Rockets Notes: Wall, Cousins, Harden, Hard Cap

John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon all practiced today for the first time since being forced to quarantine after an ill-fated haircut last week, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The Rockets‘ Dec. 23 season opener was canceled because they didn’t have enough active players, and they were short-handed for the two games that followed.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Wall said. “All I did was get a haircut in my apartment. And one of the teammates tested positive and the next four or five tests I had all came back negative. So, I was like ‘Oh, it was me and three people can’t get a haircut.’ I’d rather get a haircut in my apartment than be in a barbershop somewhere where random people are coming in constantly. Even the barber tested negative. That was a frustrating thing.”

Assuming no more setbacks, Wall will play his first game in more than two years on Thursday. He and Cousins, who responded to the quarantine with an online post of an angry emoji, will both make their debuts with the Rockets.

“It’s tough in general to be sitting around for seven days, no type of activity,” Cousins said. “It’s tough for any person, but especially for a professional athlete, sitting at home for seven days straight then jumping back in a full-speed practice or game. There’s not a lot of positive on that side.”

There’s more from Houston:

  • Head coach Stephen Silas said league protocol requires Ben McLemore and KJ Martin, who are believed to have tested positive for COVID-19, to remain in quarantine through the weekend, tweets Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
  • The Sixers are farther away from trying to acquire Rockets star James Harden than they were two weeks ago, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on today’s episode of “The Jump” (video link). With a 3-1 record and Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid playing well together, Philadelphia doesn’t feel any urgency to make a move. Windhorst believes Simmons gives the Sixers the best asset of any of the teams rumored to be involved in talks for Harden, but he doesn’t think either side is in a hurry to complete a deal.
  • The Rockets are currently $1.077M below the hard cap, which means they will be able to add a pro-rated 15th player to their roster starting February 9, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. Teams can begin signing players to 10-day contracts on February 23 (Twitter link).
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23 thoughts on “Rockets Notes: Wall, Cousins, Harden, Hard Cap

  1. Sillivan

    I agree with Knicks fans
    Rockets are dead organization after trading away Harden

    Rockets 4 good future Firsts have been traded to Thunder for Westbrook

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      Two late first rounders and two non-existent swaps go to OKC for getting rid of CP3, and then they got 2 first round picks back this year from Washington and Portland, so it’s basically a wash after upgrading to John Wall.

      And what’s all this “after trading away” about? You act like it already happened even while the rumors are dying down every single day.

      • Chief Two Hands

        Cool down, man. Harden doesn’t have to be your existence. There are other avenues available to you.

        How am I doing as a suicide hotline guy? Oh yeah the grass is always greener.. we all told you how this would end when you locked onto Harden.,,but that grass, man…so green on the fictional horizon…

  2. near anonymity

    dead ?? i don’t think so, especially if you mean dead as in houston becomes a lottery team if they trade harden.

    they can still get a nice number of wins without harden especially if some talent back in return.

    hell, depending on who they get in return. they could be as good or better.

    and yes i’d prefer the rockets got rid of him. :)

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      Right, “if they trade”, and that if is getting bigger every single day.

        • Chief Two Hands

          And Harden is not helping by making teammates reportedly wanting him out. Harden puts up numbers…and his team loses and his teammates want him out. Harden is a great douche in a pick-up game.

  3. Sillivan

    According to tonight standing
    West 13-15 seeds belong to 3 title contenders
    13 Mavs
    14 Nuggets
    15 Rockets

    No injury excuse, please

  4. El Don

    I do agree with Optimus Dime & DMC… all this quarantine business is a lot of baloney!
    I mean seriously the guys have given so many negative tests, why on earth would you quarantine someone healthy?
    Quarantines are for sick people not healthy ones, as everybody knows!
    That is the most baffling question ever, right?
    Now after a week doing nothing, start playing hard is the best way to a big injury, so many thanks NBA for messing with these poor guys, SMH!!!

  5. Black Ace57

    That Brian Windhorst thing is dumb. Whether they want to trade him or not do you really expect us to believe that 4 games to start the season has changed their thoughts for or against trading for him? It’s not the NFL it’s the NBA. 4 games mean nothing. The first year of The Process the Sixers started 3-1 and were the worst team in the league!

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Quarantine means you are exposed to someone positive. Or possibly exposed to someone positive. So this way it helps to stop spread. It’s all in the protocol that all teams have in paper. It’s not rocket science. It’s basically good sense.
    I could care Less about Har en. I don’t care where he goes. And I doubt he wins wherever he goes. Basketball wise You look at team offense. You look at team roster configuration. So where is his best fit considering who would actually trade for him. Sixers would have to move Ben. Could Harden and Embiid really work. If it don’t Harden is not staying. So why break up your team for this gamble. Sixers need a player like Bogdanovic. A shooter scorer, even Gallinari would be good. Only team where Harden could go an be controlled is Nets or Warriors. Both have the pieces to make trade. Without gutting their team. And still contend. Both have star vets that Harden is not bigger than. Both have offensive systems that work for his game. Both want to win now. And their window is now and next 3 yrs. I wouldn’t do it. But that’s the only two teams that make any kind of sense to me. Both can also bring in third team easily to complete trade. The longer it takes. The worse his value will get. Only signed for two yrs. So he could stay. If he does it will not end well for Harden or Rockets.

  7. phillyballers

    Sixers need to be looking at the season in 12-game increments. Evaluating the team after certain sample sizes to really see deficiencies. Let players develop into roles etc. Fans need to think like this too. If you don’t even allow for these guys to play together how do you know what they need? And targets near the deadline could be playing like trash. 5 games in Bertans is shooting 28 3P% is that who he is this year? Blake Griffin is shooting 43 3P%. Need to let the wine breathe. We know the potential targets, I think at this point it’s more like they dealt for McLemore than Harden.

    • I agree 100%. This season I believe it’s imperative to have a very strong bench. That said, I would love to see the Sixers add one more proven scorer to come off the bench, to play with Shake.

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