NBA Team Preview: Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild since they traded away James Harden early in the 2020-21 regular season. They finished the year with the worst record in the NBA, going 17-55. Head coach Stephen Silas is expected to be the face of the rebuild as he was brought on last season.
This team is not going to be good but have a lot of young talent that can become a threat if they continue to build up their franchise the correct way.
The Rockets were part of a trade that sent Daniel Theis from the Chicago Bulls to Houston but other than that, the Rockets were bust as they acquired four different players in the 2021 NBA Draft to fill their roster.
They had the second-overall pick and drafted guard Jalen Green, got center Alperen Sengun from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a draft day trade, drafted forward Usman Garuba with the 23rd pick, and drafted guard Josh Christopher with the 24th pick. This young core can gel together and get a lot of opportunities this season.
The Houston Rockets lost three players overall to free agency this offseason as Avery Bradley signed with the Golden State Warriors, Sterling Brown signed with the Dallas Mavericks, and Kelly Olyyk signed with the Detroit Pistons. Houston also waived Matt Hurt from their roster. Armoni Brooks and D.J. Wilson are still free agents as of this writing but have not signed with a team yet.
The biggest key player is going to be the development of guard Jalen Green as he played in 15 games for the G-League Ignite last season and averaged 32 minutes. He finished with 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 46.1 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three, and 82.9 percent from the free-throw line.
Another key piece is center Christian Wood. He signed with the team last offseason and appeared in 41 games for the Rockets. He averaged 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 0.8 steals in 32.3 minutes of action. He can play well and help mentor the young guys on the roster.
The Houston Rockets are not expected to be competitive this season as they are expected to finish 14th in the Western Conference with 27.5 wins. This young roster can play hard but looking at talent-wise in a loaded West, it’s hard to envision Houston being a threat in games or favored if ever. Go with under 27.5 wins as they should finish somewhere between 22-25 wins this season as they continue to mature and solidify draft picks.
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**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.