With Dwight Howard still nursing an ankle injury, Donatas Motiejunas lacking the strength to bang down low, and Greg Smith out with a knee injury, the Rockets have been in need of a backup center for the last few weeks. Today, they made a move to shore up that position, waiving Smith to sign former University of Texas big man Dexter Pittman.
Pittman broke into the NBA with the Heat in 2010, and had a few up-and-down seasons for them before moving on to the Grizzlies last season and making a brief cameo with the Hawks this season. He's big at 6'11", 285, but struggles to generate any offense and needs to work on his defensive mobility. Still, as a big man who can take a few minutes at the end of quarters, he makes a lot of sense.
For Greg Smith, this is the end of a Rockets career with a lot of great moments but unfortunately far too many injuries. He was productive when healthy, grabbing rebounds with his massive hands, but was not going to return to health this season, and with him expected to depart this offseason, his waiving makes sense. He was a tremendously hard worker who made it up from the D-League to start a number of games with the Rockets, and he will easily latch onto a team this summer.
Pittman may not get many minutes in the playoffs, but with the Rockets looking to rest some players down the stretch, he could see the floor in the next four games.