#2: Danuel House
The Rockets, during Daryl Morey’s tenure, had a penchant for finding undervalued players and turning them into solid NBA contributors. Danuel House fits that mold as he went from relative obscurity to becoming a key contributor for the Rockets after signing a two-way contract in December of 2018.
House parlayed impressive production off the Houston bench in 2018-19 into a three-year $11.15 million contract. For most of the season, the signing looked to be a masterstroke as House continued to perform in an expanded role.
Then, in the bubble, Danuel House let the entire franchise down when he broke Covid-19 protocols. The error in judgment led to his expulsion from the bubble and left the Rockets without one of their core rotation pieces as they battled the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs.
House needs to prove that he can be trusted off the court as much as he has earned the franchise’s trust on it. The 2020-21 season could be derailed by an outbreak of Covid and making mistakes like the one House made would put the entire team in danger.
The mistake House made was regrettable and hurt the Rockets’ chances in the playoffs but another mishap could see him cut, waived, or traded, which would be an unfortunate end for a player who found a home in Houston when he was on the fringes of professional basketball. There are many NBA players whose careers are cut short not by their ability on the court but by their lack of professionalism off it.
Next: Number 1