Danuel House faces an uncertain future with the Rockets after leaving the Disney World complex following an alleged violation of campus rules, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. According to the NBA, House “had a guest in his hotel room over multiple hours on September 8 who was not authorized to be on campus.” His absence removes a productive player from Houston’s bench and raises questions about what the front office plans to do with him.
Feigen notes that House is one of the few Rockets who is both relatively young, at age 27, and has a team-friendly contract. House still has two seasons left on the three-year, $11.15MM deal he signed last summer. He shot 38.1% from 3-point range on a team that emphasizes long-distance shooting more than anyone else in the league, and he provides athleticism in the front court along with another ball-handler.
The Rockets have the option of trading House, but Feigen states it’s likely to be at a significant discount given his current situation. Coach Mike D’Antoni refused to comment on House’s status before tonight’s Game 5, telling reporters, “The team can address that later. Right now, just thinking about playing and winning tonight.” (Twitter link from Feigen)
There’s more on the Rockets:
- With the season hanging in the balance, John Hollinger of The Athletic wonders if the organization will eventually consider trading James Harden. The Rockets have repeatedly gambled to try to build a championship team around Harden, but they are now in a position with no cap room, no draft picks this year, no commitment to pay the luxury tax and no young players they can trade for veterans. Harden can opt out of his current deal after the 2021/22 season, and he may be tempted to leave while he still has a shot at winning a ring.
- There was “audible shouting” coming from Houston’s locker room following the Game 4 loss to the Lakers, Shams Charania of The Athletic says on Stadium (video link). He adds that players are “really holding each other accountable” to bring better effort and better body language for the rest of the series.
- Veteran center Tyson Chandler has been added to the injury list for Game 5, Feigen tweets. Chandler has been declared out of tonight’s game due to neck spasms, but he hasn’t played at all in the postseason except for shooting two free throws after another player was injured.