Rockets rumors: James Nunnally likely to be cut to open roster spot

Kenneth Faried #35 of the Brooklyn Nets(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kenneth Faried #35 of the Brooklyn Nets(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets plan to sign Kenneth Faried once he clears waivers and the team will likely cut James Nunnally to open a roster spot.

Houston Rockets’ general manager, Daryl Morey, is always analyzing the landscape of the NBA, just waiting on the right time to pull the trigger on the right player. Kenneth Faried became available after being bought out by the Nets and he plans to sign with the Houston Rockets once he clears waivers, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Faried will be officially waived from Brooklyn on Saturday and will clear waivers on Monday, giving the Rockets until Jan 21 to clear an open spot. Carmelo Anthony hasn’t played with the team in two months as he tries to find his next destination and Houston is actively trying to trade Anthony, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Rockets could just waive Melo, but they’re obviously committed to getting something in return for him, even if it’s just a draft pick. The Rockets will be hard-pressed to complete a deal for Melo by Monday, so the team will likely cut James Nunnally, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Rockets will continue to probe for Carmelo Anthony trades to clear roster spot for Kenneth Faried, but have no intention of waiving ‘Melo, league sources tell ESPN. More likely scenario is releasing James Nunnally, who is on 10-day contract.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 19, 2019

James Nunnally signed a 10-day contract with Houston to help replace Danuel House Jr., as he and the Rockets couldn’t come to terms on a deal. Nunnally is a 3-and-D player with a great jump shot, but with the return of Eric Gordon and James Ennis, he is easily replaceable.

With Clint Capela out, the Rockets need a center more desperately than a wing, and Kenneth Faried is a good fill in until Capela returns. Faried spent most of his career in Denver playing power forward, but he can’t nail outside shots, so his minutes with the Nuggets started to decline in the 2016-17 season as a result.

Faried is a high energy undersized big who excels as a rim-runner and as a rebounder and he’ll fit in well with Houston by sliding down to the center position. He should find a lot of opportunities for lobs and dump off passes under the rim from James Harden and Chris Paul, much like Capela does.

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Depending on how well Faried plays with the Rockets over the next month or so, he could receive a permanent position as a backup center in Houston for the rest of the season. His high energy as a backup should certainly be infectious for the team going forward.