Rockets waive Danuel House Jr., sign Garrison Mathews to four-year deal

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  • Houston Rockets
    Houston Rockets
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  • Garrison Mathews
    Garrison Mathews
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

The Houston Rockets are waiving veteran forward Danuel House Jr. on Saturday and will use the open roster spot to sign 25-year-old sharpshooter Garrison Mathews to a four-year contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon first reported on Friday night.

Mathews is signing a deal of up to four years in length and potentially worth over $8 million, according to MacMahon. That keeps “Garry Bird” under team control for as long as the 2024-25 NBA season.

Per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the contract will be worth $2 million in each of the next three seasons, non-guaranteed after this season, and $2.2 million at a team option for the fourth season.

House had largely struggled with the Rockets in the 2021-22 season, averaging 4.8 points (33.8% FG, 29.4% on 3-pointers) and 2.7 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game. Moreover, at 28 years old and in the final year of his current contract, he was unlikely to be a factor in future seasons since he did not mesh with Houston’s clear rebuilding timeline.

House was the second-most-tenured player on the 2021-22 Rockets, trailing only veteran guard Eric Gordon. Over parts of four seasons with Houston since 2018-19, the 6-foot-6 forward averaged 9.2 points (36.9% on 3-pointers) and 3.8 rebounds in 26.3 minutes per game.

Earlier this week, a report emerged that Houston was exploring trades to clear a roster spot for Mathews, with House listed as a potential candidate. But according to Wojnarowski, the Rockets are making the move now to allow him to choose his next destination. “The Rockets are assigning his minutes to younger players and won’t hold him on (the) roster to wait on a finding a deadline trade,” Woj tweeted.

As for Mathews, the 25-year-old was claimed off waivers following the preseason and assigned to a two-way contract, but that clearly was not a long-term solution. Two-way contract terms limit players to a maximum of 50 games, and there was also the risk that if Mathews continued his strong play, his asking price for future seasons might grow.

As it is, general manager Rafael Stone and the Rockets have Mathews under club control for four seasons at a relatively low rate near the league minimum. Since taking a larger rotation role on Nov. 24, the 6-foot-6 wing player is averaging 14.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in 32.6 minutes, and he is shooting 44.7% from the field and 38.3% on 3-pointers. Houston is 8-4 in those games with Mathews in a larger role

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