The Houston Rockets are signing second-year guard Jeenathan Williams to a training-camp deal for the 2023-24 season, as first reported by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The move follows a similar agreement reached earlier in the day with German wing Joshua Obiesie.
Now 24 years old, the University of Buffalo product went undrafted in 2022 before signing with the NBA G League’s Salt Lake City Stars. While there, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 14.4 points (52.3% FG, 41.7% on 3-pointers) and 4.5 rebounds in 29.8 minutes per game.
That turned enough heads for Williams to land a brief NBA deal with Portland by the end of the 2022-23 season. In five games with the Trail Blazers, Williams averaged 10.6 points (61.5% FG, 37.5% on 3-pointers), 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 25.4 minutes per game. He then became a free agent during the 2023 offseason.
During the 2022 pre-draft process, Williams had drawn praise from analysts for his length, positional versatility, and defensive upside.
Each offseason, NBA teams can carry up to 20 players on their roster in a window extending through training camp and the preseason. The Rockets offloaded several players near the end of their bench as part of salary clearing moves in 2023 free agency, so Houston’s 2023-24 roster, at the moment, is far below that 20-player limit.
Thus, expect a handful of similar deals to be announced in the weeks leading up to its opening in early October. Players from Houston’s strong 2023 summer-league run may also be considered.
Should they play well enough, Houston will certainly consider any player in camp for spots on its final regular-season roster (up to 15 standard contracts and three two-way deals). However, many players on camp contracts could also be considered for a spot with the Rockets’ own G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Vipers.