The Houston Rockets moved on from one of their young prospects today, waiving 22-year-old center/forward Zhou Qi, according to Shams Charania.
Zhou has been out for the majority of the year with an ankle sprain and only saw one game of action with the Rockets, playing just one, single minute. According to Jonathan Feigen, he had fallen way behind Isaiah Hartenstein in the pecking order, and his inability to get healthy this year certainly didn’t help matters.
Rockets waived center Zhou Qi today. Writing was on the wall when they moved him to probable yesterday. Had been out with sprained ankle. Players waived while hurt are still paid. He had a non-guaranteed contract. Well behind Hartenstein as a prospect. @ShamsCharania 1st on move.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 17, 2018
None of Zhou’s contract is guaranteed, so the Rockets have no real penalty from moving on, and that does open up a roster spot. The next logical step is thinking that a deal is possibly on the horizon, and that’s led some to speculate that the Rockets might be working on something to move Carmelo Anthony. That’s not the case, according to The Athletic’s Alykhan Bijani.
Zhou Qi getting waived has nothing to do with Carmelo Anthony and his situation, per source. #Rockets still working on finding a solution on Melo, including possible trades or outright waiving him.— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) December 17, 2018
It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of the intriguing big man, but he never could get on and then stay on the court for an extended period, and considering that one of Houston’s needs appears to be a legitimate big man/forward and with a shot (something we all hoped for Zhou), that should speak volumes as what the team feels they were going to get from him at this time.
I’m a little sad to see him go, but the Rockets obviously have bigger plans for that roster spot somewhere down the line, and I’ll be keeping an eye on his career from afar now.