Houston Rockets Waive Former No. 1 Overall Draft Pick: Report


Getty Russell Westbrook and James Harden will team up on the Rockets yet again.

The Houston Rockets have waived Anthony Bennett.

The former No. 1 overall draft selection of the 2013 NBA Draft was officially waived by the Rockets on Wednesday afternoon, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Bennett had been attempting to resurrect his career with the Rockets, having not appeared in an NBA game since the 2016-17 season with the Brooklyn Nets. However, it became readily apparent that the Rockets had quickly given up on Bennett. He didn’t appear in any of the team’s preseason games — a bad sign, considering 14 players each appeared in the preseason matchups against the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors.

Anthony Bennett’s Rough Professional Basketball Career

The 6-foot-8 Bennett became the first Canadian to be drafted first overall in the NBA Draft when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him No. 1 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft. However, Bennett has failed to show any semblance of potential. He has been a member of five different NBA teams and has made just four starts in his career.

His career averages aren’t pretty — 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on 39.2 percent from the field in 12.6 minutes per game and 151 career appearances. He has never appeared in more than 57 games in a single season without any major injuries — a sign that he’s just not good enough to play in a teams’ rotation.

With this latest cut by the Rockets, Bennett just isn’t likely good enough to be on an NBA roster — period.

Russell Westbrook Has Mixed Feelings About Rockets Debut

In other Rockets news, Russell Westbrook made his Rockets debut on Tuesday morning against the Raptors and turned in an uneven performance.

The former league MVP scored 13 points, dished six assists and turned the ball over five times in 21 minutes of playing time in a 134-129 loss to the Raptors. Westbrook also continued to display his inability to convert on 3-pointers, going 1-for-6 from beyond the arc.

Needless to say, the 30-year-old guard recognized his mediocre performance, saying that he needs to get into better game shape and conditioning before the regular season starts, via Chris Myson of The Sporting News.

“It wasn’t bad — unfortunately we didn’t win and that’s the main goal,” Westbrook said. “But it was good to get on the floor for the first time, get up and down, try to find a rhythm. We’ve got a lot of work to do, including myself getting in better shape and game condition, so we’ll get it together.

The fact that his running mate, James Harden, dominated on his way to a game-high 34 points on a ridiculous 11-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. He also made it to the charity stripe for 13 attempts while dishing seven assists in comparison to just three turnovers.

Despite the uneven performance by his teammate, Harden is optimistic the Rockets will get it straightened out in no time.

“I’m still working on my conditioning. I know for myself and Russ, who was excited for his first game out there, conditioning isn’t where we want it to be, so that’s what these games are for. “

“We are focusing on our team and getting better — we have a great opportunity ahead of us and we’re focused every single day. We’re glad to see Russ out there on the basketball court.”

The Rockets will have three more preseason games to do so before they open up the regular season against the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 24.