Theis came aboard the Houston Rockets in the offseason as a more defensive-minded replacement for the departed Kelly Olynyk when the Chicago Bulls sent him over in a sign and trade on a four-year, $36 million deal, and the Rockets started off the season running a two-big lineup with Theis at center and Christian Wood at power forward.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, Theis’s inability to sufficiently spread the floor had major issues for Houston’s offensive spacing which was not offset enough by Theis’s defensive play to make the two-big lineup viable moving forward. In addition, it also had an effect on Christian Wood’s offensive output, so the team scrapped the look by December and began bringing Theis off of the bench or simply not playing him at all.
That made him a prime candidate to be moved at the trade deadline, as $9 million per year for a guy who can’t even get on the court simply isn’t good business practice, so the front office traded him back to his old team the Boston Celtics in the Dennis Schroder deal.
Theis finished his year in Houston with averages of 8.4 points and 5 rebounds with 46.9 percent shooting from the field across 26 games played, including 21 starts, and 22.5 minutes of action per night.
Bringing him aboard was a failed move by Rafael Stone, but he did get Schroder out of the deal, who was a veteran asset to the team down the stretch, so it wasn’t a total waste.
We had high hope for Armoni Brooks this year coming off of a really nice 20-game run with the Rockets in the previous season in which he closed out the year with seven straight games in double-digit scoring and shot over 38 percent from deep for the whole year. He parlayed that success into a regular contract with the Rockets (formerly on a two-way) before the start of the 2021-2022 season.
It was thought the 23-year-old sniper could feast off of looks created from Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood, but Brooks just never got going this year despite given every chance by the Rockets.
He played in 41 games this past year, averaging just 6.2 points per night, and his three-point shot — normally a strength — just never got into rhythm, as Brooks shot just 30 percent from beyond the arc and 34.7 percent from the field.
On top of that, his defense was relatively atrocious, and if those long bombs aren’t falling, Brooks didn’t have much to fall back on.
As such, he was released by the squad at the trade deadline to make room for Dennis Schroder, and though it was thought he could end up back in the fold on a two-way or with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, he instead caught on with the Toronto Raptors. His shooting percentages since moving north of the border weren’t any better — and in fact got worse — but Brooks is playing the postseason right now, so that’s a positive end result for him. By all accounts, he’s a good kid, so it’s nice to see him on a playoff squad.