Another season has concluded for the Houston Rockets. After last year's turbulent season that led to the worst record in the league, Rockets fans were not expecting much more this season when it came to wins. However, there were some excellent individual performances this year, even with that being said.
Jalen Green became the player most Rockets fans were hoping he would become. Kevin Porter Jr.'s play to end the year was encouraging, and Alperen Sengun was a fan favorite all year. This is the time of year when we evaluate each player on the team.
We will start with two players who have played for the G-League affiliate (soon to be G-League Champions), Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the Rockets throughout the season.
One is on a standard contract and just had a triple-double in Game 1 of the FInals, and the other is the league MVP who just put up the second-highest scoring game in G-League Finals history. I am talking about Daishen Nix and Trevelin Queen. Let's take a look back at both players' seasons.
Daishen Nix is sometimes the forgotten member of the G-League Ignite team that had future lottery picks Jalen Green and Johnathan Kuminga on its roster. In last year's draft, Nix went undrafted and had to take the long road to get to the NBA.
Nix has played 24 games this year for the Rockets and averaged over 3 points a game in that span. You look at those numbers, and they may not be that impressive. What is impressive was Nix's time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where Nix played a much more significant role this season. In 27 games this year with the Vipers, Nix averaged 22.5 points and 7.6 rebounds. This is not even counting the 30-point triple-double he just had in Game 1 of the G-League Finals. Here is Queen talking about how important it is to have Nix back with the Vipers.
We was the number one team offensively. So when he got back, it was so easy for everybody else to get there because they’re so worried about him getting to the rim. He’s an excellent playmaker. So it’s easier for everybody else when he’s on the court.
Nix impressed the Rockets so much during the season that they converted his two-way contract to a standard four-year deal.
OFFICIAL: #Rockets have converted rookie guard Daishen Nix from a two-way contract into a standard NBA contract.— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 15, 2022
He has appeared in 27 games for the @RGVVipers while averaging 19.7 ppg, 6.0 apg, 5.6 rpg and 2.3 spg. pic.twitter.com/A5jNsFIvGL
Nix may not have had the opportunity in the NBA as of yet, but his continued stellar play for the Vipers and the possibility of leading them to a G-League championship may give him that opportunity next year. Also, the backup point guard position could be up for grabs with Dennis Schroder possibly moving on.
Queen is in the same boat as Nix when it comes to lack of playing time with the Rockets. Queen only played in 10 games for the Rockets, but like Nix, he wasn't signed because of his showing in Houston. Queen was signed to a two-way contract because of his outstanding play all year with the Vipers.
In 19 games with the Vipers, Queen averaged 25.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 5.2 assists and led the league in steals at 3.3 a game. Those numbers led to Queen bringing home the G-League MVP.
An impact player on both ends of the court!— NBA G League (@nbagleague) April 7, 2022
After averaging 25.3 PTS, 6.6 REB, 5.2 AST & 3.3 STL for the West’s No. 1 seed @RGVVipers, Trevelin Queen is your 2021-22 @Kia NBA G League Most Valuable Player.
Read More: https://t.co/MyjN28iWod pic.twitter.com/XLL526RTFq
Queen didn't stop in the regular season. As mentioned earlier, he just had one of the greatest G-League Finals games of all time when he scored 44 points in a Vipers Game 1 win.
Queen has had a couple of stints with the Rockets in the last two years and has yet to get the proper playing time to show if he can make it at the next level. But even if it is not with the Rockets, I have to imagine Queen will get that chance somewhere in the NBA next year. Queen has shown he can be an instant offense but also showed he can be one of the best players in the league at playing the passing lanes.
With his MVP and Finals performance, Queen is showing why he should have a real opportunity next year in the NBA.