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Rockets Waive Danuel House

The Rockets have waived swingman Danuel House, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Houston added House to its roster in late November after he showcased his ability in the G League. The signing came when the Rockets had a bevy of injuries but it appears the team is confident in its depth now that several of its players have come back from injury.

House has played in five games for Houston this season. He averaged 8.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

Because House was on a non-guaranteed contract, the Rockets will only be on the hook for a small portion of his minimum salary. Assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, the cap charge for House should be about $94K.

Examining Stalemate Between Rockets, Danuel House

The Rockets made an effort to lock up two-way player Danuel House to a standard NBA contract on Tuesday, but the two sides ultimately couldn’t reach a deal, prompting the team to instead use its open roster spot to sign James Nunnally. Nunnally’s 10-day contract is expected to be finalized later today.

It’s a somewhat surprising outcome. House had been an important part of Houston’s rotation over the last couple months, averaging 9.0 PPG and 3.6 RPG with a .458/.390/.818 shooting line and playing solid defense in 25 games (24.8 MPG). Now, because he has reached the limit for the number of days a two-way player can spend in the NBA, he’ll be relegated to the G League most of the rest of the way, unless he and the Rockets can find common ground on a new deal.

So why exactly wasn’t House promoted to the Rockets’ 15-man roster? Before we can answer that question, it’s worth revisiting the team’s options for the third-year swingman:

  1. Unilaterally convert his two-way contract into a one-year, minimum-salary contract.
  2. Offer him a two-year, minimum-salary contract using the minimum salary exception.
  3. Offer him a three-year contract using some of the taxpayer mid-level exception.
  4. Keep him in the G League, where he’ll be ineligible to appear in NBA games until at least March 24 and won’t be playoff-eligible.

There were initially some conflicting reports on what the Rockets offered House, but agent Raymond Brothers told Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that the team’s proposal was a three-year, minimum-salary deal. Houston would have to use part of its mid-level exception to complete the signing, since the minimum salary exception can only be used for one- or two-year contracts. When House and Brothers passed on that offer, the Rockets offered the same three-year, minimum-salary deal, fully guaranteed.

“We rejected both offers and asked the Rockets to convert him for the remainder of the season,” Brothers said. As MacMahon observes, House and Brothers want the opportunity for the 25-year-old to reach restricted free agency this summer, rather than having him play on a minimum-salary contract for multiple years.

The Rockets, meanwhile, don’t want to set a precedent of converting two-way contracts into standard one-year deals for players they spend time developing, MacMahon tweets. Houston would prefer a multiyear commitment from those players, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle confirms, and feel that a guaranteed three-year, $4.16MM offer is fair, since that’s more guaranteed money than most second-round picks – or even late first-rounders – receive.

It’s an interesting standoff. It may look like a poor decision by House to play out the season in the G League, where he’ll continue earning his very modest two-way salary rather than an NBA salary. He’s passing on more guaranteed money than he has earned so far in his NBA career, and will spend at least the next couple months playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers rather than a potential Finals contender.

Still, as cap expert Albert Namhad tweets, accepting Houston’s offer would also mean House takes the minimum salary through his age-27 season. If he believes he can get a better offer in the offseason, it may be worth it to wait. Remaining on his two-way contract will put him in line for restricted free agency in July.

As for the Rockets, they could end the stalemate at any time by unilaterally converting House’s two-way contract into a standard minimum-salary deal, which is the option House and Brothers prefer. Perhaps it would set an unfavorable precedent in Houston going forward, but every case is different and few two-way players are likely to have the same sort of impact in the future that House has had this season. If the Rockets want to maximize their playoff chances and they don’t find a wing capable of matching House’s impact, they may have to bite the bullet and convert his contract at some point.

January 15 was the deadline to sign players to two-way contracts, but House and the Rockets will have until April 10, the final day of the regular season, to work out a deal. Houston simply won’t be able to sign a new two-way player if House is promoted to the 15-man roster.

If House and Brothers don’t relent and accept a multiyear contract, the most likely path may be one suggested by Nahmad (via Twitter). As he points out, the Rockets could recall House from the G League after the Vipers’ season ends (March 24 at the earliest), and then could convert his two-way deal into a standard contract at the very end of the season (April 10).

That would significantly limit the money Houston would owe House this season, it would allow him to play in the postseason, and it would put him on track for restricted free agency this summer. It may not be a perfect outcome, but it’d be a reasonable compromise.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rockets Notes: House, Paul, J.R. Smith, Anthony

The Rockets have opened talks on a standard contract for Danuel House, who will soon run out of NBA days on his two-way deal, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. House sat out Thursday’s practice to keep from using up another day, but will reach his limit if he plays in the team’s next three games.

House came to Houston in late November when the team was low on players because of injuries. He was waived December 4 to open a roster spot so the Rockets could sign two-way player Gary Clark to a standard contract. House re-signed on his current two-way deal after clearing waivers two days later.

He has since earned a spot in the starting lineup and is averaging 8.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting .367 from 3-point range. Feigen notes that the urgency to get a deal done with House might be lessened by James Ennis‘ recent return from a hamstring injury and Eric Gordon‘s expected return next week. If House doesn’t agree to a new contract and the Rockets don’t decide to convert his current deal, he will have to remain with the team’s affiliate in Rio Grande until the G League season is over.

There’s more today from Houston:

  • House’s ability to learn quickly has helped the Rockets turn around their season, Feigen writes in a separate story. He had played in just 24 NBA games prior to this year, but coach Mike D’Antoni has been impressed with House’s ability to adjust his game on the fly. “The coaching staff tells him something and he puts it into his game,” D’Antoni said. “That’s unique. It’s not easy to be able to do that and just put it in your game and not think about it, because if you think and play at the same time, it’s hard. It has to become natural and he does that.”
  • Chris Paul has intensified his workouts, but the estimate of a late January return from a strained hamstring hasn’t changed, Feigen reports in another piece. “We’re going to be careful with him,” D’Antoni said. “… Obviously, we’re a lot closer to the end than the beginning. We’ll bring him back at an opportune time.”
  • The Rockets are the only team to express any interest in trading for Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops, who says they would insist that Cleveland take Carmelo Anthony as part of any deal.

Rockets Waive Zhou Qi

The Rockets have waived Chinese big man Zhou Qi, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Houston selected Zhou with the 43rd overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Zhou, 22, has appeared in just one game this season as he’s dealt with knee and ankle injuries. His last G League game with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers came on Nov. 20, when he sprained his left ankle. In seven G-League contests, Zhou averaged 11.9 PPG, 9.4 RPG and 52.9 percent from the field.

The 7’1″ forward/center appeared in 18 games with the Rockets last season, averaging just 1.2 PPG in 6.9 minutes per game.

By waving Zhou, the Rockets reduce their roster total to 14 players, plus a pair on two-way contracts. And because Zhou was on a non-guaranteed contract, he’ll only count for about $506K on Houston’s cap for 2018/19.

Rockets Notes: House, Ariza, LeBron

As the Rockets got off to a rough start, a big issue plaguing the team was a lack of depth, especially on the wing. With Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute departing in the offseason and Carmelo Anthony deemed too much of a negative to be part of the rotation, the Rockets were left with James Ennis and not much else.

That is where the emergence of Danuel House comes into play. As Jonathan Feigen writes for The Houston Chronicle, House has stepped up in recent games and provided a much-needed lift for the Rockets. House insists he is focused on hitting shots, playing solid defense and providing energy off the bench, especially as Ennis recently went down with an injury and Eric Gordon has been inserted into the starting lineup.

The Rockets have started to turn things around in recent games, with House providing an unexpected jolt off the bench just when the team needed one.

There’s more from the Rockets:

  • The Rockets have surely missed Ariza’s presence and leadership, which Tania Ganguli details for The Los Angeles Times. Gerald Green and P.J. Tucker are quoted on the value that Ariza can bring to a locker room, especially on the Rockets team that had high aspirations last season.
  • A brief but flashy storyline in the offseason was the potential that LeBron James would join his friend Chris Paul and defending MVP James Harden in Houston to form a new super team. Of course, that never happened and Dave McMenamin of ESPN reveals (via Twitter) that James didn’t give much thought to actually joining the Rockets.
  • The Rockets recently emerged as a potential suitor for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the 25-year-old shooting guard from the Lakers. Caldwell-Pope can provide defense and 3-point shooting, which the Rockets could use more of moving forward.

Rockets Sign Danuel House

3:44pm: The Rockets have officially signed House, the team announced today in a press release. Houston now has a full 15-man roster, with Anthony still technically under contract.

12:02pm: The Rockets plan to sign Danuel House to a contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the veteran swingman traveled to meet the team in Washington, where the Rockets are set to play the Wizards on Monday night.

House, 25, has appeared in a total of 24 regular season games for the Suns and Wizards since going undrafted out of Texas A&M in 2016. He has spent most of his professional career in the G League, playing for Delaware, Northern Arizona, and Rio Grande Valley.

This fall, House spent time in training camp with the Warriors, but was cut by Golden State before the regular season began and returned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s G League affiliate. He has averaged a team-high 20.4 PPG in seven games for the Vipers.

It’s not clear if the Rockets intend to officially make a move with Carmelo Anthony at the same time they formalize their deal with House. Even with Anthony still under contract, Houston has room on its roster for House, so Carmelo may remain in limbo even after the club fills its 15th and final roster slot.

If he were to sign a minimum salary contract today, House would have a cap hit of approximately $1.2MM, increasing Houston’s projected tax bill by another $2MM+. However, he’ll likely get a non-guaranteed contract, which would give the Rockets the flexibility to avoid his full cap charge if they cut him by January 7.

Rockets Reach Three-Year Deal With Clark, Re-Sign House

The Rockets have reached a new deal with forward Gary Clark, converting his two-way contract into a three-year, $3.7MM deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team confirmed the move in a press release.

Clark’s deal is fully guaranteed this season and half guaranteed during the 2019/20 season with incentives to make it fully guaranteed, Charania reports. The 2020/21 salary would become guaranteed on August 1, 2020, provided Clark is still on the roster.

Houston used part of its mid-level exception in the agreement with Clark, who has emerged as a solid two-way player in 21 games this season.

“It felt kind of unreal, all I’ve been through to get to this point,” Clark said about signing his contract, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26. “From injuries to everyone on the outside not believing in me. Nothing is secure in this business. You have to perform every day.”

The team is also bringing back swingman Danuel House on a two-way contract, according to Charania. House was waived Tuesday after playing just five games, and signed his new contract with the team in time to play against the Jazz on Thursday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets.

Clark has averaged 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per contest, guarding multiple positions when called upon and playing inspired basketball in his first NBA season. He’s struggled shooting the ball (30% from the floor and 27% from deep), but has impressed teammates and coaches alike with his aggressive mentality and positive attitude.

The Rockets have dealt with several key injuries and have a 11-12 record this season, which includes losing five of 10 games at home. After playing Utah on Thursday, the team has contests against the Mavericks, Blazers and Lakers.

The Rockets have 15 roster spots and both two-way contract slots filled, but could open another roster spot once they move on from Carmelo Anthony.

Rockets Waive Rob Gray

The Rockets have waived training camp invitee Rob Gray, the team announced today (Twitter link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston). The move reduces the club’s roster count to just 17 players.

Gray, a 6’1″ guard, played his college ball at the University of Houston, averaging 19.3 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 3.7 RPG with a .447/.359/.802 shooting line in 2017/18. He was especially impressive during the NCAA Tournament in the spring, pouring in 39 points in a first-round win over San Diego State, then recording a double-double (23 points, 10 rebounds) in a one-point loss to Michigan.

Despite receiving a camp invite from the Rockets, Gray was always a long shot to earn a regular season roster spot in Houston. However, he could end up on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the club’s G League affiliate.

The Rockets currently have 12 fully guaranteed contracts on its books, with Michael Carter-Williams and his partial guarantee penciled in for the 13th spot. Zhou Qi, Bruno Caboclo, Gary Clark, and Vince Edwards have non-guaranteed deals.

Rockets Sign James Nunnally To 10-Day Deal

5:02pm: The Rockets have signed Nunnally to a 10-day deal, per an official release from the team. In anticipation of the signing, Nunnally had the following to say, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

I thought I would sign with (the Rockets) after meeting them on July 1st in LA. It didn’t happen. Now over six months later, I was going to make a decision today to go to a great Euroleague situation and the Rockets called last night. Crazy 24 hours! I am very excited.”

9:26pm: The Rockets are expected to fill the opening on their 15-man roster by signing veteran sharpshooter James Nunnally to a 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

A source confirms to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link) that the Rockets are “heading in that direction.” Feigen first reported on Tuesday that Houston would likely sign a veteran wing to a 10-day contract, identifying Nunnally as a candidate.

After playing in Europe for the past two seasons, Nunnally signed with the Timberwolves during free agency, as Minnesota was looking to add players that could space the floor and provide solid defense. However, Nunnally was not a regular part of the rotation and rarely saw the court during his time with the Wolves, who waived him last week before his full 2018/19 salary became guaranteed.

The 28-year-old wing only played 64 minutes this season, averaging 2.1 points per game while knocking down 38.5% of his 3-pointers. Despite his limited role in Minnesota, Nunnally received offers from multiple teams in Europe when he became a free agent again this month, according to Feigen, who hears that the former UC Santa Barbara standout is “giving up a lot” by opting instead for a 10-day contract (Twitter link).

Nunnally may get an opportunity to play a little more over the next 10 days in Houston than he typically did in Minnesota, given the Rockets’ injury and depth issues. While Eric Gordon‘s return appears imminent, the Rockets are missing Chris Paul and Clint Capela due to injuries, while Danuel House has returned to the G League for now and Carmelo Anthony remains away from the team.

The Rockets will incur a cap hit worth just over $76K for Nunnally’s 10-day deal, which will slightly increase the club’s projected year-end tax bill.

Rockets Expected To Sign Wing Via 10-Day Deal

8:46pm: House’s agent, Raymond Brothers, claims the Rockets initially offered a non-guaranteed, three-year deal before offering him a guaranteed one, MacMahon tweets. “We rejected both offers and asked the Rockets to convert him for the remainder of the season,” Brothers said.

House’s representatives want him to be a restricted free agent at the end of the year.

7:51pm: The Rockets are expected to sign a wing to a 10-day deal on Wednesday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports (Twitter links).

It appears unlikely that the team reaches an agreement with Danuel House on a standard NBA contract today, meaning the team has a need for another perimeter player. House remains on a two-way deal with the organization, though has already spent 45 days (the maximum allowed) with the NBA club.

House has been offered a deal by the Rockets but has declined it. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets that 25-year-old was offered his choice of the rest of the season on a minimum-salary deal or a two-year deal at the minimum. The Rockets were unwilling to go further given their luxury tax issues. Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com confirms (Twitter link) that House, who has been starting for Houston, has been offered a deal.

Feigen notes that the Rockets and House still could come to an agreement but it’s not an expected outcome. He’ll be in the G League when the Vipers, Houston’s affiliate, plays on Wednesday.

James Nunnally may be a potential fit for the Rockets, Feigen tweets, adding that the team has contacted Nunnally but no offer has been made at this time. Jodie Meeks and Brandon Rush are among the veteran wing options available on the free agent market.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Knight, House, Doncic

Despite all of the attention on Anthony Davis and the speculation about his long-term future, Scott Kushner writes for The Journal Times that the Pelicans have more pressing issues to solve, most notably their inability to close out games.

As Kushner points out, the Pelicans are the worst clutch team in the NBA, as they are 5-11 in games that are within five points in the final five minutes. In fact, during those situations the Pelicans are outscored by 28.6 points per 100 possessions, the worst net rating.

This is a stark contrast to last season, when the Pelicans led the league in clutch wins with 30. Before they have to deal with Davis’ future, the Pelicans have to figure out how to win this season, which will often come down to their ability to close out games in crunch time.

There’s more from the Southwest division:

  • With Chris Paul out for the next couple of weeks, Brandon Knight is ready to step up and contribute if given the playing time. As Jonathan Feigen writes for The Houston Chronicle, Knight has struggled to find his shot since returning from injury, and with the Rockets adding Austin Rivers earlier today, Knight may find himself short on minutes in the rotation.
  • Danuel House has provided an unexpected lift for the Rockets off the bench in recent weeks, and he even started against the Spurs this weekend due to Paul’s injury. As Feigen reveals for The Houston Chronicle, starting in his hometown was a meaningful experience for House.
  • When asked about his comments regarding his desire to play with Anthony Davis, LeBron James mentioned several other great players in the league that he would love to play alongside. As SportsDay Dallas points out, James included Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic in that list, highlighting his respect for the rookie’s strong start to the season.

Rockets Sign Danuel House

The Rockets have signed 24-year-old guard Danuel House, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. House played one single minute in one single game for the Wizards last season after going undrafted in 2016.

Considering that Houston already waived four players to knock their roster down to 15 players earlier today, it’s likely that they release House too, with the idea of bringing him aboard their G League team.

Rockets Waive Guard R.J. Hunter

AUG. 18: The Rockets officially announced that Hunter has been waived.

AUG. 17: The Rockets have waived guard R.J. Hunter, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.

That opens up a two-way contract slot for Houston, since Hunter was signed in January under one of those agreements. The 6’5” Hunter appeared in five games with the Rockets, including a start, averaging 3.8 PPG in 9.0 MPG.

Hunter played for Houston’s summer league team in July, the fourth consecutive offseason that he appeared in summer league games. He averaged 11.2 PPG in five Las Vegas appearances.

Hunter was chosen 28th overall by the Celtics in the 2015 draft. He played 36 games during his rookie season for Boston, then was waived during training camp the following season. He was claimed by the Bulls and saw action in three games before they waived him in December 2016.

Wizards To Waive Danuel House

Rookie shooting guard Danuel House will be in the odd man out in D.C. with Brandon Jennings close to finalizing a deal with the Wizards, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter) that the club will waive House to open up a spot on the roster for Jennings.

Earlier today, word broke that Trey Burke didn’t made the trip to Toronto with the rest of the Wizards due to a personal matter, creating speculation about whether Burke would be the roster casualty. As I noted at the time, the former lottery pick has averaged a career-low 12.4 minutes per contest and was reportedly being shopped prior to the deadline. However, the Wizards will hang onto Burke, opting to part ways with House instead.

An undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M, House received a partial guarantee from the Wizards last summer and earned a spot on the club’s regular-season roster. However, after appearing in just one NBA game, House suffered a fractured wrist, which has essentially wiped out his rookie year. In addition to the very brief action he saw with the Wizards, House has also played in seven D-League games for the Delaware 87ers, averaging 13.3 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

House’s contract with the Wizards ran through the 2017/18 season, but next year’s salary was fully non-guaranteed, so the team won’t be on the hook for any money beyond this season after waiving him.

Rockets Waive Troy Williams

4:03pm: The Rockets have officially placed Williams on waivers, Charania confirms (via Twitter).

3:34pm: With Joe Johnson‘s signing imminent, the Rockets need to waive a player to open up a roster spot. According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, that means the club’s on-again, off-again plans to release Troy Williams are once again back on.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday morning that the Rockets intended to waive Williams to create the roster spot necessary to sign Johnson. Several hours later, however, Charania indicated that Houston’s plans had changed, and the team was keeping Williams as it continued to work through that roster decision.

Having debated that decision, the Rockets have now apparently returned to their original conclusion. Feigen reports that the team will finalize Johnson’s signing today, making him available for tonight’s game against the Kings. That means that Williams will have to be cut today as well, so his apparent second life in Houston lasted just 24 hours.

Williams, 23, began his NBA career with the Grizzlies last season before being waived a little over a year ago. The former Hoosier finished the 2016/17 campaign with the Rockets, then signed a new three-year contract with Houston during the offseason. However, only the first year of that deal was fully guaranteed, which made him a candidate to be cut this week when the team needed to open up a spot on its roster.

In 34 total NBA games, Williams has averaged 5.6 PPG and 2.1 RPG. He’s expected to receive interest as a free agent, according to Charania. If Williams goes unclaimed on waivers, Houston would still owe him the rest of his minimum salary for this season, along with about $614K in guaranteed money for 2018/19, according to Basketball Insiders’ data. The Rockets would have the option of spreading that ’18/19 cap charge across three seasons.

Assuming the Rockets finalize Williams’ release, it should mean that the roster spots for players like Chinanu Onuaku, Gerald Green, and Tarik Black are safe.

Rockets Waive Isaiah Canaan

The Rockets have waived Isaiah Canaan just four days after he signed with the team, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

The 26-year-old guard got into just one game and saw four minutes of action before being let go. Although the Rockets are short-handed because of injuries, Canaan didn’t play in Friday’s game at Charlotte, Feigen notes, with Bobby Brown being used as the backup point guard.

Houston will incur a $53K cap hit for Canaan, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link). The move brings the Rockets’ roster back down to 14 players.

This is the second time Canaan has been waived in the past two weeks. He spent the preseason with the Thunder, but didn’t survive the final roster cut.

Rockets Waive Shawn Long

The Rockets have formally waived big man Shawn Long, the team announced today (via Twitter). Long will clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday, assuming no other NBA team places a claim on him.

An undrafted free agent out of Louisiana-Lafayette, Long appeared in 18 games for the Sixers in his rookie season, and was productive in limited minutes. The 6’9″ center averaged 8.2 PPG and 4.7 RPG in just 13.0 minutes per contest. He was even better in the G League, averaging a double-double (20.2 PPG, 11.1 RPG) in 39 games for the Delaware 87ers.

Despite his solid rookie year, Long wasn’t viewed as part of Philadelphia’s long-term plans, and was sent to Houston in a June trade when the Rockets were collecting non-guaranteed salaries with an eye toward including them in a bigger deal.

Ultimately, the Rockets never found a use for Long in a trade, and are now waiving him before they’re committed to paying any of his 2017/18 salary — the 24-year-old would have seen his non-guaranteed contract become partially guaranteed for $50K if he had remained under contract beyond today.

Houston now has 19 players on its training camp roster.

Rockets Waive Jarrod Uthoff

The Rockets have waived forward Jarrod Uthoff, Ben DuBose of Locked On Rockets tweets. The club had previously acquired Uthoff from the Mavs amid a flurry of deals on June 29 prior to trading for Chris Paul.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has since corroborated the report.

Uthoff saw action in just nine games for the Mavs last season, averaging 4.4 points per game in just 12.8 minutes. A $200K portion of the undrafted big man’s would-be $1.3MM deal was scheduled to become guaranteed had he remained on the roster through today.

[RELATED: View our Salary Guarantee List for the Summer of 2017]

After making his NBA debut with the Mavs on a 10-day deal in March, Uthoff signed a second 10-day pact and eventually a multi-year deal with the squad. The big man, however, spent considerable time in the G League with both Dallas’ Texas Legends affiliate and other clubs.

Rockets Waive Ryan Kelly

The Rockets have waived forward Ryan Kelly, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Kelly’s contract, acquired in one of Houston’s half dozen pre-Chris Paul trade deals, would have otherwise become guaranteed had he lasted through the day.

As Feigen notes in a separate tweet, Kelly was initially added as a trade chip but was obviously not used. Houston had picked him up from Atlanta in exchange for $75K.

Kelly, a sharp shooting 26-year-old power forward out of Duke, appears to be just on the brink of actually catching on in an NBA rotation. Although he started 59 games between his first and second seasons with a destitute Lakers club, he’s failed to make an impact since. This marks the fourth time in the last nine months that Kelly has been waived.

Rockets Waive Isaiah Taylor

The Rockets waived guard Isaiah Taylor on Sunday, the team announced via Twitter.

Taylor, who is 6’3,” played in three preseason games for the Rockets. He played only five minutes in Saturday’s double overtime loss to Memphis. The Rockets will take a $50K hit for waiving Taylor, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical notes (on Twitter). Houston’s roster is now at 18 players.

The former Texas guard had agreed to a partially-guaranteed contract with the Rockets in September. Taylor was ranked as the No. 67 prospect for last summer’s draft by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com. He went undrafted after averaging 15 points and 5.0 assists per game in his final season at Texas.

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