New Houston Rockets forward Robert Covington arrived only hours after the Minnesota Timberwolves traded him as part of a 12-player, four-team swap on Tuesday night. The 6-foot-7 wing, who previously played in seven games with the Rockets, envisions a “great opportunity” playing next to the backcourt duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
“It’s gonna be a great opportunity,” said Covington on Wednesday morning. “It’s two superstars that can change the game prolifically. To add value, what I do for the team, it’s just something where I gotta come in and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
New #Rockets F Robert Covington (@Holla_At_Rob33)on playing w/ James Harden (@JHarden13) & Russell Westbrook (@russwest44): “It’s going to be a great opportunity. It’s 2 superstars that can change the game prolifically..To add value..I got to come in & keep doing what I’m doing.” pic.twitter.com/g6Qc5JLxkx
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 5, 2020
Covington played for the Rockets during the 2013-14 season as he was starting to come up in the league as an undrafted rookie. He spent the majority of that season playing for G League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers before moving on to play for the Philadelphia 76ers for the next four seasons.
Since his last cup of coffee in Houston, Covington has developed into a versatile defender and a solid 3-point shooter, two aspects the Rockets have been dying to get their hands on since Trevor Ariza left in free agency in the summer of 2018.
“I’m not the same player that I was then,” said Covington. “I’ve completely changed everything. I’ve grown as an individual on and off the court. Just learned the true value of being a professional”
Covington was beloved by his Timberwolves teammates, known to be a laid back and cool presence in the locker room, but with an intense approach to the game — two features the Rockets can use in their quest for a deep playoff run.