Rockets Waive Isaiah Hartenstein

10:27pm: The Rockets have officially waived Hartenstein, the team announced in a press release. Their deal with Nwaba is official now as well.

8:45pm: The Rockets are waiving Isaiah Hartenstein, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Houston agreed to sign David Nwaba on a two-year deal earlier today, creating a need to open up a spot on the 15-man roster. The 27-year-old Nwaba is still recovering from an Achilles injury, so he won’t actually play for the Rockets in Orlando.

Hartenstein, 22, showed some flashes earlier in the season filling in for Clint Capela. In 23 total games (11.6 MPG), he averaged 4.7 PPG and 3.9 RPG with a .657 FG%.

The Rockets have since traded Capela and committed to a center-less approach, which makes Hartenstein expendable. Houston won’t be on the hook for any of his salary beyond this season, since his $1,663,861 cap hit for 2020/21 is non-guaranteed.

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18 thoughts on “Rockets Waive Isaiah Hartenstein

  1. kingcong95

    WHO’S UR CENTER (clap clap clap clap clap)

    WHO’S UR CENTER (clap clap clap clap clap)

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Jeff Green (6-8, 235) will also get substantial minutes coming off the bench.

  2. mrshyguy99

    wait how does this make any sesne who sign a player who wont play and cut a player who can.

    • Michael Chaney

      If I’m understanding this correctly, the Rockets are actually just taking advantage of a loophole. Nwaba won’t be playing for them this season, so they can sign a replacement player to take his place. So they’re securing Nwaba’s rights while also making room for another player on the roster this year.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        They tried taking advantage of a loophole last year when they gave Nene a contract loaded with incentives, but the league closed that loophole which other teams had exploited in the past.

        But teams won’t get replacement players for someone who is injured, that’s only for someone like Avery Bradley who decided to sit out so the Lakers can sign a replacement for him.

      • Luke Adams

        As harden-westbrook-mvps noted, no substitute players are permitted for injured players — only for guys who voluntarily opt out or who get excused for COVID-19-related health reasons (ie. they test positive or are deemed to be more at risk for serious symptoms).

        • x%sure

          Can Nwaba “voluntarily opt out” or some such? The one-off nature of this camp probably has a lot of loopholes with a careful reading of the modified CBA. Maybe Morey figures Silver owes him one after the rejected loophole-dive last summer.

          It’s hard to believe Morey would lock the Rockets into centerless ball. They still have one I think but… flexibility.

          • Luke Adams

            I don’t think anyone who will already be sidelined due to an injury would be permitted to “voluntarily opt out” to make himself eligible to be replaced. I suppose, in theory, if the player wants to give up his summer salary, he could try it, but I suspect the NBA would look to close that loophole.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Hartenstein wasn’t going to play much anyway (if at all). This is simply a move to add a player they really like to for next season once Nwaba has recovered from his injury. His 3 and D style is a perfect fit for what they seek in their backups wings.

      • x%sure

        I think he will be their fifth best player, if healthy and if they’re not going to get a center. Harden, Westbrook, Tucker, Covington, Nwaba, House. (I’m not a fan of Gordon, Rivers or Green.)

  3. jump shot

    The coach and Morey are out shortly after the re-start anyway. Guarantee Morway was just doing a favor for an agent/friend… maybe he owed him one.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      D’Antoni isn’t under contract after the end of the season, so it will likely be a mutual parting of ways. But the Rockets like Nwaba a lot, and Tilman Fertitta would be an absolute fool to get rid of Morey, one of the top GM’s in the NBA.

      • jump shot

        Basically GAVE him 900k. To not be guaranteed next year, that 900 was clearly a favor. If they liked him THAT much, they wouldn’t have (team) optioned him at all. Hopefully he’ll get healthy and stick!

        • kingcong95

          This coming from an owner who’d gladly save 900K any other day of the year.

          • jump shot

            But he prefers to give it to a guy who won’t play a minute this season…

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