Five months after Achilles tear, Chris Clemons is already dunking again

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Only five months after suffering an Achilles tear during the 2020-21 preseason, former Rockets guard Chris Clemons is already dunking again. The 5-foot-9 guard, known best for explosive athleticism and scoring bursts despite his small size, shared the video on his Instagram.

In Monday’s video, the 23-year-old can be seen dunking on the Toyota Center practice court. Houston teammate David Nwaba, who suffered his own Achilles tear during the previous season as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, responded to Clemons with one word: “How?!!”

The basketball future of the second-year guard isn’t yet clear. Clemons was waived by the Rockets in January to clear a roster spot for Kevin Porter Jr. and isn’t under contract anywhere, at the moment. Moreover, as impressive as the dunking display is, the upcoming NBA Summer League in August is likely too soon for him to return to game action, since that would be less than eight months from when he suffered the injury.

Nonetheless, Clemons is showing that he could be ready to compete for a roster spot when 2021-22 training camps open in late September or early October. During his rookie season (2019-20) in Houston, Clemons scored 4.9 points (34.6% on 3-pointers) in 8.8 minutes per game. At the G League level with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, he averaged an impressive line of 24.1 points, 5.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.9 steals.

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Wherever and whenever his next opportunity comes, it certainly can’t hurt that he has two former teammates in Nwaba and John Wall who have successfully navigated the Achilles rehabilitation process, themselves. Both said following Clemons’ injury last December that they would be available to the young guard as a resource throughout his recovery, which appears to be going faster than anyone could have imagined.

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