Rockets guarantee Garrison Mathews, KJ Martin's deals for 2022-23

Rockets guarantee Garrison Mathews, KJ Martin's deals for 2022-23

The Houston Rockets have guaranteed the salaries of Garrison Mathews and KJ Martin for the 2022-23 season, sources told ESPN's Tim MacMahon. Martin is set to earn $1,782,621, while Mathews will make $2,000,000.

This isn't a huge surprise, as Mathews and Martin have become key contributors for the rebuilding Rockets and they are both on relatively cheap contracts that look like bargains given their production.

Mathews, 25, is averaging 11.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 threes and 1.0 assist this season, while shooting 41.0% from the field, 36.7% from three and 81.0% from the free-throw line. He has appeared in 49 games for the Rockets (including 21 starts), and he's playing 27.2 minutes per contest. In his 21 starts, he has averaged 13.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 threes and 1.0 assist in 32.0 minutes while posting 42.9/38.3/80.5 shooting splits. Mathews was claimed off of waivers by the Rockets in October of 2021. He was initially on a two-way contract, which Houston converted to a standard deal in December. Prior to joining the Rockets, the undrafted shooting guard spent two seasons with the Washington Wizards.

Martin, 21, was drafted by the Rockets with the No. 52 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. This season, he's averaging 8.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists, while shooting 53.3% from the field, 35.9% from three and 64.0% from the free-throw line. He has appeared in 63 games (including one start), while averaging 20.6 minutes. He was considered a project when the Rockets selected him, so the fact that he has already emerged as a contributor during his rookie and sophomore seasons is a pleasant surprise.

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The Rockets are currently 17-49, which is the worst record in the Western Conference. They have the NBA's 27th-ranked offense (scoring 104.7 points per 100 possessions) and 30th-ranked defense (allowing 114.3 points per 100 possessions). Houston is clearly in the midst of a rebuild, which our Mark Schindler and Mat Issa recently broke down in this two-part series.

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