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Rockets 2021 player recaps: Danuel House Jr.

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NBA: Houston Rockets at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Danuel House Jr.

The best thing that happened for Danuel House Jr. in the 2020-2021 season was the way James Harden handled his request for a trade.

Believe it or not, the scandal that happened with House in the bubble last season was the biggest drama that surrounded the Houston Rockets for a solid amount of time. Honestly, that feels like the good ol’ days compared to what would ensue for the organization. For House, the Harden drama was actually a reprise from what he had done.

In reality, the best thing for House this season would have been coming out and taking advantage of the new opportunity that presented itself with the team dealing with injuries and losing its star players. Unfortunately, House was also a part of the injury issues, playing only 36 games this season — exactly half of the shortened 72-game year.

House didn’t exactly show out when did play, either. Essentially all the way across the board, House’s stats had dropped from his previous season. House went down to 25.9 minutes a game after shooting up to 30.4 minutes the previous season; 8.8 points, down from 10.5; shot a career-low 40.4% from the field and a Rockets career-low 34.6% from deep; and he started in 13 less games than he played after starting in only 11 less games than he played in 2020 — despite playing in 27 more games that year.

When a role player misses the amount of time House does with the kind of injuries that he had, you don’t want to necessarily want to say it was a bust. But as of right now, it’s looking more like a downward trend than just an off season. After a surprisingly productive 2019 stint with Houston, House was signed to a three-year contract and expected to take the leap to a bonafide starter in 2020. So it’s more than disappointing that he followed up a less-than-efficient 2020 season with a very inefficient and injury-riddled 2021.

Looking forward to 2022, House will be in the final year of his three-year, $11.1 million-dollar extension. While he has been a pivotal part of the past three years for Houston — proving himself to be a commodity as a shooter, slasher, and defender — it’s hard to imagine that the team will move forward with him if he doesn’t make that leap that his skill promised two seasons ago. Or there is the possibility that if House levels off somewhere in between his promising season and last season, the Rockets can continue with him in a lesser role and a similar contract to the one he’s in now.

If House can get to shades of his former self, he would be a productive part of this young core.