The Houston Rockets just signed William Howard to a two-way deal in place of Chris Clemons, who was signed to a standard contract. What exactly should Rockets’ fans expect from the 26 year-old sniper? Let’s take a look!
After the Houston Rockets converted Chris Clemons‘ two-way contract to a standard NBA deal, it left them with one remaining roster spot, which was essentially the backfill for Clemons’ two-way spot. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Rockets signed 26 year-old forward William Howard of the Salt Lake City Stars to fill that void. This left many Rockets’ fans curious as to who Howard is and what he brings to the table.
For starters, we have to recognize that Howard is unlikely to play that many minutes, because we know Mike D’Antoni isn’t known to play deep into his bench. Clemons is a great example of that, as he’s been shooting 39.1 percent from downtown, yet he has only played 8.2 minutes per game. Howard is a 6-foot-8 forward who is currently averaging 13.1 points per game on 44.3 percent from 3-point range for the SLC Stars, which is the G-League affiliate for the Utah Jazz.
Howard would instantly provide another big who can shoot the triple, which the Rockets certainly could use. Howard has also played five seasons overseas and is a career 36.8 percent 3-point shooter, in addition to a career 9.5 point scorer. During the 2018-19 EuroCup, Howard averaged 10.6 points per game on an insane 45.5 percent from downtown, which is where 4.1 of his 7.3 field goal attempts came from during that season.
Howard also finished fourth in the league in steals during that season, as he had 1.7 steals per game, which would also be an added bonus to a Rockets team which already ranks fifth in the league in steals.
Again, Howard is unlikely to play that many minutes, as he’s going to spend the bulk of his time on the Rio Grande Vipers, but the Houston Rockets have had very little depth when it comes to their bigs. This has resulted in P.J. Tucker playing a career high 36.1 minutes per game, which is concerning considering the fact that the season isn’t even halfway over.
It’ll be interesting to see how many games Howard ends up playing for the Rockets, as the standard rule for a two-way contract is that a player can only spend 45 days on the NBA roster. The Rockets can certainly spread those days out by mainly having Howard play with the Vipers, but you’d have to think there will be days in which he’ll suit up for the Rockets considering their lack of depth. This will especially hold true if the Rockets succeed in their pursuit of landing Robert Covington, because that would require the Rockets to trade away four players, which will leave them desperate for bodies. We’ll have to see how it all pans out, but Howard is an interesting addition.