Waiver wire news proves Rockets made right call with controversial trade

2023 NBA Summer League - Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder
2023 NBA Summer League - Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder / Allen Berezovsky/GettyImages

The 2021 NBA Draft was expected to be a major part of the Houston Rockets' rebuild, as the Rockets drafted Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba, and Josh Christopher all in the first round. 

Sengun and Green have shown the potential to be high-level contributors, while the other two are no longer on the roster, as they were both dealt in the offseason. Garuba was signed by the Golden State Warriors and has remained on the roster through the season.

Christopher, on the other hand, hasn't fared as well. The Arizona State product was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, who released him, and was later signed by the Utah Jazz, who assigned him to their G-League affiliate, Salt Lake City Stars. After five games in the G-Leaguem the Jazz also released Christopher.

Christopher was always a gamble by Rockets GM Rafael Stone, especially with Quentin Grimes, Bones Hyland, Cam Thomas, and Herb Jones on the board still. Stone was seeking a point of attack defender and was banking on Christopher's upside. But after two years, it was clear that he wasn't a mainstay.

Granted, many criticized the Rockets for cutting ties with someone they invested a first-round pick on, especially considering Christopher's lack of playing time (18 minutes as a rookie, 12 minutes in his second year). Many even went so far as to say the Rockets would regret bringing in Dillon Brooks and getting rid of Christopher (imagine that).

The Rockets got this one right.

If Christopher couldn't land a role on the 18-20 Jazz despite averaging 21 points, 5.6 assists, and 5.4 rebounds on their G-League team, then he likely doesn't belong on an NBA roster at all. 

Oh, and as for the Rockets "doing him wrong?" Well, they gave him an opportunity to play in the NBA.

And made him a first round pick, putting $4.6 million in his pocket. Christopher's inability to shoot led to poor spacing, which makes it difficult to justify keeping a player around.

Many blamed Stephen Silas for Christopher's inability to thrive in Houston. But that logic doesn't hold up, since the Grizzlies and Jazz saw enough to realize that he wasn't cut out for the NBA with them either.

It probably won't be said so I'll say it: the Rockets made the right decision in getting rid of Christopher. If anything, the bad decision was drafting him in the first place.