3. Danuel House Jr.
Danuel House Jr. seemingly came out of nowhere to be a major contributor for the Rockets in the regular season. After failing to stick with an NBA team and playing in the G-League, House finally got some real playing time in Houston.
He took advantage of his opportunity, averaging 9.4 points and 3.6 rebounds on a team-high 41.6 percent shooting from 3-point range. Obviously, he’s a very good spot-up shooter and he has enough athleticism and skill to put the ball on the floor and finish above the rim. His athletic ability could really help him flourish next season, as the presence of Russell Westbrook will create more opportunities for everyone on the team to play in transition.
In the postseason, however, House looked like a player without much experience. He averaged just 4.9 points on 29.7 percent shooting from the field and he didn’t play defense at a high enough level to get him consistent minutes. In fact, House struggled so much that he didn’t play in the last four games of Houston’s postseason and he scored just three points in his two appearances in the Western Conference Semifinals.
In July, House signed a three-year, $11 million deal with Houston. He will be a big part of the team and he has the potential to start at small forward as soon as this season. He showed flashes of the type of player he can be in this league, but his disappearing act in the playoffs was a bit worrisome.
House has a guaranteed contract, now it’s time for him to really prove that he not only deserves to be in the league but that he can play a significant role on a contender.
Next: No. 2