According to a report from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets are working toward signing 2017 second-round pick Isaiah Hartenstein to an NBA deal with hopes they will reach an agreement by the end of the week.
Hartenstein, 20, had a strong showing for the Rockets during this year’s NBA Summer League after the 7-foot center played for the Rockets’ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, last season.
Before being selected No. 43 overall in last year’s draft, Hartenstein played with Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas, where he helped lead the team to a seventh straight Lithuanian Basketball Club title.
With the Vipers, Hartenstein averaged 9.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game, making 57.1 percent of his shots. He averaged 10.3 points and eight rebounds per game during this year’s Summer League.
Hartenstein’s signing could mean the end of center Zhou Qi‘s time with the Rockets. Both big men Nene and Chinanu Onuaku have fully-guaranteed salaries for the upcoming 2018/19 campaign, while Qi has no guaranteed money on his contract that runs through 2021.