Rockets sign free agent Willie Cauley-Stein 

New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Houston Rockets have signed free agent Willie Cauley-Stein to a one-year contract, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. 

Cauley-Stein is expected to compete for a roster spot with Bruno Fernando at the center position. The Rockets currently have 20 players under contract and will need to waive or trade a player to officially sign Cauley-Stein. It has yet to be reported how the Rockets intend to open up a roster spot. 

Related. Rockets re-sign Bruno Fernando. dark

Cauley-Stein has been a serviceable backup center throughout his career. He is an active defender and a strong roll man due to his length and athleticism. 

He’s coming off the worst season of his career after playing in only 20 games and posting the lowest block percentage and true shooting percentage of his career between the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers.  

Cauley-Stein will have an uphill battle making the Rockets roster out of training camp. Alperen Sengun is set to be the Rockets starting center, and Usman Garuba, also a 2021 first-round pick, is expected to be the backup. Boban Marjanovic remains on the roster, and the Rockets signed Bruno Fernando earlier in the offseason. Even if Marjanovic is moved or waived, it still leaves one roster spot for two centers. 

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