Rockets give up Danuel House Jr., sign 4-year contract with Garrison Mathews
The Houston Rockets will drop veteran forward Danuel House Jr. on Saturday and use the available spot to sign 25-year-old sniper Garrison Mathews to a four-year contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon first reported Friday night.
Mathews signs an agreement with a term of up to four years and a potential value of more than $ 8 million, according to MacMahon. This keeps “Garry Bird” in control of the team for as long as the 2024-25 NBA season.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the contract will be worth $ 2 million for each of the next three seasons, unsecured after this season, and $ 2.2 million as a team option for the fourth season.
Sources: Rockets will use an open position to convert Garrison Mathews from a bilateral deal into a 4-year contract worth more than $ 8 million. Houston is 7-4 with Mathews in the starting lineup. He’s averaging 14.5 points with 63.5% TS in those games. https://t.co/sxWodXSPvi
– Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 18, 2021
House had struggled extensively with the Rockets in the 2021-22 season, averaging 4.8 points (33.8% FG, 29.4% on 3 points) and 2.7 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game . Additionally, at 28 and in the final year of his current contract, he was unlikely to be a factor in the seasons to come as he did not fit into Houston’s clear rebuilding schedule.
House was the 2021-22 Rockets’ second most successful player, behind veteran goalie Eric Gordon. In four seasons with Houston since 2018-19, the 6-foot-6 forward has averaged 9.2 points (36.9 percent on 3 points) and 3.8 rebounds in 26.3 minutes per game. .
Earlier this week, a report revealed that Houston was exploring trades to clear a spot on the list for Mathews, with House listed as a potential candidate. But according to Wojnarowski, the Rockets are taking the step now to allow him to choose his next destination. “The Rockets are allocating his minutes to younger players and will not keep him on (the) waiting list to find a deadline trade,” Woj tweeted.
Rockets to forgo Danuel House Jr., triggering further list moves https://t.co/53iZAQeNYH via @houstonchron
– Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 18, 2021
As for Mathews, the 25-year-old was claimed on waivers after the preseason and put on a two-way contract, but that clearly wasn’t a long-term fix. The terms of the two-way contracts limit players to a maximum of 50 games, and there was also the risk that if Mathews continued his solid game, his asking price for future seasons could rise.
As it stands, general manager Rafael Stone and the Rockets have Mathews under the club’s control for four seasons at a relatively low rate near the league minimum. Since taking on a larger rotational role on November 24, the 6-foot-6 winger is averaging 14.3 points, 3.9 rebounds in 32.6 minutes, and he’s shooting 44.7 percent in the field and 38.3% on 3 points. Houston is 8-4 in those games, with Mathews playing a key role.