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Rockets 2023-2024 player previews: Darius Days, Matthew Mayer, Jermaine Samuels

Our previews continue with three more fringe players.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Darius Days

The 6’7” power forward out of LSU is one of the two-way contracts for the Houston Rockets, and the team likes what they’ve seen thus far out of the 23-year-old. He’s only played in four total games at the NBA level, but he put up some big numbers in 31.8 minutes per night in the G-League last season, finishing with averages of 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1 block per game on 43.1 percent shooting, including 32.4 percent from deep on 7.4 attempts per game, so he’s not afraid to stretch the floor, even if his shot could use a little bump up. The Rockets aren’t exactly loaded at power forward behind Jabari Smith Jr., though both Tari Eason and Dillon Brooks could run there, as can Jae’Sean Tate and Jeff Green, but if Days can make some progress, there’s an place on this roster for a legit backup four.

Matthew Mayer

The 6’9” swing forward went undrafted in this past summer’s NBA Draft, but linked up with the Rockets on an exhibit 10 deal and showed out during the NBA Summer League. He finished four Summer League games with averages of 19.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game and was absolutely scorching from deep, finishing with a 43.5 percent mark from downtown. This is quite a bump from his college days, where he shot just 33.9 percent overall at Baylor and Illinois. Obviously the larger sample size holds weight, and anyone can get hot over a four-game stretch, but those are some big and suprising numbers for the 24-year-old rookie, and we all know the Rockets need more shooting. Might he find his way to some varsity minutes?

Jermaine Samuels

The 6’7” forward out of Villanova is the last of Houston’s two-way players, and he’s already making his mark in Rockets Training Camp with this huge block yesterday on Tari Eason.

He averaged 11.3 points, 5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in Summer League this year, and has an improving three-point shot, knocking down 35 percent in Summer League, up from just 30 percent for his college career. He’s an all-efort guy on both ends of the floor, a little bit of Eason-light if you will, but will have a tough road to minutes and will spending most of his days in Rio Grande Valley barring injury.