The Houston Rockets have picked up an intriguing big man prospect from the D-League, signing German center Tim Ohlbrecht to a contract with team options for future seasons, reports the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen.
It seemed something was up when Ohlbrecht, a 24-year-old who leads the D-League in field goal percentage, turned down a 10-day contract offer from the Boston Celtics. It's not often you hear of players from the NBA's minor league declining call-ups to the big league. But Ohlbrecht knew something was in the works, and now it's official. The German center has signed a multi-year deal with the Rockets.
Ohlbrecht came to the United States for the first time this season, and impressed for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, a team that's affiliated with the Rockets. He'd started all but three games for the Vipers, averaging 13.4 points on over 60 percent shooting from the field, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. At least one writer for SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside thought the 6'11 German was having the best year of any rookie in the D-League. He continued to show off with a 12-point, 12-rebound outing in the D-League All-Star game two weeks ago in Houston. Between his performance there and for Rio Grande Valley, he must have impressed the Rockets.
The German could provide big man depth after the team traded away starting power forward Patrick Patterson and bench center Cole Aldrich in a trade that brought back just one big, power forward Thomas Robinson. Fellow developing European center Donatas Motiejunas has received increased minutes of late, scoring double digits in two of the team's last four games -- something he hadn't previously done in his rookie season. If they like what they see out of him this year, the deal gives the Rockets the opportunity to bring back Ohlbrecht with team options for the next two years.