Rockets’ Clemons Suffers Torn Achilles, Out For Season

DECEMBER 16: An MRI confirmed that Clemons has torn his Achilles tendon, according to Charania, who reports (via Twitter) that the second-year guard will undergo season-ending surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.

DECEMBER 15: Rockets guard Chris Clemons left the team’s preseason game on Tuesday night in a wheelchair after suffering a right lower leg injury. The initial diagnosis for Clemons is a torn right Achilles tendon, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who says the team will conduct an MRI on Wednesday to confirm.

Assuming the initial diagnosis holds up, it’s a brutal blow for Clemons, who flashed some upside as a rookie in Houston last season. He averaged 4.9 PPG on .401/.346/.909 shooting in 33 games (8.8 MPG) and may have been in line for an increased role in 2020/21. However, if his Achilles is torn, he’ll almost certainly be ruled out for the season.

The Rockets don’t have a ton of depth at point guard behind starter John Wall – who is coming off a torn Achilles himself – and might have to address the position at some point if Clemons is out for the season.

Houston could take a look at the free agent market — as we detailed earlier today, Shabazz Napier is among the notable veteran point guards who remains unsigned. However, the Rockets don’t have much wiggle room below their hard cap, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), so adding a free agent probably isn’t a viable option for the time being.

Although Clemons’ contract for 2020/21 had been non-guaranteed, he’ll now be paid his minimum salary until he’s healthy or until the end of the season (whichever comes first).

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30 thoughts on “Rockets’ Clemons Suffers Torn Achilles, Out For Season

  1. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    They really don’t have enough space under the hard cap to keep Jerian Grant assuming that Clemons’ contract will become guaranteed. The only viable option for them would be to trade Clemons and free up enough cap space to keep Grant.

    • Luke Adams

      Keeping Grant would also be possible if they waive both Green and Caboclo (they’ll likely have to waive at least one of the two anyway). Not sure they’ll view that as worth it though.

      • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

        I think they like Caboclo too much to waive him, he has looked really good so far in the preseason, but it looks like they will waive Green. Caboclo and Jae’Sean Tate are both on partially guaranteed deals, but the Rockets are really high on Tate so he’s definitely safe.

    • bowserhound

      Love to see the trade market for a 2nd year fledgling with a torn Achilles.

      • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

        Obviously there’s not a huge trade market for him, but he does have a club option for the 2021-22 season.

        Maybe they could trade him along with cash for the rights to some overseas player with little or no real value.

  2. hiflew

    Good to see that Wall is imparting his knowledge onto the young players.

    Sorry I had to. I love Wall, but I love comedy more.

      • hiflew

        Yes it is. It’s a comical representation of the juxtaposition of Wall’s role as veteran mentor coupled with his own injury history. You might not personally find it funny, but that says more about your lack of a sense of humor than whether or not the joke is funny.

        • Chief Two Hands

          I found the comment funny, and it has nothing to do with my opinion of the Rockets…just the situation, objectively.

    • thekayz

      I thought it was funny…
      Amateur Tip from an Amateur: next time, wait until somebody calls you a jerk or something before adding your commentary. Don’t put the commentary in the same comment as the joke. Let the joke stand on its own.

      • hiflew

        I was just being snarky, but yeah I probably should have just not said anything. But honestly comments like that bug me far more than being called a jerk or whatever. Mainly because I know I am a jerk, so I don’t mind being called that, but I can’t stand being called not funny.

  3. rxbrgr

    IF there’s a silver lining to this for Clemons is he should now receive his full salary this year. I have doubts he would have made it past the cutdown date, maybe not even training camp.

  4. Jeff Zanghi

    Wow is Clemons really only 5’9″… thats tiny for a basketball player anyway…I mean it’s actually kind of small for any full grown man nevermind someone in the NBA! Haha And that he averaged 5 PPG in 8 minutes at 5’9″ is that much more impressive! Hahaha and he averaged 23 PPG in the G-League. Too bad for him about the injury that’s just a terrible break all the way around. Wish him the best in his recovery and maybe he’ll be able to find and increased role next season to showcase what he can do.

      • illowa

        3rd all time scorer in d1. was always trying to catch this guys games. a microwave.

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      You think 5’9″ is kinda small for a full-grown man?

      Are you Scandinavian or something?

      5’9″ is the average height for men in the US.

      In the entire world it’s closer to 5’7″.

  5. phillyballers

    Sucks to get that injury. Headline made me think of Roger Clemens immediately tho.

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      They won’t, he’s a horrible defender and doesn’t play PG either.

      And they don’t have cap space to sign anyone to a minimum deal.

      They can only add a younger player on a 2-way deal right now.

  6. mikedickinson

    Sucks as Houston was becoming Raleigh South with Wall, Tucker and Clemons all from the city of oaks.

  7. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    ESPN must think this injury is going to really hurt the Rockets this season. They predict Houston to finish the season 32-40, what a total joke!!

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