With the roster at 14 and having a glaring opening at center behind Greg Smith and Omer Asik, the Rockets have opted to sign Tim Ohlbrecht, a German center playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, per an official team release.
Ohlbrecht, who leads the D-League in field goal percentage and is averaging 13.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game, will join the team on their standard three year deal they give out to D-League projects, with a guarantee in year one but team options on the next two years. Given that Ohlbrecht turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Celtics, it's clear that the guaranteed money for the rest of the season was a major draw.
This type of contract is the same form that the Rockets gave players like Marcus Cousin, Marqus Blakely, and Greg Smith in the past few years. The deal is a win-win; it allows the Rockets to give a guy like Ohlbrecht a shot while maintaining flexibility for the future. Meanwhile, Ohlbrecht gets a guaranteed salary for the rest of the season, and the Rockets get the peace of mind knowing that if he breaks out, they can keep him for the league minimum for the next two seasons.
Ohlbrecht is unlikely to see much floor time, but getting him under contract is great insurance and has virtually no risk for the Rockets. Good for Tim Ohlbrecht and good for the Rockets.