Rockets Roster & Lineup vs. Sixers; Latest on Kenneth Faried Status

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Getty Houston Rockets guard James Harden

As the Houston Rockets continue to battle through the various injuries that have taken over the roster, there may be help on the way. After the Brooklyn Nets bought Kenneth Faried out of his contract, the expectation is that he’ll sign with the Rockets after clearing waivers.

Faried clears waivers at 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, just three hours prior to the Rockets’ game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Houston hadn’t made a roster move in order to clear up space for the 6-foot-8 forward until roughly the time Faried became a free agent. That wound up changing shortly after, though.

UPDATE: As The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed, the Rockets did have opted to waive James Nunnally.

With that said, there is a positive outlook on the situation at this point, and we’re going to take a look at the latest on Faried and the Rockets roster against the Sixers.

Rockets Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Sixers

Position Expected Starter Backup
Center Nene Hilario Kenneth Faried Marquese Chriss
Power Forward P.J. Tucker Gary Clark
Small Forward Eric Gordon James Ennis James Nunnally
Shooting Guard Austin Rivers Gerald Green
Point Guard James Harden Brandon Knight Vincent Edwards

As updated above, the Rockets made the move most expected, which was to waive Nunnally, who was recently signed to a 10-day contract. But in an interesting shift, Houston proceeded to trade Carmelo Anthony to the Chicago Bulls shortly after, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed.

It’s somewhat surprising that both moves were made. Regardless, it seems the expectation is that Faried will make his debut for the Rockets against Philadelphia, but I’d expect he comes off the bench.

Due to the matchup with Sixers big man Joel Embiid (currently questionable), it would make sense for Houston to start Nene Hilario and for Faried to potentially try his hand at guarding him after. This also allows P.J. Tucker to shift back to power forward and provides him a far better matchup than one with another 7-foot center.

Decision on Handling of Roster With Faried Signing

The Rockets obviously needed to clear the roster spot immediately ahead of Monday’s game, and ESPN’s Bobby Marks previously revealed that the easiest route was Nunnally’s release. This stems from the fact that he could be released without having to clear waivers.

Considering center Clint Capela is out likely through the All-Star break (and possibly longer) the Faried signing is a major need. That became apparent as the game drew closer, as the Rockets made two moves in the span of roughly 30-45 minutes on Monday afternoon.

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