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Houston Rockets: Alan Williams to Play in China

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Houston Rockets Summer League standout Alan Williams has signed a contract to play in China next season, according to Shams Charania of Real GM.

Undrafted UCSB forward Alan Williams has signed to play next season with Qingdao of the Chinese Basketball Association, source tells RealGM.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 25, 2015

Benefiting from the injuries of Rockets promising young talents—Clint Capela, Nick Johnson (traded to Denver) and first-round draft pick Sam Dekker—Williams had an opportunity to show off his skills during the NBA Vegas Summer League, where he averaged 20.5 points per game on 50 percent shooting, and also managed to pull in 11.8 rebounds per game.

Williams, who played four collegiate seasons at UC Santa Barbara, went undrafted this past June despite averaging 17.3 points and 11.9 rebounds as a senior. In the Orlando Summer League, Williams played 8.1 minutes per game for the Charlotte Hornets, hardly enough time to demonstrate his skill set.

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets, known for recognizing undervalued talent, picked up Williams for the Vegas league and watched him exceed expectations. Williams was one of only three rookies selected to All NBA Summer League Teams. Norman Powell, the 46th pick of the Toronto Raptors made the first team, while Williams and Denver first round pick Emmanuel Mudiay were chosen for the second team. Williams’ performance left front offices scratching their heads.

While his last two seasons at UCSB were strong, his senior year was not as impressive as his junior year. It is likely that the slight drop off in performance during his final year at UCSB, and the fact that he is an undersized center at 6-foot-8, led teams to look past him in this year’s draft. Coming out of the summer league, it seemed as though the Rockets, along with other teams, would have a strong inclination to add Williams to their roster.

All that being said, Williams has decided to play with Qingdao of the Chinese basketball association, where he is likely to make more money than had he signed with an NBA team.

Williams, however, is still likely to make an NBA roster in future seasons. It is even a possibility that Williams could join an NBA team late this upcoming season since the season in China ends sooner than the NBA season.

Either way, Williams proved that he deserves a spot on an NBA roster.

Next: Lawson Trade: Success or Failure?

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