Explaining the decision to release Cousins, general manager Rafael Stone said they’ve been “talking to him about this for a little while” and decided the time was right to allow him to pursue a new opportunity (link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston). Stone added that Houston opted to guarantee Cousins’ full-season salary before parting ways with him because the team appreciated his work ethic and felt “that was the best way we could think of to say thank you.”
For John Wall, who played college ball with Cousins at Kentucky, teaming up with the veteran center in the NBA was something he’d looked forward to for a while, and he expressed some disappointment that it didn’t work out as they might’ve hoped.
“Getting to play with him again was what we always wanted in the NBA,” Wall said, per Berman. “It didn’t last as long as we thought it would. The decision that was made is out of my hands. It’s up to the front office, whatever they feel is best for our team going forward.
“I think with his time here he did a hell of a job,” Wall continued. “I think he showed he could come back and play in this league, coming off of injuries. Hopefully he can get another job somewhere very soon…getting back to where he wants to be in this league.”
Here’s more on the Rockets:
- Victor Oladipo (right foot strain) suffered a slight setback when he stepped on teammate Rodions Kurucs‘ foot during a practice, preventing him from returning to action on Monday, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Head coach Stephen Silas said he remains hopeful that Oladipo will be back “sooner rather than later.”
- Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who reported last month that the Rockets are looking to hire an executive in an assistant general manager-type role, identifies former Timberwolves executive Noah Croom as a candidate being considered for that position.
- Kevin Porter has yet to make his Rockets debut since being acquired from Cleveland a month ago, but his new team has a vision for how it will use him, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. The Rockets, who plan to have Porter finish the G League season at the Walt Disney World bubble, expect to have him eventually assume a point guard role on the second unit, per Iko.