Danuel House

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 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 Would Like To Make Trade This Week

The Rockets waived Danuel House on Tuesday in part because they don’t need him as much now that their roster is a little healthier. However, the team had another motive for making the move, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, who reports that the Rockets may use the open roster spot to facilitate a trade.

As Feigen explains, Houston would like to make a deal by this Friday in order to have the option of including a newly-acquired player in a second trade before this season’s February 7 deadline.

NBA rules don’t prevent an over-the-cap team from flipping a newly-acquired player immediately, but they do prohibit the team from aggregating that player’s salary with other salaries in a second trade within two months of that player being acquired. So if the Rockets were to trade for a player on Saturday, the team wouldn’t be able to include him in a larger package for salary-matching purposes later in the season.

For instance, let’s say the Rockets trade this week for a player who is earning $7MM. Then, at the trade deadline, the club wants to acquire a player making $12.75MM. A taxpaying team like Houston is permitted to take back up to 125% of the salary it sends out in a trade, so trading that $7MM player along with, say, Marquese Chriss ($3.21MM) at the deadline would allow the Rockets to take back $12.75MM. However, that $7MM player could only be packaged along with Chriss for salary-matching purposes if he’s acquired by December 7, two months before the deadline.

It’s not clear which player(s) the Rockets might be targeting at this point, but the team has long been said to be seeking wing help. If the club does make a move within the next couple days, it’s worth keeping in mind that December 7 “deadline” as an important reason why.

If the Rockets don’t make a move this week, that 15th roster spot will likely be earmarked for Gary Clark, who figures to receive a promotion from his two-way contract at some point in the not-too-distant future. Houston also figures to open up another roster slot when the team eventually waives or trades Carmelo Anthony, and House could be a candidate to re-sign at some point, Feigen notes.

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.

Texas Notes: House, Knight, Spurs, Jordan

The Rockets like what they have seen from Danuel House since signing him out of the G League on Monday, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Short on players because of injuries, Houston turned to House and gave him crunch-time minutes in his first game. He is averaging 25.3 minutes in three games and has responded with 10.0 points per night.

“I like Danuel a lot,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s very athletic. He’s a bigger three/four that we can use. He runs the floor, not afraid of the moment. He belongs in the NBA.”

House has previous NBA experience, getting into 23 games with Phoenix last season and one with Washington as a rookie in 2016/17. He played with the Rockets’ summer league team this year, but joined the Warriors for training camp. He returned to Houston’s G League affiliate after being waived.

D’Antoni didn’t commit to keeping House in the rotation, but said, “We’ll see how the roster shakes out down the road. For right now, we’ll try to use him.”

There’s more NBA news out of Texas:

  • Rockets guard Brandon Knight showed signs of progress in scoring 16 points and handing out five assists Friday while making his season debut in the G League, Feigen relays in a separate story. Knight, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Suns, is still rehabbing from an ACL tear in his left knee and hasn’t played in an NBA game since the 2016/17 season. “He’s just trying to work his way back,” D’Antoni said. “He’s a ways off. That was a good first step obviously. He got on the court. Our trainers were happy with the way he looked and the way he feels. But to get what we need, it’s still a ways.”
  • The Spurs are emphasizing team unity after suffering a pair of embarrassing losses this week, relays Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. After an offseason that featured the loss of longtime team leaders Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, the players are concerned about upholding the traditions in San Antonio. “It’s the big picture,” said Patty Mills, who is now the longest-tenured Spur on the roster. “It’s who we represent when we put these jerseys on.”
  • The Mavericks went on a hot streak after concerns about DeAndre Jordan being “selfish” came to light, and Kevin Sherrington of The Dallas Morning News doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence. He suggests the team benefited from the public scrutiny of Jordan, which helped to resolve the situation.

Southwest Notes: House, Davis, Grizzlies, Bzdelik

Just hours after signing with the Rockets on Monday, Danuel House was thrown into the fire, logging 28 minutes in the team’s overtime loss to Washington. While House only posted four points in his first game as a Rocket and the club couldn’t get a victory, the Houston native is excited to be playing for his hometown team, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

“It’s huge,” House said of his new contract with the Rockets. “I didn’t want to break the news to my family quite yet. Going back home, I’m from Houston, it’s going to be huge. It’s an honor. Showing my little cousins and the people around me to never give up and continue to fight. Life can throw you down, but you have to be judged by how you stand up.”

Although House has now appeared in regular season games for three NBA teams since going undrafted out of Texas A&M in 2016, he has spent a good chunk of his professional career in the G League, playing last season and this year for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s NBAGL affiliate. This is the first time he has been under contract with the Rockets.

Here’s more from around the Southwest division:

  • Asked on Monday about how the Pelicans are dealing with Anthony Davis trade speculation, head coach Alvin Gentry suggested that he’s not even thinking about that, as Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald relays. “That’s what you guys talk about,” Gentry said of the Davis chatter. “We don’t talk about it. So he’s here. He’s playing on our team. We’re trying to win games. That’s the only thing that matters right now. It’s not anything that I’m going to have a say-so in or anything else, so we don’t bother about it.”
  • Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com takes an in-depth look at how the Grit ‘n’ Grind 2.0 philosophy is working out for the Grizzlies, who are managing to pile up wins despite ranking dead-last in the NBA in points per game.
  • Rockets assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik officially returned to the team on a full-time basis last Friday, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle details. The return of Houston’s defensive specialist hasn’t exactly had an immediate impact — the Rockets have lost all three games since Bzdelik has been back on the bench, surrendering 122.7 PPG in Detroit, Cleveland, and Washington.

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.

Warriors Waive Tyler Ulis, Three Others

The Warriors have waived four players from their 20-man preseason roster, the team announced today in a press release. Point guard Tyler Ulis, swingman Danuel House, big man Deyonta Davis, and guard Kendrick Nunn have all been released, according to the club.

Ulis and House, who each have some NBA experience, appeared to be potential candidates to make the regular season roster with Patrick McCaw‘s restricted free agency still unresolved, but it looks like it will be Alfonzo McKinnie who fills the Warriors’ 14th roster spot instead — he agreed to a two-year contract with Golden State today.

The team is expected to leave its 15th roster spot empty to open the season to retain flexibility and to avoid increasing its projected tax bill.

With Ulis, House, Davis, and Nunn all on waivers and McKinnie receiving a new contract, Marcus Derrickson is the only non-guaranteed camp invitee who wasn’t involved in a roster move today. Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets that he wouldn’t be surprised if Derrickson claims Golden State’s second two-way contract slot. Currently, the club’s only two-way player is Damion Lee.

Pacific Notes: Booker, Suns, Clippers, House

When Devin Booker underwent surgery on his injured last hand in September, the Suns estimated that it would take six weeks for him to recover and return to the court. Based on that timeline, Booker would miss the first week of the regular season, but the 21-year-old is still aiming to get back on the court for Phoenix’s season opener, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link).

The Suns’ season will begin next Wednesday night when the team hosts the Mavericks in what has been billed as a showdown between two of this year’s top rookies, Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic.

As Booker looks to beat his recovery timetable, here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • The Suns cleaned house in their front office on Monday, with a team source confirming to Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days (Twitter link) that Louis Lehman, the GM of Phoenix’s G League affiliate, was fired. GM Ryan McDonough, assistant GM Pat Connelly and director of scouting Courtney Witte were among the other executives let go by the club.
  • The Clippers‘ success in 2018/19 may hinge in large part on the health of Avery Bradley, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Bradley, who re-signed with the Clips over the summer, only has a small partial guarantee on the second year of his new contract, so he may return to the free agent market in 2019 if he’s slowed by injuries again.
  • With Patrick McCaw still unsigned, there may be an opportunity for Danuel House to earn a regular season roster spot with the Warriors. Anthony Slater of The Athletic (subscription required) takes a closer look at House’s case for a place on the 15-man squad.
  • After initially reaching a free agent agreement with Philadelphia, Nemanja Bjelica changed course and inked a three-year deal with the Kings. Now, he’s showing off his ability to open up the floor for his new team, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee details.

Warriors Sign Danuel House To One-Year Deal

AUGUST 22: The Warriors have officially signed House, according to RealGM’s transactions log.

JULY 25: The Warriors are signing free agent swingman Danuel House to a one-year contract, league sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). House’s deal will be a non-guaranteed training camp contract, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link).

House, who went undrafted out of Texas A&M in 2016, has spent time with the Wizards, Suns, and various G League teams since entering the league. Last season, he inked a two-way contract with Phoenix in December and appeared in 23 games for the club.

While House’s overall numbers with the Suns were modest, he finished the season strong when he got the opportunity to take on a major role down the stretch. In Phoenix’s final five games, the 25-year-old averaged 14.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 3.4 APG with a .492 FG%. That wasn’t enough to earn a qualifying offer last month though, so he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Golden State currently has 13 players on guaranteed contracts, with restricted free agent Patrick McCaw expected to get a new deal at some point. If the team carries a full 15-man roster into the regular season, House should get a chance to earn that final opening, but the in-the-tax Warriors may leave that 15th spot open to start the year.