Danuel House Jr. has played extremely well for the Houston Rockets as a starting small forward and he should be signed to the team for the rest of the year.
However, House’s NBA days on his two-way contract are dwindling down. House can only spend 45 days with the Rockets on a two-way contract and any games, practices or workouts with the team will cost him a day. The 25-year-old could be out of NBA days by Monday if he plays in Houston’s upcoming games against Cleveland, Orlando and Memphis.
Fortunately, the Rockets are working with House’s agent on a standard contract that would keep him on the roster for at least the rest of the season, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
With James Ennis back and Eric Gordon nearing a return, the Rockets could send House back to the G-League, but that would be a mistake. The Rockets have won 12 of their last 15 games and House has averaged 8.9 points on a sizzling 41.8 percent shooting from downtown over that span.
The Rockets signed Gary Clark to a three year, $3.7 million deal earlier this season largely to replace Carmelo Anthony. Although, House has played so well that he has essentially replaced Clark, who is unlikely to receive any playing time once Houston is completely healthy.
The Rockets’ offensive rating clocks in at 114.3 when House is on the floor. House’s net rating is 6.0, which ranks higher than James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon. Sure, some of House’s advanced metrics are probably skewed due to a smaller sample size, but it’s hard to ignore the impact he’s had in the last few weeks.
Furthermore, House has played better than James Ennis as a starting small forward. The Rockets are actually being out scored by 2.4 points per 100 possessions when Ennis is on the floor. House is a better perimeter defender than Ennis, as he doesn’t get beat off the dribble as often and he doesn’t pick up as many unnecessary fouls. House is also shooting a higher percentage from beyond the 3-point line than Ennis, which obviously makes him more valuable to Houston’s offense.
If House keeps up this level of play, he could start for the rest of the year. Having Eric Gordon, James Ennis and Gerald Green coming off the bench makes Houston a much deeper team. Give Danuel House a proper NBA contract, he has definitely earned it.