Waived: Looking Back at Danuel House’s Houston Rockets Tenure 

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The Houston Rockets have waived Danuel House to open up a roster spot to sign Garrison Mathews to an NBA contract. Reports suggest that the Rockets front office didn’t believe they could find a trade for House and wanted to allow him to have full control of where he plays next. 

House is in the final year of a three-year $11.15 million contract that he signed in July of 2019. In the final year of his contract, he will make $3.9 million. 

Danuel House was the second longest-tenured Rocket, behind Eric Gordon, and his four-season stint with the franchise started as a triumph in player development before becoming emblematic of the team’s decline. 

Danuel House's Winding Road back to Houston

House, a Houston native, started his college career with two seasons at the University of Houston before transferring to Texas A&M. A low-efficiency high-volume scorer in college, House went undrafted in 2016. 

He was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Wizards and spent most of the 2016-17 season with their G-League affiliate the Delaware 87ers. House was waived by the Wizards in March of 2017 after one NBA minute where he registered a singular rebound. 

Over the next year and a half House bounced around the NBA. He was signed and waived by the Rockets, signed a two-way contract with the Phoenix Suns, signed and waived by the Golden State Warriors, signed and waved again by the Rockets, and finally signed to a two-way contract with the Rockets in December of 2018. 

House finds a Home

House’s third time with the Rockets was the charm. Starting in the 2018-19 season, he slowly built a key reserve role for himself on one of the league’s best teams. 

In his first season in Houston, he played in 39 games averaged 9.4 points per game on 41.6-percent shooting from 3-point range on 4.6 attempts. His combination of shooting volume and efficiency from distance earned him a three-year $11.15 million contract. 

The next season his role expanded substantially. He played in 63 games, starting 52, and averaged 30.4 minutes per contest. While his shooting efficiency dipped to 36.3-percent, his solid floor spacing and defense helped facilitate the Rockets' 2019-20 roster that featured no true center. 

The Beginning of the End

In 2020, the NBA shut down and restarted with the NBA playoff bubble. At the time, House was an important cog on an NBA playoff team. However, a poor decision to break bubble protocols led to his expulsion from the bubble and cost the Rockets dearly.

The Rockets would eventually be ousted by the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in five games, but House’s lack of judgment left a sour taste in the Rockets fanbase. 

Since his infamous error at the bubble his career, and the Rockets franchise for that matter, have spiraled in a downward trajectory. The Rockets would trade both Russell Westbrook and James Harden following the 2019-20 season, as House struggled for health and consistency. 

In 2020-21, House averaged 8.8 points a game on 34.6-percent 3-point shooting. Once an admirable floor spacer, all House did was take up space. The start to the 2021-22 season has been equally as poor from House. 

His 3-point shooting has dipped to 29.4-percent and he is averaging a career-low in minutes and points per game. House’s continued struggles made him a punching bag for certain segments of the Rockets fanbase. 

While House’s career in Houston sputtered out, his emergence as a core contributor was a welcome victory in player development. The end of Danuel House’s tenure became emblematic of the Rockets’ current struggles in the standings, but the hometown kid’s development into a solid role player over a two-year stretch should be fans lasting memory, not his bubble bursting ways. 

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