The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Houston Rockets, who have entered a rebuild with a promising young core after trading franchise player James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets last season.
Houston Rockets 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Usman Garuba
The Rockets knew they were headed for a rebuild after trading Harden, but this is still an impressive haul in Year 1. Green, the No. 2 overall pick, has experience in the G-League and is a promising scorer. Sengun fills a need in the frontcourt, while Christopher and Garuba look to be productive wing players. Green is the only player who appears to have “superstar” potential, but landing four useful players to start a rebuild is great.
Key departures: None
Harden brought the Rockets a big haul when he got dealt, but the way he exited was sure to leave a bad taste in the franchise’s mouth. Houston had been a contending team on the doorstep of the Finals with Harden. Now, with former GM Daryl Morey also out, this looks to be a more traditional approach to team construction.
This is a rebuild, so the expectations are to show growth. Veterans John Wall and Eric Gordon will have to prove they are viable contributors going forward when the team is ready to contend, while the young core needs to mesh against better competition. This season will be all about growing pains and overcoming them.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: John Wall
The veteran point guard is carrying a massive contract, one Houston is not going to be able to trade without attaching significant draft capital. The Rockets, according to Shams Charania, are trying to find a new team for Wall. At his best, Wall is one of the top point guards in the league capable of delivering good fantasy value every night. He’s in Houston for now, but could be on the way out.