A couple months before the 2016-2017 season begins, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers officially have a new general manager.
Jimmy Paulis will take over for Gianluca Pascucci, who took on a different role with the Brooklyn Nets organization. Paulis, a fast-rising executive within the Houston Rockets organization, is very familiar with the inner workings at Rio Grande Valley. He was the team’s assistant general manager for the past three years, and involved with the club in other capacities since 2011.
Vipers president Bert Garcia is on board with the hire. Explaining why Paulis is the right man for the job, Garcia said, “We love the fact the Rockets stayed in house with the hire. We are familiar with Jimmy and what he brings to the table. He is the ultimate professional, and we have enjoyed working with him the last 7 years. Jimmy has been part of the evaluation of players in the past, and is familiar with how the D-League works, therefore it will help with the transition.”
This season is the club’s 10th, and will begin at home against the Reno Bighorns Nov. 13. For the Rockets fans waiting to see who will occupy the D-League affiliate’s roster, Bert Garcia estimates the roster will begin to take shape in the middle of October.
Per usual D-League standards, that roster will be composed of D-League draft picks, players released from the Rockets in the preseason that they feel deserve another look, and rookies and veterans from around the world trying to showcase their skills for the Rockets’ organization, or scouts around the NBA.
Venom From The Valley will be a weekly piece throughout this season, focused solely on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. This will help you keep track of young talent, and who may be the next player to go from the Vipers to stardom with Houston, or elsewhere.