Report: Rockets Waive P.J. Hairston, LeBryan Nash, Gary Payton II and Pablo Prigioni

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So, we're here.

With the 2016-2017 Rockets season opener just two days away, Daryl Morey and the front office have cut the roster down to 15 players.

Throughout the preseason, the Rockets' front office, coaching staff, and even fans have gotten the chance to evaluate each individual player's strengths and weaknesses. There were about 13 players with guaranteed roster spots, leaving 2 spots open for guys like F Kyle Wiltjer, G Bobby Brown, G Gary Payton II, G Tyler Ennis, and G/F P.J. Hairston.

Earlier today, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported that Gary Payton II had been waived from the team. The 23-year-old Oregon State alum just never seemed to be able to buy significant minutes this preseason, playing a little over 10 minutes a game. Although he flashed some of his defensive prowess and athletic ability, he simply did not make use of his minutes offensively, which probably doesn't bode well for a Mike D'Antoni coached team.

Feigen also reported that the team waived P.J. Hairston and LeBryan Nash. They were signed for the purpose of sending them to Rio Grande Valley, so this is no surprise. It'll be interesting to see how Hairston plays down in the D-League, as he is an offensive-minded wing who can shoot the ball with relative ease. Who knows, maybe he'll end up wearing a Rockets uniform as the season goes along.

And then there were 3. Kyle Wiltjer, a sharpshooting stretch 4 out of Gonzaga, has made tremendous use of his time on the court, scoring 39 points in just 46 preseason minutes. He fits the mold of offensive-minded, 3-point shooting bigs that the Rockets always seem to be attracted to, and he has shown his worth in an impressive preseason showcase. He's here to stay, and Red Nation is pretty excited about it.

It seemed that the last roster spot would come down to whether or not the Rockets want to keep a traditional, young point guard in Tyler Ennis, or a shoot-first point guard in Bobby Brown. This didn't turn out being the case.

Multiple reports earlier today claimed that G Tyler Ennis was expected to be waived by the Rockets, and if he cleared waivers, could potentially re-sign. That report was later refuted by Shams Charania of The Vertical:

What was thought to be a final roster spot battle between Tyler Ennis and Bobby Brown, turned out out to be a curve ball and the Rockets waived veteran guard Pablo Prigioni. This has come as a shock to a large majority of Rockets fans, as Prigioni was sure to have a guaranteed spot on this roster. This was the 39-year-old guard's second brief stint with the Rockets, after previously filling in as a backup point guard in the team's late 2015 playoff run. So instead of veteran dependability, the team went with speed and youth (Bobby Brown is 32, but still younger than Pablo).

So with all that being said, here is the Houston Rockets' 2016-2017 Opening Day Roster:

G James Harden
F Ryan Anderson
F Trevor Ariza
C Clint Capela
G Patrick Beverley
G Eric Gordon
F/C Nene Hilario
F Corey Brewer
G/F K.J. McDaniels
F Sam Dekker
F/C Montrezl Harrell
F/C Chinanu Onuaku
F Kyle Wiltjer
G Bobby Brown
G Tyler Ennis


It should be a very interesting season for the Rockets.


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