DK Nation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2022-23 campaign. Here we take a look at the Houston Rockets, who are hoping to take the next step in their rebuild as their collection of young players get comfortable in certain team roles.
Houston Rockets 2022-23 Outlook
Key additions: Jabari Smith, Tari Eason, TyTy Washington
The Rockets made big moves in the first round of the draft, securing three immediate contributors with Smith carrying superstar upside. Houston is leaning heavily on offensive firepower and that continued with this draft class. Look for Smith to get immediate playing time, while Eason and Washington push for minutes off the bench.
Key departures: Christian Wood, John Wall
Wood was frustrated with his role in Houston, and the Rockets also wanted to open up minutes for young big man Alperen Sengun. This was an interesting decision since Wood is now an expiring contract and the Rockets didn’t get a draft asset in return. If Sengun can develop, Houston will feel better about this trade. Wall opted into his deal and agreed to a buyout before joining the Clippers. Wall hasn’t played a ton of games for Houston, so the Rockets don’t mind this move if it means more minutes for backcourt players.
The Rockets don’t expect to play in the postseason, so the goal of this year will be to see how players fit into roles and whether they can exist as a long-term group. Player improvement is the key metric here, even if it doesn’t translate to wins.
Projected starting lineup
Jalen Green, Smith and Sengun should be locked in as starters. The two remaining perimeter spots likely go to Kevin Porter Jr. and Eric Gordon, although the latter might come off the bench. Jae’Sean Tate will also be in the mix for a starting spot.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Alperen Sengun
Sengun could have some value as a big man if he gets heavy minutes in this offense. The Rockets are going to give him touches, and Sengun has shown he can be more mobile than most bigs. If Sengun improves over the course of the season, he could be one of the more underrated fantasy players to round out a lineup.