Rockets Spurned by Another Veteran, Won’t Report to Camp

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Getty Rockets' James Harden

It looks like another veteran has spurned the Houston Rockets.

Less than a week prior, veteran guard Iman Shumpert rejected the Rockets’ contract offer, electing to remain a free agent rather than signing a deal with a team that is expected to contend for a championship.

While that was a unique situation considering you don’t see unemployed players reject contract offers very often, it appears Shumpert wasn’t the only one. According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, former Rockets forward Luc Mbah a Moute has also rejected the opportunity to join Houston.

The former Rockets player, who helped lead the team to a Western Conference Finals appearance during the 2017-18 season, has rejected the opportunity to join the team for minicamp in Las Vegas — a minicamp that is being attended by several veterans looking for contract offers from Houston.

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Rockets Still Need to Fill Out Remainder of Roster

The Rockets had expected to bring six veterans to minicamp — not including Shumpert. It was a list that also featured the likes of Thabo Sefolosha (now under contract), Nick Young, Terrence Jones, Raymond Felton and Corey Brewer. As you can see from the list, all of the aforementioned players have something in common — they’re either former Rockets or former teammates of Russell Westbrook. Obviously, Lbah a Moute fit in the former category.

Houston is desperately looking for veterans to fill out their roster. With 10 veteran players under contract and considering they’re maxed out as far as salary cap space is concerned, they’re basically going to have to fill out their roster on minimum contracts.

However, if they continue being rejected by veterans, they’re going to have a hard time filling out the roster before the season starts on October 24.

Rockets Owner Doesn’t Know Why Rockets Cut Carmelo Anthony

And in other Rockets news, team owner Tilman Fertitta has no idea why his own team cut ties with Carmelo Anthony just 10 games into the 2018-19 season.

While doing an interview for his new book ‘Shut up and Listen’, the Rockets owner admitted that he never even met his star player and he leaves it up to his basketball operations people to make personnel decisions.

Via Ian Begley of SNY:

SNY: Why do you think it didn’t work out with the Rockets and Carmelo last season? 

FERTITTA: “You know, it’s really unusual because I never really got a chance to meet Melo but all I heard is what a gentleman he was and that he was going to play whatever part or role on the team that the coaches wanted him to play. And basketball ops decided to make a decision and, you know, it kinda surprised me too, as a fan of the Houston Rockets. But I know what I know and I know what I don’t know. And if my basketball ops thought that we should move on, then I sure wasn’t going to tell them not to, even though I thought that Melo’s one the greatest players to ever play the game.”

Fertitta did state that he believes Anthony can contribute to an NBA team this season. However, as a recent report by Shams Charania of The Athletic indicates, it doesn’t appear any team is ready to offer the 35-year-old veteran a contract before the season starts.

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