Rockets guard TyTy Washington has recovered from his sprained left knee, but he’ll start his rookie season with the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Vipers, Houston’s G League affiliate. RGV’s next game is its home opener on Friday night, Nov. 11 in Edinburg, Texas.
Drafted at No. 29 overall in the 2022 first round, Washington isn’t at the level of prospect that typically plays an immediate NBA rotation role, barring rare circumstances. Thus, the 20-year-old from the University of Kentucky will be given an opportunity with the Vipers to play much more frequently than he would have with the Rockets.
“He just needs to play,” general manager Rafael Stone told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “We very obviously value the G League. Almost all of our players have spent real extensive time down there. It’s more of an abnormality for people not to. He’s coming off an injury. He needs to get back in game shape and play minutes. Right now, we don’t have that opportunity for him here.”
The hope is that more regular playing time for Washington, even in the G League rather than the NBA, will be more advantageous to his development than a sporadic role with the Rockets. Washington did play with the Rockets in the preseason, albeit not in a primary rotation role, until injuring his knee in the Oct. 14 exhibition finale.
Washington will likely rejoin the Rockets later in the season, as was the case last year with Josh Christopher and Usman Garuba, who were picked at No. 23 and No. 24 overall in the 2021 first round.
Injury news: Rockets to start season without Jae’Sean Tate, TyTy Washington
TyTy Washington ready to bring winning spirit, confidence to Rockets
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 10, 2022