We reported earlier last week that second-year center Isaiah Hartenstein was in the plans for the Houston Rockets this season, and the team took the major step to make those plans a reality by signing him today to a three-year deal, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen and Fox Sports’ Mark Berman.
According to NBA sources the Rockets will sign 7-foot center Isaiah Hartenstein today. Played for Vipers in G League last season.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 25, 2018
Hartenstein will sign today, source said. Will be a three-year deal so Rockets dipping into some of that MLE money available. https://t.co/VWad4oZ2F5— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 25, 2018
The final financial terms of the deal have yet to be released, but the Rockets will be utilizing a portion of their mid-level exception in order to consummate the deal.
The American-born German was drafted with the 43rd pick by the Rockets in 2017, and he spent his first year in the G-League, where he looked pretty raw.
The 7’0” center showed up for Vegas Summer League this year looking like a more mature player, however, and the 20-year-old gave a good account of himself, going for 10.3 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 52 percent from the field. He helped anchor a Rockets defense that sparked the team to a 4-1 record in Vegas.
He still has plenty of maturing to do, but management thinks highly of him and believe he has some Clint Capela-like potential in the long term, and though his role this season is uncertain, he has a legit shot to earn some minutes as the third center, and the three-year deal shows Hartenstein is squarely in the team’s long-term plans.
We’ll update the story once financial terms of the deal become available.
Update: The financial terms are reported to be 3-years, $3.9 million, with this season’s $838,464 fully guaranteed, the $1.41 million next season partially guaranteed, and the $1.66 million in 2020-2021 non-guaranteed.
Isaiah Hartenstein's 3-year deal with the Houston Rockets is fully guaranteed this upcoming season, has a partial guarantee the second year, and a non-guaranteed third year, The Athletic has learned.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 26, 2018