3 Houston Rockets players who won’t be back next season

Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets posted the league’s worst record this season, and these three players will not be back next year.

The Houston Rockets can take one point of solace from the 2020-21 season. It was only 72 games. It started with James Harden showing up out of shape, and then he got his wish to be gone. When it was all said and done, the Rockets posted the league’s worst record (17-55).

As Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle noted, the Rockets used an NBA-record 30 players on their way to worst record in the league.

Center Christian Wood looks like a building block, as does Kevin Porter Jr. But other than them, the Rockets’ roster could look entirely different when next season starts. They currently own three first-round picks, which is a good place to start a rebuild. However, the highest of their picks would go to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a pick swap if they fall out of the top-four in the lottery.

With draft picks and calculated free agent signings, the Rockets could recover quickly in the next few years. But these three players will not be back next season as the rebuild process turns to full-tilt.

3 Houston Rockets players who won’t be back next season

3. Sterling Brown

Brown averaged a shade over 24 minutes per game in 51 games (14 starts) for the Rockets this year. He averaged 8.2 points per game while shooting 42.3 percent from beyond the arc.

At 26 years old, Brown could easily be seen as a veteran who could have value to the Rockets, and he had a solid season. It’s not his fault he was assaulted at a Miami nightclub in April. But the fact he was even there in the environment of a pandemic-shortened season is troubling in another way, and it did not fortify any notion he can be a veteran leader on a young team.

Brown will probably find a solid market in free agency. The Rockets won’t necessarily find it too rich for them, they’ll just have other options they’d rather consider for the same role.

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