Weekly Rockets team notes

Some positive-minded weekly Houston Rockets team notes:

Amen Thompson is averaging 12.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 steals in six games as a starter this season. He is the first rookie to have recorded at least 75 points, 72 rebounds, 25 assists and 10 steals over a span of six starts since Antoine Walker in 1996-97.

Aaron Holiday has scored in double-figures in four straight games, marking his longest streak since a career-best 9-game span in December of 2019. He has scored at least 18 points in three straight games for the first time in his career after having 18+ points once prior this season.

Houston has outrebounded its opponent in eight of the past 11 games after doing so three times the 12 games prior. The Rockets have also outrebounded the opposition by double-digits seven times over the past 11 games after doing so six times the first 43 games of the season.

The Rockets have scored 20+ fast break points in seven of the past 17 games after doing so four times the first 37 games of the season. Houston has already matched last season’s total with 11 games of scoring 20+ fast break points.

Grizzlies trade Steven Adams to Rockets

The Houston Rockets yesterday acquired center Steven Adams in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies for guard Victor Oladipo and three future second round draft picks.

Adams (6-11, 265) was originally the 12th overall pick by Oklahoma City in the 2013 NBA Draft and is in his 11th season. In 706 career games with 641 starts, he is averaging 9.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.96 blocks in 26.8 minutes per game while shooting 59.7% from the floor. Adams has also appeared in 66 career playoff games.

Last season for Memphis, Adams averaged 8.6 ppg, a career-high 11.5 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.10 bpg in 27.0 mpg. He became the second player in NBA history (Andre Drummond in 2020-21) to have averaged at least 8.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg and 2.0 apg while playing fewer than 28.0 mpg in a single season.

The New Zealand native led the NBA in offensive rebounding in each of the past two seasons (5.1 per in 2022-23 and 4.6 in 2021-22) and is averaging a league-best 4.5 orpg going back to 2017-18. He has the third-most offensive boards (2,599) among active players and ranks ninth in NBA history in offensive rebounds per 36 minutes played (4.9 per) among players with at least 350 games played.

Oladipo (6-4, 213) has competed in 504 games (397 starts) over 10 seasons and has averaged 16.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 32.2 minutes for Orlando, Indiana, Houston and Miami since he was selected with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Rockets playing good basketball to enter 2024

Per the Houston Chronicle:

The Houston Rockets, after three years in the Western Conference cellar, are now (mercifully) back into playoff contention as they enter 2024 at an even 15-15. But that doesn’t mean the present outlook is completely rosy for Ime Udoka’s squad as we turn the calendar to January.

The Rockets enter their New Year’s Day tilt against the (suddenly surging!) Detroit Pistons with five losses in their last seven games. They are currently without a pair of injured starters in Jabari Smith Jr. and Dillon Brooks. This is a team that is far better than last year’s 60-loss abomination. But the expected growing pains of Udoka’s first season are increasingly present in recent weeks.

We shouldn’t be too harsh on the Rockets despite their recent swoon. ‘Phase 2’ of the franchise’s rebuild is off to a relatively roaring start, and regardless, this isn’t the time of year for skepticism. So, instead of focusing on recent losses, let’s turn the page forward, offering Udoka and Co. a fresh set of New Year’s resolutions for the rest of the season.


Dillon Brooks goes wild in Rockets win over Kings

Per the Sacramento Bee:

Houston Rockets forward Dillon Brooks threw up three fingers and stared down the Sacramento bench after hitting a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against the Kings. Brooks blew the Kings a kiss moments later after burying another long ball to seal Sacramento’s fate.

Brooks had 26 points and nine rebounds to lead the Rockets to a 107-89 victory over the Kings before a sellout crowd of 18,055 at Toyota Center in Houston. Brooks made 9 of 14 from the field and 2 of 4 from 3-point range, both coming during a decisive stretch late in the fourth quarter.

“(Brooks) got in a rhythm,” Kings guard Davion Mitchell said. “He had a really good game. He hits shots. He got comfortable. He’s a basketball player. We’re all competitive and he hit shots. He’s going to talk trash. If he wasn’t hitting shots, he wouldn’t be doing the same thing, so it’s OK. We’ll live with the results and we’ll see them again.”


Rockets and Thunder complete Kevin Porter Jr., Victor Oladipo trade

The Houston Rockets have traded guard Kevin Porter Jr. and two future second round picks to Oklahoma City in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo and forward/center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.

Per the Thunder, Porter Jr. will be “waived immediately.”

Oladipo (6-4, 213) is entering his 11th NBA season with career averages of 16.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.60 steals and 1.6 3-pointers made in 504 games with 397 starts. He appeared in 20 games for the Rockets during 2020-21 prior to being acquired by Miami, where he spent the past two seasons.

The two-time All-Star is one of eight players in NBA history with career averages of at least 16.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.50 spg and 1.50 3FGM joining LaMelo Ball, Stephen Curry, Paul George, James Harden, Jrue Holiday, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. Oladipo was the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2017-18 while also earning All-NBA Third Team and All-Defensive First Team honors.

Robinson-Earl (6-9, 240) was the 32nd overall pick by New York in the 2021 NBA Draft before his rights were acquired by Oklahoma City. In two seasons for the Thunder, he appeared in 92 games with 56 starts while averaging 7.2 ppg and 4.9 rpg in 20.7 mpg.

Over the past two seasons, Robinson-Earl was one of eight players who averaged at least 7.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 1.0 3FGM in fewer than 21.0 mpg. In 20 games as a starter in 2022-23, he averaged 8.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 1.2 apg along with 1.4 3FGM on 39.7% shooting.

In a related move, the Rockets have waived forward Matthew Mayer.

Rockets sign Reggie Bullock

The Houston Rockets have signed free agent Reggie Bullock, a former 25th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Bullock has a career record of 7.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 512 games with 294 starts.

He has averaged 2.1 3-pointers made on 38.8% shooting over the past six seasons.

Bullock spent two seasons with Dallas before being acquired by San Antonio in a three-team trade with Boston.

He started every game for the Mavericks during their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2021-22, averaging 10.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.9 3FGM on 39.7% shooting.

Houston Astros and Houston Rockets are acquiring AT&T SportsNet Southwest from Warner Bros. Discovery

The Houston Astros and Houston Rockets are acquiring AT&T SportsNet Southwest from Warner Bros. Discovery, effective September 30, 2023.

The network will re-launch as Space City Home Network (SCHN) on October 3, 2023.

The change will be a seamless transition for fans as they will be able to continue to access Rockets and Astros games on the same channels they currently utilize.

The network will be owned by the Rockets and Astros going forward and will operate as a joint venture of the two organizations. The teams are committed to delivering great game content and programming, while maintaining and enhancing the award-winning quality that has made the network the premium destination for Rockets and Astros fans to watch live broadcasts, behind-the-scenes content, and much more.

“We are excited to partner with the Rockets, and launch the new home for Astros and Rockets coverage with Space City Home Network,” said Giles Kibbe, Astros Senior Vice President, General Counsel. “Together with the Rockets we’ve worked hard to ensure that Space City Home Network will bring you the same Astros and Rockets sports coverage from the faces and voices you know and love. We look forward to this new chapter and remain committed to delivering great broadcasts for the best fans in baseball.”

“We’ve had a strong relationship with the talent and staff at AT&T SportsNet in broadcasting Rockets games over the years and are excited to have that live on as Space City Home Network,” said Rockets President of Business Operations Gretchen Sheirr. “We’ve worked alongside the Astros and network personnel to ensure this will be a smooth changeover for our fans and look forward to the positive impact this collaboration and local ownership will have on our broadcast.”

“We appreciate the collaboration from the Astros and Rockets as we reach an agreement that is in the best interest of all parties, including the fans we all serve,” said Patrick Crumb, President, Regional Sports Networks, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. “I’d especially like to thank all of our Houston-based colleagues who will continue to passionately showcase both teams through this new venture. We wish the Astros and Rockets much success as they assume ownership of the network.”

Rockets re-sign Boban Marjanovic

The Houston Rockets have re-signed free agent center Boban Marjanović. He was originally acquired via a trade with Dallas on June 24, 2022.

Marjanović (7-4, 286), who is approaching his ninth season, appeared in 31 games for the Rockets in 2022-23 while shooting a career-best 68.3% from the floor. He finished runner-up to Mike Conley in voting for the NBA Sportsmanship award last season and was second in voting for the 2021-22 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. [Season Video Highlights]

For his career, Marjanović is averaging 22.9 points and 14.8 rebounds per 36 minutes played. He is one of 14 players listed 7’4” or taller to have played in the NBA and he has the seventh-most career games played of that group, which includes former Rockets Yao Ming, Chuck Nevitt and Ralph Sampson.

Rockets sign Aaron Holiday

The Houston Rockets have signed free agent guard Aaron Holiday.

Holiday (6-0, 185) was originally the 23rd overall pick by Indiana in the 2018 NBA Draft. In five seasons for the Pacers, Washington, Phoenix and Atlanta, he has appeared in 308 games with 62 starts while averaging 6.6 points, 2.2 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game. Holiday is also a career 84.1% shooter from the foul line.

Dating back to 2019-20, Holiday has shot 38.6% from 3-point range, including a career-best 40.9% for the Hawks in 2022-23. Over that four-season span, he was one of four players with 130-plus games played to have averaged at least 6.0 ppg and 2.0 apg in fewer than 19.0 mpg.

Holiday’s older brothers, Justin and Jrue, have both been in the NBA for over 10 seasons. Justin was briefly with the Rockets last February. Aaron earned First Team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honors in his final season as a junior for UCLA in 2017-18.

Rockets sign Jeff Green

The Houston Rockets have signed free agent forward Jeff Green.

Green (6-8, 235) recently finished his 15th NBA season by averaging 17.2 minutes played during Denver’s championship playoff run. In 1,107 career games with 650 starts, he has averaged 12.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 28.5 minutes per game.

Over the past three seasons, Green averaged 9.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 1.4 apg in 24.0 mpg while shooting 50.3% from the floor. In 68 games for Brooklyn in 2020-21, he averaged 1.5 3-pointers made on a career-best 41.2% shooting. Rockets head coach Ime Udoka was an assistant coach with the Nets that season.

This will mark Green’s second stint as a Rocket. He joined the team during the 2019-20 season and helped Houston advance to the Conference Semifinals as part of the Orlando “bubble” experience.

Green made his NBA debut as a 21-year-old with the Seattle Supersonics in 2007 and has teamed with eight players who won the MVP award at some point during their career: Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, James Harden, LeBron James, Nikola Jokić, Shaquille O’Neal, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.