The Houston Rockets are really going all-in to win an NBA title this season.
After coming up short over the past two seasons in their quest to bring home a trophy, the Rockets are looking to capitalize on the wide-open race for the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2019-20. Not only did they make one of the biggest trades of the offseason in acquiring Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder, they re-signed Eric Gordon to a four-year contract extension at the beginning of September.
The Rockets are taking this season so seriously that they’re inviting six different veterans who are not even under contract to minicamp — and two of them just so happen to be former NBA champions. Those two former NBA champions would be none other than Corey Brewer and Nick Young.
The Rockets currently have nine players under guaranteed contracts, which means they have a lot of spots to fill.
All six players have legit resumes and are longtime veterans in the NBA. Young has been one of the better 3-point shooters in the league in recent years and won a championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2017-18. He also spent a number of years as a starter for the Los Angeles Lakers.
As far as Brewer is concerned, he won a title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and has been starter in this league. The 12-year veteran played 24 games for the Sacramento Kings last season and previously teamed up with Russell Westbrook with the Oklahoma City Thunder at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.
While the other four veterans may not be former NBA champions, they all have positives that they can offer the Rockets. Terrence Jones has been a member of the Rockets on two different occasions and was previously a starter for them several years ago. He’s a former draft selection of Houston, having been selected by the Rockets in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft.
Jones isn’t the only former Rocket on this list. Luc Mbah a Moute played for the Rockets during the 2017-18 season — the year they were within a game of the NBA Finals. During his lone season in Houston, he served as a valuable role player, averaging 7.5 points and 1.2 steals in 25.6 minutes per game while converting on 48.1 percent of his field goal attempts. He appeared in just four games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season due to a left knee injury.
Thabo Sefolosha has carved out a career as a perimeter defender and is a former All-NBA Defensive Selection. He previously played with both Westbrook and James Harden as a member of the Thunder, having played for the franchise from 2009 until 2014. He spent the past two seasons as a member of the Utah Jazz.
In case you’re not noticing a trend here, a lot of these guys are former Thunder players who teamed up with Westbrook. Raymond Felton is also on this list and is one of the better known veteran point guards in the NBA. The 35-year-old point guard served as Westbrook’s backup over the past two seasons and played 115 games for Oklahoma City. He has appeared in 971 career games and started 659 of them.