Houston Rockets: Rio Grande Valley Vipers Season Preview
By Megan Trevino
An early look at the upcoming season for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers including the roster, playoffs chances, and more.
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers last season was amazing, despite the devastating loss to the Raptors 905 in the Finals.
The talented roster included Gary Payton II, Chris Johnson, Isaiah Taylor, Joshua Smith, Chris Walker, and Rockets’ assignee Kyle Wiltjer. Other players like Chinanu Onuaku and Darius Morris ranked in the league in rebounds and assists per game.
The RGV placed 2nd in the Southwest division with a record of 32 -18. In addition, the Vipers are the 2017 Western Conference Finals Champions after defeating the Oklahoma City Blue.
Changes to Roster
During the summer, the Vipers had two players sign overseas.
- Joshua Smith, who is playing for TNT KapTropa in the Philippines
- Markus Kennedy, who recently signed with the Italian team, the Flex Pistoia.
The Vipers also lost assignee Kyle Wiltjer since the Rockets traded him to the LA Clippers this summer.
Meanwhile, I am excited to see Isaiah Taylor and Troy Williams, who I believe will spend the majority of the season with the Rockets.
So What’s New?
Despite losing key players, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers will acquire Demetrius Jackson, who recently signed a two-way contract with the Rockets. The two-way contract allows Jackson to spend an unlimited amount of time on the Vipers roster.
In addition, Zhou Qi is expected to spend his rookie season in the Rio Grande Valley. Joining the Vipers will allow Zhou to receive much more playing time that will aid in his development.
I predict the Vipers will rank 1st in the Southwest Division and reach the playoffs this coming season. Why? Well, the Vipers have had four Finals appearances in the past 8 seasons and ranked in the top of the league offensively. Last year, the Vipers had an offensive rating of 113.7, which ranked first in the league. The team also ranked first in the league with a 54.5% eFG.
What Do You Think?
Leave your comments below about what you expect from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this coming season.
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