Rockets Notes: Tanking, Porter Jr., Bradley, Olynyk

Rockets head coach Stephen Silas bristles at the notion that the team should tank the rest of the way and improve its odds in a top-heavy lottery, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “We’re trying to win every single game,” he said. “I think you see this with the disappointment that our guys have, with the fight that they have, my reaction to games. I don’t even know if that needs to be squashed or not. It’s a non-issue.”

GM Rafael Stone said this week that the Rockets don’t have to worry about their lottery position because of their stockpile of draft picks. However, the team will have to swap its pick (likely with the Heat’s selection) if it falls outside of the top four.

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Kevin Porter Jr. has the offensive skills and athleticism to be a major component on offense, and he could also be a difference-maker defensively, as described in another Feigen story. Porter made a key block in a victory over Dallas on Wednesday. “He takes pride in it,” center Christian Wood said. “He’s a young, tremendous player on both sides of the floor. He can do it. He just has to keep that up and we’re going to be great.” 
  • Guard Avery Bradley has missed quite a few games in recent seasons but he still feels he has no peer when it comes to defense, Feigen writes. “I know that’s going to be one of my roles here,” said Bradley, acquired from Miami in the Victor Oladipo deadline deal. “I’m always going to embrace that. I know defensively, there’s no one in the NBA who can do what I can do.” The team holds a $5.9MM option on Bradley’s contract next season.
  • Kelly Olynyk has been a pleasant surprise since being traded from the Heat in the Oladipo swap (17.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 3.0 APG) and The Athletic’s Kelly Iko explores what Olynyk may command in free agency. Iko speculates that Houston, which now holds his Bird Rights, would re-sign him if Olynyk’s price tag doesn’t exceed $11MM annually.
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