After coming to camp with a boatload of players competing for just a few spots, the Rockets have finally made their last roster cuts, officially cutting Marcus Camby and Reggie Williams on Monday. Camby's cut had been previously reported, but we did not know the fate of Williams until this morning when the Rockets made the move official. Now, with 15 players on the roster, the Rockets are set for the foreseeable future.
Williams came into the league with the Warriors in the 2009-10 season, putting together a remarkable run down the stretch as he averaged 15.2 points per game after being signed to a pair of 10 day contracts and later getting a deal for the rest of the season. In his sophomore year, he quickly established himself as one of the premier three point shooters in the league, hitting 42% of his three pointers in a bench role for the Warriors, but struggled to regain that form in two years with the Charlotte Bobcats, regressing to 31% from distance.
The Rockets were obviously hoping with a top center and aggressive inside-out attack that Williams could relive his glory days in Golden State with the Rockets and help backup James Harden, but he was regularly outplayed by Ronnie Brewer and only saw game action in two of the preseason games. His contract was partially guaranteed for this year so he will receive $473,000 for his troubles.
What remains is a deep and talented roster that has multiple options at each spot. Here is your final Houston Rockets 15 man roster, from HoustonRockets.com:
Omer Asik, C
Patrick Beverley, PG
Ronnie Brewer, F
Aaron Brooks, PG
Isaiah Canaan, PG
Omri Casspi, F
Robert Covington, F
Francisco Garcia, G/F
James Harden, SG
Dwight Howard, C
Terrence Jones, PF
Jeremy Lin, PG
Donatas Motiejunas, F/C
Chandler Parsons, SF
Greg Smith, F/C
The biggest story of the Rockets final roster is the survival of undrafted free agent Robert Covington. Covington came into the preseason with a lot of hype as a forward who can really shoot the three ball, and although he struggled with his shot in what limited game action he did receive, he obviously showed the Rockets brass enough to earn a spot with the team.
Covington is a long, 6'9" player who down the road has the potential to fit perfectly next to Dwight Howard as a stretch four, and the Rockets didn't want to lose such a promising player without giving him a shot. Look for him and Isaiah Canaan to spend most of the season with the RGV Vipers.
Meanwhile, another player who didn't have a guaranteed roster spot but sprang onto the scene is Omri Casspi, who shot the lights out of the ball to start out the preseason and looks like a good bet to be in the early season rotation. Overall, he shot 41% from three point range during the preseason, and if he can continue that run of form, he could be playing in the starting lineup in certain matchups. Of course, he struggled mightily for Cleveland the last two seasons, so it's also possible that he will fall out of the rotation just as quickly, but Casspi's strong play was a pleasant surprise in the preseason.
So what do you think? Did the Rockets make the right move cutting Williams or Camby and opting to keep some younger players, or will they miss each of those players down the road?