The Houston Rockets faced a tough decision at the end of the preseason as it pertained to who to cut to reach the league's required number of 15 players with standard contracts. The Rockets ultimately decided to waive Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who they required in the Kevin Porter Jr. deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This was a questionable move, as Boban Marjanovich would've been the better choice, considering his limitations on the court at this stage of his career (35-years-old and unable to move). Robinson-Earl held value around the league as a young 23-year-old prospect who flashed his potential during his two-year stint with the Thunder.
Robinson-Earl was instantly nabbed by the New Orleans Pelicans, who gave him his first start in Wednesday's game against the Denver Nuggets. JRE had 11 points, 9 rebounds, and a team-high of three offensive rebounds, while shooting 1-of-2 from deep, 4-of-4 from the free throw line, and 3-of-7 from the field in the contest.
Rockets' previous decision is already turning into a regret
The Rockets likely entertained calls before releasing him, in hopes of shopping him around the league and finding a trade partner. The LA Clippers would likely be a trade suitor now, as they got unfortunate news regarding Mason Plumlee's injury prognosis, as he could be sidelined as much as two months, due to a MCL injury in his left knee.
Plumlee was playing 17 minutes per contest as a reserve big man, which JRE could've easily replaced, in theory. And the Rockets likely could've gotten back a second-round pick from the Clips, who have a later-round pick in 2024, 2025, 2028, 2029, and 2030.
We'll never know what would've happened if the Rockets had kept JRE past the cutdown date but they'd surely be able to at least have a conversation about a deal with the Clips in light of Plumlee's injury if he was still on the roster.