3 Takeaways from the Houston Rockets’ Summer League Team
The Houston Rockets’ were 4-0 in Las Vegas before losing to the Collin Sexton led-Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Summer League playoffs. Some of the players raised some eyebrows, while others just could not seem to get it going. With that being said, here are three things we learned about the Rockets.
#1: De’Anthony Melton might be one of the biggest steals of the draft
Although Melton was forced to sit out last season for USC due to ongoing FBI investigations, he was still a popular choice in many experts’ mock drafts. Unfortunately, on draft night the narrative changed and the Encino, California native slid all the way down into the bottom half of the second round; this puzzled many. Thus, when the Rockets took him with the 46th overall pick, not many were surprised – Rockets GM Daryl Morey did it again. Hype can only go so far, but if Melton’s summer league performances have any indication on how his career will fare then buckle up. In five games, Melton averaged 16.4 PPG while showing his ability to score from deep, in transition and through penetration. His game doesn’t stop there; he also contributed 7.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game. He does need to work on efficiency and three-point shooting, but his defensive tenacity and competitiveness could provide a much-needed spark for the Rockets off the bench this season.
#2 Don’t rule out Danuel House
There is no secret that House has ties to Houston; after all, he was born in the city and suited up as a Houston Cougar for two years before transferring to Texas A&M. House played as a member of the Phoenix Suns last season, bouncing back-and-forth between the NBA and the D-League. As a member of the Rockets’ summer league roster, the Houston native made the most out of every opportunity. The 6’7’’ guard/forward averaged 16.8 PPG on 41% total shooting. He also added 5.2 RPG and 3.2 APG. In five games, House did not shy away from the spotlight; he beat defenders off the dribble, showed his offensive craftiness around the rim, and hit the three-ball with consistency (perfect for the Rockets’ system). Losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency caused Morey to get a wing in James Ennis, but they apparently aren’t finished. Even if they sign Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony, could we still see House suiting up as a result of a two-way contract?
#3 Vince Edwards still has a ways to go
When the Rockets traded for Vince Edwards, the 52nd overall pick in the 2018 draft, with the Utah Jazz in return for cash considerations, there was no doubt that Houston was looking for a young wing who could hit the outside shot. At Purdue, Edwards was just that. However, in his four summer league appearances, he has averaged a mere 7.8 points per contest while going 12/34 from the field (35%). Fortunately for him, he will have time to grow as a member of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets’ D-league affiliate, considering Houston’s roster is pretty much complete at this point.