The Houston Rockets found a diamond in the rough last season in the middle of the year. Even though he faltered in the postseason, the team should look to re-sign him this offseason.
The Houston Rockets aren’t exactly the premier destination for developing young talent, mostly due to the team not rebuilding for quite some time. Instead, they normally focus on getting key free agents that fit in well next to James Harden (with a few exceptions a la Clint Capela).
This year, though, they found someone that they can potentially develop a bit for the future. Danuel House Jr. was signed in December and was instantly a fan favorite. He played hard and hit around 40% of his shots from deep, something the Rockets desperately needed when they were struggling as a team.
In the postseason, however, he looked like a completely different player and was lost out there. He couldn’t hit shots and his defense was pretty bad as well. He had a great season, but still has a ton of room to grow if he wants to contribute on the Rockets further.
He is a free agent, though, and Houston should look to bring him back so that he can continue to improve here with the Rockets.
With his poor postseason, you have to wonder if the Rockets will be able to get him a little bit cheaper this offseason. He’ll still likely be pursued by other teams as he is just 25 and showed some good potential, but he might not get the payday that he could have.
Still, Houston will likely have to delve into the MLE a bit to pay him, and they’ll probably try to split that between him and Austin Rivers. Will either of those guys be willing to accept a little less than they may be worth?
If they can retain him, though, they will now have three young players to try to make into solid rotational pieces, a rarity for the Rockets. House would join Isaiah Hartenstein and Gary Clark as developable prospects who could potentially contribute next year.
Houston needs to start looking to get their average age down a bit, especially with Chris Paul continuing to get higher into his 30s. If they want to stay good for a while longer, finding a young guy to help out the team is a necessity.