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Rockets decline option on Marquese Chriss

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The Rockets are letting Chriss become a free agent at season’s end.

NBA: Preseason-Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets have declined to pick up the fourth-year option on forward/center Marquese Chriss, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

That option on Chriss’ deal was expected to pay him $4.1 million, and given that Chriss has underwhelmed so far in his brief Houston tenure, it’s no surprise the Rockets didn’t pick it up.

In fact, the 21-year-old Chriss has only played in one game so far, making his debut in Tuesday night’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and scoring four points. He’s spent the rest of his time battling injury after an up-and-down preseason with the team.

Chriss, however, can still officially be included in a trade offer, as the two-month hold from the time he was originally moved has passed. He’s been reportedly offered to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blockbuster trade for Jimmy Buter, but Minnesota is said to be holding out on the Rockets for Eric Gordon, if they’re even interested in making a deal with Houston at all.

The decline now means that Chriss, who was a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, will become an unrestricted free agent when the season ends in July and will be free to sign with any team that he chooses.