This is the first installment of a two-part series where Max Croes and I POWER RANK the 2015 Houston Rockets roster.
In part one we rank the bottom half of the 2015 Rockets. Consider this a contest to nab the 15th roster spot, we're looking at you, Joshua Smith.
We each ranked the players based on preseason statistics, personal preferences, and 2015 projections. Career accolades, injuries, and off-court mishaps were considered, but not highly scrutinized in the rankings. We averaged the results of our two lists to produce this POWER RANKING.
Unfortunately, the Rockets can only carry 15 players on the team, so the first 7 players probably won't make the team.
Houston Rockets Roster Power Rankings:
21: Chris Walker
To be blunt, there is no way Walker makes the team. He has played the least amount of minutes in the preseason which suggest McHale is not giving him much of a chance. -Danny
20: Arsalan Kazemi
The Rockets recently claimed the Iranian off waivers to compete for the final roster spot. Kazemi, the first ever Iranian player drafted into the NBA, will be lucky if he makes the team. There is just so much competition for that coveted 15th spot. The 6'7 power forward played in one preseason game for 13 minutes and scored 2 points. -Danny
19. Aquille Carr *
Houston Rockets done gave the boi a chance thank god— Aquille Carr (@CantGuard3) October 15, 2015
*Although Carr indicated he is on the Rockets, they have not officially signed him to the roster or the D-League affiliate. The Rockets have 20/20 roster spots currently filled so they will have to cut someone in order to sign Carr.
According to Carr, the Rockets are giving him a chance and the 5'6 high school phenom will likely shine as a Viper. Carr is destined to be a D-League legend with his flashy handle and Isaiah Thomas-like finishing ability. Although the chances of Carr becoming a Rocket are slim, the Vipers will be glad to have a little bit of Carr's shake and bake. -Danny
18: Jeremy Tyler
17: Denzel Livingston
16: Will Cummings
15: Joshua Smith
Smith leads the "last roster spot competition" in preseason minutes. Plus, the Rockets need a gargantuan human at the end of the bench sitting behind a sheet of glass labeled "Break in case of extended Dwight Howard injury." This seems like the man for the job. -Max
14: Jason Terry
At the end of the season I hope we can compare Jason Terry's 2015 - 2016 season to Juwan Howard's presence on the Miami Heat. Dude has some rings just by being the locker room guy. -Max
13: Marcus Thornton
I saw Thornton first hand in Boston two years ago and he is one of the most frustrating players in the league to root for. One night he can go 10-13 with 25 points and another he could legitimately shoot 2-17 in 20 minutes. Luckily, Thornton has a miniscule role on the Rockets and he won't have the ball enough to jack up double digit shots. The talent is there, but the shot selection isn't. -Danny
12: Montrezl Harrell
I have high hopes for the gifted Louisville product and so does coach McHale. Harrell is a freak of nature athletically who has potential to impact a game through tenacious rebounding, shot blocking, and running the floor. A reasonable comparison is Kenneth Faried, but Harrell's impressive touch around the rim and midrange jump shot give him a higher ceiling than "Manimal." -Danny
11: K.J. McDaniels
McDaniels is making his case for minutes during the preseason and earning McHale's trust. Is replacing Kostas Papnikoloau a good career move? We're about to find out. -Max
10: Sam Dekker
The Rockets' first pick is poised to fill a role on this Rockets team. How meaningful will his role be? His playing time is up in the air because of McHale's historic treatment of rookies. With the small opportunities Dekker gets, he must showcase his unique combination of athleticism and outside shooting. -Danny
That concludes part one of the 2015 Houston Rockets power rankings. Stay tuned for the final installment and be sure to make your voice heard! Go bananas in the comments section below and follow us on Twitter @DannyEmerman and @CroesFire.