The Rockets have waived Jeff Adrien and Ish Smith, the team announced via press release. Shams Charania of RealGM reported overnight that the team would do so with Adrien (Twitter link), adding that Houston was considering Smith or Francisco Garcia for the final cut necessary to take the team’s roster down to the regular season limit of 15. That appears to put rookie Tarik Black on the opening-night roster, as Charania noted, in spite of the lack of a full guarantee on his contract. Adrien and Smith both signed fully guaranteed one-year contracts for the minimum salary with Houston this summer, and the team will be on the hook for them providing they clear waivers.
Smith had held the lead earlier this preseason on fellow point guard Isaiah Canaan, who remains on the roster, but Canaan made a strong push in the past two weeks and the Rockets always felt he had higher long-term potential, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Smith has bounced around to six teams in his four NBA seasons, spending last year with the Suns, where he averaged a career-high 14.4 minutes per game.
Adrien is another journeyman coming off perhaps his finest season, one in which he averaged 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 25.2 mintues per game over 28 appearances with the Bucks after they brought him to Milwaukee in a deadline-day trade with Charlotte. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a team claim the power forward off waivers, though that’s just my speculation.
The moves leave the Rockets with 13 fully guaranteed deals plus Black and the non-guaranteed contract of Patrick Beverley. Charania indicated that Black’s contract would be partially guaranteed when he agreed to his deal, though Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders lists the pact as non-guaranteed.