As the Rockets looked to fill their roster with one more veteran player before the start of minicamp this week, they’re being rejected by Iman Shumpert. That’s because the veteran shooting guard is rejecting Houston’s contract offer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Shumpert spent the last half of the season with the Rockets after being acquired via trade from the Sacramento Kings. In 20 appearances and one start, Shumpert averaged 4.6 points in 19.1 minutes per game. However, his playing time and role completely declined when the postseason started. He appeared in eight of 11 games and averaged just 13.6 minutes per contest.
The 29-year-old Shumpert won an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and had served as the starter at shooting guard at the beginning of the season before being replaced in the starting lineup due to injuries.
It’s unclear what Shumpert’s options are right now at the moment, but considering he just rejected a job offer from one of the top teams in the NBA, one has to think there’s a market for him.
With that said, this isn’t a good look for the Rockets as they’re being stood up by a role player who isn’t in very high demand — Shumpert remains a free agent just a week prior to the start of camp for NBA teams.
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Rockets Doing Work in September
Although the Rockets had a championship roster from the minute they acquired Russell Westbrook via trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder in July, general manager Daryl Morey continues to make moves even in the month of September.
Though the Rockets were rebuffed in their attempt to bring back Shumpert, they did make a couple of noteworthy moves during the first couple of weeks of September. They signed one of their most important players in Eric Gordon to a four-year, $75.6 million contract extension and re-signed veteran big man Nene Hilario to a two-year, $20 million deal.
In other words, Morey is fully trying to re-stock his roster as the team looks to capitalize on the Golden State Warriors not being a factor as they were in previous seasons. The Warriors had defeated the Rockets four out of the past five postseasons as they represented the Western Conference in the NBA Finals in each of those seasons.
No Contract Talks Between Mike D’Antoni and Rockets
Contract talks are dead for now between Mike D’Antoni and the Rockets, according to The Athletic’s Sam Amick.
Rockets owner Tilman J. Fertitta told Amick that contract talks would be revisited after the season.
Well, I can tell you this, I really like our coach, ok? I really like him a lot. And if I’m a betting man, I bet you he’s here again the following year, ok? But it’s ok. He’s going to play out this contract, and he and I will sit down and both of us will walk out of the room happy.
To D’Antoni’s credit, his message was the same as his boss — you get deals done in the summer and you go to work during the season.
“You try and take care of business in the summertime,” D’Antoni said of his contractual status. “Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. So be it, it didn’t work out. We both tried.”
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