In spite of being called up from the G League and cut twice by the Houston Rockets within the span of a year, Danuel House Jr. has managed to successfully make his presence felt this time around.
Just two years ago, Houston Rockets swingman Danuel House Jr. found himself in the midst of a basketball crossroads after receiving some news that would come to alter the direction of his professional passage.
The 25-year-old — who landed a deal with the Washington Wizards following the 2016 NBA Draft — was diagnosed with a fractured right wrist just weeks after making his official NBA debut at the onset of the 2016-17 regular season.
He wondered when he might ever see the floor again.
"“I just got to provide,” House told Candace Buckner of The Washington Post following the immediate aftermath of his injury back in January 2017. “I got to get more. I’ve got to achieve more, so I can set my children up and my children’s children on the right path.”"
Yet in spite of finding a way to overcome his initial setback, the undrafted rookie from Texas A&M would fall short of reaching his hopes and dreams in the nation’s capital.
After missing a total of 39 games with a wrist injury and 10 contests on assignment in the G League, House would soon be waived by the Wizards in March 2017.
However, House’s whirlwind tale across the game was only just beginning, as the man who aspired to take care of his family found himself taking the route less traveled in order to do it.
Within months after using the summer to recover and find out where he would audition for the following season, House was named as one of the final cuts at Rockets training camp for the 2017-18 season.
A quick pit stop with Rockets G League affiliate in Rio Grande Valley would soon follow before landing a two-way contract with the Phoenix Suns. House’s journey was still a dream unfulfilled after failing to secure an official roster spot following season’s end.
"“The competition is real,” House said in a recent interview with David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders when discussing his time in between the NBA and G League. “There’s a lot of dudes out here that got a lot of talent that they can showcase. They just want their one opportunity, their one chance that I was so fortunate and blessed with.”“I know not to come out here and take it for granted, that’s why I’m playing hard and of course trying to be a student of the game.”"
House would later accept an invitation to play on the Rockets squad at the 2018 NBA Summer League, and his strong play out in Las Vegas helped him earn an Exhibit 10 contract with the Golden State Warriors. His impressive showing would still prove to not be enough to earn a spot on the defending world champions’ final roster.
The 6’7″, 220-pound forward would receive the notification of being cut near the conclusion of training camp.
Another trip to Rio Grande Valley would await him once again, where House would soon receive what appeared to be his biggest call yet — from the Rockets.
Unfortunately, he was somehow cut again. It seemed as though the young kid who grew up in H-Town might never find the official light of day in the game that he had come to love.
"“I’m never going to hang my head,” House said, per Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston after being waived by Houston on Dec. 4. “I’m pretty sure [the decision] was in the best interests of the team. I’m never surprised.”“This has been a journey for me.”"
Now, House’s never-ending faith and perseverance in his dream has finally paid off, as the man who was released twice by the Rockets appears to have finally found a place where his career all started.
House — who returned to the Rockets on a two-way deal soon following his release — provided Houston with a vital presence in the starting lineup following the immediate wake of Chris Paul‘s hamstring injury, averaging 8.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game on 46.6 percent shooting from the field through 22 games in December and January.
All the while, he fully seized the moment, as the former local standout who exhausted his NBA service days — and was sent back down to the G League — has returned to Clutch City in grand fashion after spending the last month in Rio Grande Valley due to a contract stalemate.
House — whose contract was recently converted for the remainder of the season last week — is currently averaging a career-high 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game on 50 percent shooting from downtown for Houston in the month of March.
"“He can guard like four positions,” Rockets guard Eric Gordon told Salman Ali of Rockets Wire. “What I like the most about him is he’s very aggressive.”“He’s like another [offensive] anchor for us going to the basket and knocking down threes. It’s mostly his aggressiveness and him not having no fear.”"
Although it remains to be seen if House and the Rockets can come to an agreement on a long-term deal this coming summer, no one can deny that House has become the perfect fit in Mike D’Antoni‘s system. The wing who once starred in charity games alongside James Harden has emerged as a solid ancillary piece to the reigning MVP.
Since making his return back from the G League, House has displayed the ability to hit shots and attack opposing defenses out in transition. In addition to his solid acumen within the Rockets’ switch-heavy defensive scheme, the former honorable mention All-American has demonstrated the capacity to hold his own against longer wings in assistant coach Jeff Bzdelik’s system.
"“He brings an athleticism that I don’t think we have,” Rockets point guard Chris Paul recently told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “Defensively, offensively, transition, he just understands how we play.”“He’s a guy that understands the game…and is always at the right spot at the right time.”"