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Zhou Qi assigned to Rio Grande Valley

Zhou Qi is a Viper... again.

Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets - Game One Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The team announced today that Zhou Qi has been assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ G-League affiliate.

Qi, a second-year player and 2016 second-round pick, had been injured to start the season with a knee injury. He hurt his knee in a preseason contest against the Shanghai Sharks but is healthy enough to play again.

He made his 2018-19 debut on Tuesday in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, where he scored two points in the game’s final minute when the game had entered “garbage time” and was out of reach.

With Qi moving to the Valley, it will probably free up some minutes on the Rockets roster for Marquese Chriss and Isaiah Hartenstein. Sending Qi to the G-League will free up some playing time for himself and allow him a chance to develop.

With so many players crowding the frontcourt, each day becomes more important for Qi’s development than the day before. If Qi wants to stay on the team, he needs to continue to show the coaching staff that he has made progress.

The G-League season begins tomorrow and the Vipers’ season kicks off Saturday against the Memphis Hustle.