The Houston Rockets will enter the NBA’s restart in Orlando with hopes of competing for a championship, led by their star duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook and their frantic, small-ball attack.
The Rockets rely heavily on their core contributors and have a relatively short rotation, but going into the bubble and coming out of such a long hiatus, having depth is going to be maybe more important than usual for playoff teams, as those first round series will very likely still see players trying to round into game shape. On Wednesday, the Rockets lost a bit of versatility and depth in their rotation as forward Thabo Sefolosha has reportedly decided to opt out of the restart, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Houston Rockets F Thabo Sefolosha is opting-out of Orlando restart, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2020
Thabo Sefolosha told me on the podcast that the league was asking for “a huge commitment” having them away from their families for that long amidst the increasing COVID-19 cases.
Utmost respect to him putting his family first. https://t.co/Y5GKomHaoI
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) July 1, 2020
The Rockets will have a chance to seek out a replacement for Sefolosha, and like every other player that has opted out, it is more than understandable that he would choose to do so. While Sefolosha played a relatively small role on the Rockets this season in his 41 appearances off the bench, he is a versatile wing defender on a team that relies heavily on switchability and versatility to stay afloat on that end.
To fill that role, the Rockets will reportedly bring Luc Mbah a Moute in as a replacement for Sefolosha.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2020
Mbah a Moute played 61 games for Houston a year ago, before a very brief stint with the Clippers this season, and can bring them some more switchable length and a spot-up three-point threat.