With the NBA scheduled to start back playing in the Orlando bubble at the end of the month, we thought it would be a good time to re-familiarize everyone with the entirety of the 17-man roster (up from 15) for the Houston Rockets. We’ll remind you what the first part of the year looked like for each player and then we’ll let you know what you can expect to see inside the bubble. Since we’ll be working our way up to the big dogs, we’ll start off with two guys we haven’t seen much of this year and don’t expect to see when the season restarts.
History: David Nwaba has bounced around the league since becoming a rookie in 2016-17. He’s played for the Lakers, Bulls, Cavaliers and Nets. The Rockets signed him the 6’5” wing to a two-year deal with a team option for 2020-21 last month.
Outlook: Nwaba suffered an Achilles injury back in December and has not played since. He will not travel with the team to Orlando but will remain with the Rockets as he rehabs his Achilles in hopes of being available for next season.
History: After the Rockets waived Isaiah Hartenstein two weeks ago, Chris Clemons officially became the youngest player on the Rockets’ roster. Clemons turns 23 later this month and finds himself as the youngest player on one of the oldest roster by average (29.7) in the NBA.
Outlook: Given the way the Rockets are built, Clemons makes a lot of sense. His 5’9” stature is a strong fit for the small-ball approach. However, given the way the Rockets are built, it’s hard to imagine Clemons getting significant minutes during the restart.
Majority of his minutes during the season came in garbage time, but there were times when he would get some rotational minutes and flash some offensive prowess.
The only time I’d see there being a decent chance for Clemons to play some minutes within the rotation is during the eight-game regular season, more specifically at some point between the sixth and seventh games, where the Rockets face a back-to-back against the Spurs and Pacers.
If the Rockets stick by with their original season plans with Russell Westbrook, he won’t play both of those games. However, with James Harden, Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon all ahead of him on the depth chart, even those minutes will be scarce.