Houston Rockets forward Marquese Chriss is requesting either more minutes or to be traded, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Haynes spoke to Chriss’ agent, Aaron Goodwin, who says the third-year big man is seeking a bigger role with Houston or to be moved to another team.
“Marquese didn’t ask to be traded to Houston,” Goodwin told Yahoo Sports. “The Rockets are a great organization and the kid has done everything they’ve asked of him to get on the floor. If it’s not going to happen there, we just want him to be treated fairly.”
Chriss was acquired by Houston in the offseason, along with guard Brandon Knight, in a deal that sent Ryan Anderson and De'Anthony Melton to the Phoenix Suns. Chriss, 21, spent his first two seasons in the league with the Suns, who selected him with the eighth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. In his two years with Phoenix, the 6’10” forward posted per-game averages of 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, 0.9 assists and 0.8 steals in 21.3 minutes.
According to Haynes, Chriss became the third-youngest player in NBA history to register 100 steals, 100 3-pointers and 100 blocks by the age of 20. The only other two players to accomplish that are LeBron James and Kevin Durant, proving Chriss has plenty of potential.
Glued to the Rockets’ bench, Chriss has given the Rockets an ultimatum—play me or trade me. He has played in just 15 games this season and is seeing a career-low 6.7 minutes per contest. Chriss failed to crack the rotation even after starting center Clint Capela went down with a thumb injury—requiring him to have surgery and sidelining him for the next four weeks. Instead of playing Chriss, the Rockets opted to sign Kenneth Faried, who was bought out by the Brooklyn Nets earlier this month, and immediately put Faried into the starting rotation. 36-year-old Nene Hilario and 2017 second-round draft pick Isaiah Hartenstein are receiving the majority of the bench minutes at backup center.
Houston already declined to pick up Chriss’ fourth-year option, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. Goodwin hopes his client can showcase his talents before free agency and a trade out of Houston may be the best option now that Chriss has been ousted from the Rockets’ rotation.
“I would hate to see a career derailed because teams feel he cannot play at the level he did before the trade,” Goodwin said.
The NBA's trade deadline is Feb. 7.