Former UGA guard Kenny Gaines is taking his talents to Las Vegas, and maybe, to Houston.
The four-year Bulldogs letterman inked an NBA Summer League contract with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Gaines will play with the team during the Samsung NBA Summer League from July 8-18 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus.
“I just knew that it was a God-ordained opportunity,” Gaines told DawgNation. “It was the right deal to capitalize on, so I felt comfortable taking it.”
Gaines averaged 10.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1 assist over four seasons with the Bulldogs. He is fourth on the school’s all-time list for 3-pointers made with 213.
Gaines went undrafted during last week’s 2016 NBA Draft, but he worked out for multiple teams prior to the draft. The 6-foot-3 guard fielded offers from other teams, but the Rockets offered the most lucrative contract.
Gaines has the opportunity to impress not only the Rockets, but general managers and coaches from other NBA teams. There will be 24 teams competing in the Summer League, and all 30 NBA teams will likely have representatives in attendance.
It’s no secret that Gaines can shoot the ball, evidenced by his 37.4 percent career average from three-point range, but he wants to show versatility at the next level.
“I need to show I can finish around the rim at a much more efficient rate than I did in college,” Gaines said. “I want to showcase my capability of being a combo guard, while being able to defend all three perimeter positions.”
There is still a lot left for Gaines to accomplish, as he will be competing against many other players fighting to make NBA rosters next season. Still, Gaines is able to appreciate this step in his journey after years of hard work.
“It would further prove to me that if you put the work in, then the game will reward you,” Gaines said about potentially making an NBA team. “I know so many guys with talent equivalent or beyond mine, but God chose me for this particular opportunity.”