5 Houston Rockets who may not be back next season
1. Daishen Nix
Daishen Nix' rookie campaign in 2021-22 wasn't great, but many were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because he was an undrafted guard who didn't have the benefit of college coaching and tutelage. So although he didn't quite do anything extraordinary and his shooting splits weren't good (40.3 percent from the field/26.9 percent from three/53.3 percent from the charity stripe), he got the benefit of the doubt.
This was especially the case after showing promise in the G-League and leading the Rio Grande Vipers to the G-League championship, where Nix averaged 25.5 points, 9.5 assists, and 11.5 rebounds in the G-League Finals. Nix's play drew praise from then-Vipers coach Mahmoud Abdelfattah.
"He leads by example. The way that he plays, Nix could've had five or six triple-doubles. He can knock down four or five threes. He can have 7 or 8 points and have 14 or 15 assists,
When we had Nix, we played at a whole different pace, because he was drawing multiple defenders. It's the Giannis effect. I think he has a long NBA career ahead of him. And without him, we definitely do not win the G-League championship."
Abdelfattah is a basketball savant and knows his stuff, so that goes to show how he was viewed after the G-League championship.
And heading into the 2022-23 season, the belief was that Nix was simply too good for the G-League and that he'd leap frog Rockets rookie TyTy Washington as the reserve point guard. But Nix's time in year two was disastrous.
Better yet abysmal. Nix finished as one of the most inefficient players in the entire NBA and pulled off a nearly impossible feat: having more turnovers than field goals made throughout his career (112 vs 108). Even in his best stretches of basketball, Nix was oftentimes "The Dribbler", dribbling the air out of the ball or attempting bad shots, particularly floaters that he'd made.
The turnovers were horrendous, especially for the lack of playing time. If Nix had displayed the ability to defend, it could've shielded some of his limitations.
But the Rockets will surely be getting rid of the 6-5 point guard and former five-star high school prospect, especially since his $1.8 million salary in 2023-24 is non-guaranteed.