Houston Rockets guard Ty Ty Washington had a season filled with DNPs, moments in the NBA that showed his potential, and trips to the Valley, where he thrived. The Rockets drafted Washington 29th overall, a pick they received in the Christian Wood trade with the Dallas Mavericks.
Washington was seen as a player with great potential and battled Daishen Nix for the backup point guard position behind Kevin Porter Jr. for most of the off-season. Washington would end up third on the depth chart to start the season. Eventually, he would be sent to the Rockets G-League affiliate, the defending champions Rio Grande Valley Vipers. That would be a familiar theme for Washington all season as he bounced back and forth between the Vipers and the Rockets.
Washington played 32 games for the Rockets and started two of those games. Washington's best game in the NBA came in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 4th, where he put up an NBA career-high 20 points.
Most of Washington's success came with the Vipers, including his career high in points and the most points any player scored all season in the G-League. Washington scored 53 points with ten rebounds and four assists in the Vipers win over the Stockton Kings. He became only the 24th player in G-League history to score 50 points.
Washington would average 26.6 points and 7.6 assists in the regular season. Washington would join the Vipers for the playoffs and help the sixth-seed Vipers advance to the Finals for the second straight season. Despite the Vipers falling in the Finals to the Delaware Blue Coats 2-0, Washington dominated in both games. Despite the loss, scoring 34 points in game one and 38 in game two.
Washington showed that was too good for the G-League, but Rockets General Manager Rafael Stone believed it was the best route for Washington this season and wished he would have had more time with the Vipers.
I thought we did him a disservice. We probably should have just let him just hang in the G-League for a little bit so he could really get comfortable and he finally did and he really led that team.
Going into next season with the Rockets looking to move to the next phase of the rebuild, every player will be under much more scrutiny, and competition will be even higher for playing time. Even though players like Nix may not be on the roster going forward, the Rockets may still elect to bring in a more seasoned veteran at point guard if they secure the number one spot or a pick after number two, where most people have Scoot Henderson being drafted at.
Regardless Washington will have a chance to carve out a spot on the Rockets next season, coming off a successful stint with the Vipers and having another offseason to improve his overall game. So expect Washington to have a more significant role on the Rockets in the 2023-24 season.