Houston Rockets: Who Will Be the Final Player Cut?

Taylor SmithAnalyst IOctober 21, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Head coach Rick Adelman of the Houston Rockets looks on from the sideline while taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 12, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

With Monday's roster deadline looming, the Houston Rockets on Thursday cut two of the four necessary players, guards Romel Beck and Garrett Temple.

This comes at no surprise, considering Beck and Temple were two of the four Rockets' players in camp without guaranteed contracts for this season.

One of the other two without a guaranteed deal, big man Pops Mensah-Bonsu and guard Will Conroy, is expected to make the final roster.

Because this will leave the Rockets with 16 players instead of the 15 allowed, the team will either trade or release veteran guard Brent Barry by Monday.

Now, which player will make the final cut?

Mensah-Bonsu, at 6'9", gives the Rockets frontline some much-needed size and athleticism with the absence of Yao Ming.

In six games so far this preseason, Mensah-Bonsu is averaging about eight points, six rebounds, and one-and-a-half blocks per game in about 17 minutes per night.

Pops' high-flying style would certainly make him a fan favorite-type player in Houston, where the "Red Rowdies" would have a field day with him.

However, if he were to make the roster, his playing time would be very, very limited, as the Rockets will already have David Andersen, Chuck Hayes, Luis Scola, and Carl Landry playing a large majority of the minutes up front.

On the other hand, Will Conroy, a 6'2", 27-year-old point guard, has averaged about six points and three assists per game in five Rockets preseason contests.

In a loss to the Pacers on Oct. 16, Conroy shined, scoring 14 points to go along with nine assists, five rebounds, and two steals.

If Conroy were to make the team, he would be the Rockets' third point guard behind Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry, and likely wouldn't see the floor

Houston's lack of size is much more of a concern than their backcourt, and, as a result, I would expect Will Conroy to be the final player released