The Houston Rockets have invested heavily in the backcourt, headlined by the selection of Jalen Green with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Houston also has rising prospects in Kevin Porter Jr. and Josh Christopher, to go along with a returning veteran in Eric Gordon and other intriguing options. With the Rockets reportedly content to allow John Wall to remain sidelined, with or without a trade, there is still a bit of flexibility for Houston on the perimeter, and that could pave the way for the return of Dante Exum.
Though nothing is official at this juncture, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Exum and the Rockets are nearing an agreement to bring the former top-five pick back to Houston for the 2021-22 season.
Free agent guard Dante Exum is nearing a deal to return to the Houston Rockets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Exum played in only 24 games last season, but has returned to full health and averaged 9 points and 2.8 assists in Australia’s Bronze medal run in Tokyo Olympics.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 15, 2021
Exum was dealt to the Rockets in January, though he never saw the floor for Houston due to a calf injury. Injury issues have plagued the former Utah Jazz guard, with Exum appearing in only 97 games over the past four seasons combined.
Still, Exum is only 26 years old and, even without seeing him on the floor in a game setting, the Rockets seemingly saw something appealing to give Exum a chance to make a dent. Modest expectations are necessary at this stage of Exum’s career, but Houston is certainly in a period of transition, and he is a buy-low option without much, if any, risk.