NBA All-Defensive team in each of the past two seasons. In 2016-17, he was fourth in defensive rating (102.0) among forwards who played at least 70 games while averaging 20+ minutes played.

Houston Rockets team is for sale

Announcement from the Rockets

Houston Rockets team is for sale

Today, Houston Rockets Chief Executive Officer Tad Brown announced owner Leslie Alexander’s intentions to sell the franchise. Alexander has placed Brown in charge of coordinating the sales process in conjunction with the NBA league office.

“It’s been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years,” said Alexander. “I’ve had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, been named to All-Star and All-NBA teams, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and done so much for our franchise and our fans. And the Houston community has been home to me; I will continue to support the charities I have made commitments to throughout the years. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the fans, partners, city officials and employees who care so deeply for this team. I’ve made this decision after much deliberation with my family and friends, and do so knowing the franchise is in great shape with the players, coaches and management team in place. CEO Tad Brown will oversee the sales process with the league office, supported by my management team.”

Alexander assumed ownership of the Rockets on July 30, 1993 and the team went onto win back-to-back championships in 1993-94 and 1994-95. Over his 24 seasons as owner, the Rockets posted the fifth-highest winning percentage (.569) in the NBA. The Rockets also registered the second-most winning seasons of any team in the league over that span.

In 1995, Alexander established the Clutch City Foundation with the goal of providing help, hope and inspiration to those who might otherwise be forgotten. The Clutch City Foundation funds and operates comprehensive programs benefiting thousands of children each year, as well as serving as the umbrella organization for all Rockets community initiatives.

Throughout his years as owner, Alexander and the Clutch City Foundation contributed more than $35 million to hundreds of charities throughout Houston. Most recently in March of 2017, Alexander pledged $4 million to a group of 20 local charitable organizations. In April of 2016, he donated $500,000 to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund after the city was ravaged by severe rain resulting in flooding.

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