As the Houston Rockets prepare for the upcoming season filled with high expectations, the roster is starting to take shape.
Everyone knows about superstars James Harden and Dwight Howard but there are also a lot of role players that will help carry this team. Here is a look at the depth chart at small forward for the Rockets this season.
Projections: 35 MIN, 17 PPG, 5 APG, 6 RPG
Chandler Parsons is the starting small forward for Houston. He is the longest tenured player in a Rockets jersey and he is entering only his third season in the league.
The former 38th overall pick announced himself to the world with his stellar play in the playoffs this past summer. He propelled the Rockets to a couple of wins against the first-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder before getting eliminated in the first round.
Parsons is an athletic wing with incredible agility for his height. Standing at 6'9", Parsons is a solid perimeter defender who can also play the stretch 4. Parsons has an above-average three-point shot and can attack the rim as well.
With Dwight Howard in the paint, Parsons should be able to get some good looks at the basket even though he is not the main scoring option. He will get a lot of minutes because he can spread the floor and is one of the Rockets' better wing defenders.
Last season, Parsons averaged 15.5 points, 3.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game. The Rockets have one of the most efficient offenses in the league, and as Parsons continues to develop his game, his numbers will steadily increase.
Projections: 22 MIN, 9 PPG, 3 APG, 2 RPG
When the Rockets acquired Garcia before the trade deadline last year, it seemed he would not have much of an impact, but that all changed during the playoffs. Garcia came up big for Houston against OKC, defending Kevin Durant well and hitting some threes. He averaged 10.7 points per game and shot 44 percent from deep.
After his clutch playoff performance, the Rockets decided to bring him back after declining his team option. Garcia will see some time at the 2 and the 3 this year, backing up Parsons and Harden. He will be a key contributor coming off the bench.
Garcia is an important player on this roster not only for his skills on the court, but also for his leadership and veteran experience. The Rockets are a young team trying to win a championship, and his maturity in the locker room will help.
Projections: 8 MIN, 4 PPG, 1 APG, 2 RPG
The Rockets added Casspi to the roster through free agency this past summer as one of many signings. Casspi had a lot of potential when he came over from Israel, but he has been practically irrelevant the past couple of seasons in Cleveland.
Now he finds himself near the bottom of the depth chart on a contending team in Houston. It looks like he will continue to struggle finding consistent minutes on the court.
For his career, Casspi is a 35.3 percent three-point shooter. If he can work on his stroke and shoot the ball a little better, then he will be able to sneak into the rotation and put some points on the board. The Rockets' offense is three-point heavy, launching the most three-pointers per game in the West last season.
Don't expect to see Casspi too often, but hopefully when you do he can at least have a minor impact in the Rockets' rotation.
Covington was added to the Rockets' roster as an undrafted free agent for Summer League. He played well in Orlando over the summer and earned himself a spot during training camp.
The Rockets' bench is just too deep for Covington to make the squad, even though during his stint in a Rockets' uniform he has impressed. Covington will more than likely spend the majority of his time playing in the D-league with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
The Vipers have a good organization down in the valley where Covington will be able to work on his game rather than ride the bench in Houston. Whether he will make an appearance with the Rockets at some point this year remains to be seen, but keep an eye on him as the season progresses.
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