Houston Rockets: Daniel Theis signing grade
In a vacuum, signing Daniel Theis for four years and $36 million is a good bit of business, but this is the real world, not a vacuum. The Rockets entered the offseason with Christian Wood, added Alperun Sengun and Usman Garuba in the draft, and now Theis is set to join the fold.
The Rockets' frontcourt rotation is incredibly small and Theis doesn't solve that problem. Listed at 6'8, Theis plays bigger than he is but not four inches bigger. The Rockets are committing to a smaller more mobile frontcourt for the next few seasons. They may end up wishing they had a bit more size.
As mentioned earlier, the Rockets already have Christian Wood and added two rookies to their frontcourt. Which raises the question, what exactly is Theis' role? Could Wood and Theis share the court together? Absolutely, but that means fewer opportunities for Sengun and Garuba.
Will Theis be the Rockets' backup center? He'd make an incredible one, but rebuilding teams shouldn't be spending $9 million a season on a backup center. This brings us to the final confounding part of the Theis signing, its length.
Theis is now on the Rockets' books until the summer of 2025. His average annual salary of $9 million isn't a problem but it's not the best use of resources. Theis makes the Rockets better but only marginally. He'll cut into the two rookies' reps, is set to be in Houston for four seasons, and he makes landing a top-five pick a little less likely.
In a vacuum, Daniel Theis for $9 million a season is great business. For the Rockets, it raises some questions. Nwaba is an A+, Theis is a C+, the Rockets get a B+. Not a bad first day of free agency.