Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey and head coach Kevin McHale decided to not retain any of their preseason additions to fill the 15th roster spot. The last decision came this weekend as the remaining two players Arsalan Kazemi and Joshua Smith (whom many believed was leading the race for the final spot) were waived by the team.
To be fair, it all seemed to be heading in this direction as no one player was clearly standing out or doing enough to impress either the coaching staff or the fans. Add to that the fact the Rockets are hard-capped and it wasn’t worth spending extra money just to fill a spot.
It started a couple hours before the Rockets final preseason game against San Antonio as per Jonathan Feigen, the Rockets released the first four players, Will Cummings, Jeremy Tyler, Denzel Livingston and Chris Walker.
Rockets waive Chris Walker, Jeremy Tyler, Will Cummings and Denzel Livingston. Roster at 16 players.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) October 23, 2015
Saturday Night the Rockets also confirmed via twitter they’ve released Smith and Kazemi.
With the trim the Rockets join three other teams with just 14 players on their roster (Suns, Pelicans and Knicks). Each of these 4 teams could still add someone else should they find the proper fit for their squad. There are some options left in the market and a veteran addition shouldn’t be ruled out.
One option might be center Samuel Dalembert recently waived by the Dallas Mavericks. However, Terrence Jones just returned from injury and Donatas Motiejunas still rehabbing it’s more likely Morey will keep the 15th opening available for a power forward given how thin they are at that position.
With these moves the Rockets current rotation is now as follows:
Key Stats for the released players (preseason):
Joshua Smith: 7 GP, 6.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 15.8 MPG,
Denzel Livingston: 4 GP, 7.5 PPG, 2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 11.5 MPG.
Arsalan Kazemi: 1 GP, 2 PPG, 6 RPG, 1 APG, 12.8 MPG.
Will Cummings: 6 GP, 4.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.5 APG, 12.5 MPG
Jeremy Tyler: 2 GP, 4.0 PPG, 4 RPG, 14.5 MPG
Chris Walker: 3 GP, 5.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 8.3 MPG
GP: Games Played/PPG: Points Per Game/RPG: Rebounds Per Game/MPG: Minutes Per Game/APG: Assists Per Game/SPG: Steals Per Game
Counting down to opening day of the 2015-16 regular season make sure you catch up on our Team Preview Series and our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions prepping you for the October 28th tip-off and as always stay with Space City Scoop for all things Houston Rockets.
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