JULY 7: The Rockets have officially signed Carter-Williams, per the NBA’s transactions log.
JULY 3: The Rockets have reached an agreement to sign free agent point guard Michael Carter-Williams, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links). According to Wojnarowski, it’ll be a one-year, minimum salary contract for Carter-Williams in Houston.
Carter-Williams, 26, is only four years removed from being named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, but he has seen his playing time and his production slip precipitously since then in stints with the Sixers, Bucks, Bulls, and Hornets.
In 2017/18, Carter-Williams backed up Kemba Walker in Charlotte, but had the worst season of his five-year NBA career, averaging just 4.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 2.2 APG with a .332/.237/.820 shooting line in 52 games (16.1 MPG).
Carter-Williams is an interesting addition for the Rockets, who have James Harden and Chris Paul share ball-handling duties and generally focus on acquiring perimeter players who can make outside shots. Carter-Williams will be able to step in as the backup point guard if either Harden or Paul go down with an injury, and should get minutes even when both players are healthy. However, the 25.0% career three-point shooter isn’t a threat from beyond the arc.
As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, having reached agreements with Paul, Carter-Williams, and Gerald Green, the Rockets now have about $119MM in salaries on their books for 2018/19, with restricted free agent Clint Capela still requiring a new deal. Houston will also have the $5.337MM taxpayer’s mid-level exception to use in free agency.
Carter-Williams’ deal will count for $1.51MM against the Rockets’ cap, though he’ll earn $1.76MM.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.