Summer LeagueThis week we have seen the likes of Justise Winslow and Stanley Johnson for their respective teams in the Orlando tourney and yesterday Jahlil Okafor kicked off the second tourney in Utah. The Houston Rockets didn’t compete in Orlando and won’t in Utah, but as usual they will have a team in attendance for the tournament in Las Vegas.
Rockets: Las Vegas TournamentHouston will be one of 24 teams competing in the Summer League, 14 of the teams being from this year’s playoff bracket. Some of the other competition will include nine teams that were in the NBA’s Draft Lottery and a D-League Select squad.
The tournament will be hosted by UNLV at their two gymnasiums and it will run from July 10th to July 20th. Each team will get three games to show what they have brought to the Vegas desert, then each team will be seeded in the Summer League Tournament depending on their first three outings.
Last season the Rockets made it all the way to the championship of the tournament, unfortunately they fell to the Sacramento Kings led by Glen Rice, Junior. Speaking of Rice, Jr. let’s take a look at who will be running the floor for the Rockets in Vegas:
Houston Rockets Summer League Roster
Player (Most Recent Team)Nick Johnson (Houston Rockets)Clint Capela (Houston Rockets)Sam Dekker (Wisconsin University)Montrezl Harrell (Louisville University)Will Cummings (Temple University)Denzel Livingston (Incarnate Word)Glen Rice, Jr. (Rio Grande Valley)Jaron Johnson (Rio Grande Valley)Christian Wood (UNLV)D’ Angelo Harrison (St. John’s University)Le’Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State University)
— Christian Wood (@Chriswood_5) June 27, 2015
There are also a few players that are still trying to prove they belong on the Summer League roster, those guys include: Jarvis Threatt (Rio Grande Valley), J.J. Avila (Colorado State), Aubrey Coleman (University of Houston) and Chris Walker (Florida). The Rockets have a few more spots to fill and they will keep bringing players in until they get who they want.
The Rockets will also be waiting to see if K.J. McDaniels remains on the roster, if so he could also join the team for the Summer League tournament. Recently ESPN Rockets reporter Calvin Watkins tweeted that assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff would take over the Summer League coaching duties. Very normal for a head coach to appoint an understudy to work the tournament and gain experience.
In other news, JB Bickerstaff will coach the Rockets summer league team in Las Vegas.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) July 3, 2015
D-League Select vs. Houston Rockets – Friday, July 10th at 9 PM
Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets – Sunday, July 12th at 3:30 PM
Toronto Raptors vs. Houston Rockets – Monday, July 13th at 9 PM
July 15th – July 20th Double-Elimination Tournament
Houston will start by taking on the All-Star team from the NBA’s D-League which has players such as Devin Ebanks and Tony Mitchell. Then an early game against Phoenix on Saturday and a final round game against the Toronto Raptors young prospects.
There is a good chance the Rockets can come out of the round-play 3-0 with such a stacked roster. Players that were passed on in the draft such as Christian Wood and Le’Bryan Nash will get their chance to shine and who knows, maybe GM Daryl Morey and the Rockets find a gem in this group.
The official roster presented to the NBA with the final few selections will be released in the next two days prior to the team flying to Vegas.