Former Georgia guard Kenny Gaines’ wait for a professional contract is over as he has agreed to play in the NBA’s Summer League with the Houston Rockets.
Gaines said he was interested in a deal last Friday when Houston contacted his agent to develop an agreement. From that point on, it was about logistics of the deal.
“I only communicated with (the Rockets) through my agent, Daniel Curtin,” Gaines said. “We just wanted to make sure the situation would be right on both sides, and everything had been lined up, so we went through with it.”
The NBA wasn’t the only opportunity on the table throughout this process, but the potential of competing for a spot in the premiere league was too much to pass up.
“I had other options as far as overseas deals that could have been taken, but it would have negated my opportunity to play in the Summer League,” Gaines said. “Therefore, I was fortunate that everything went in my favor regarding Houston.”
After a long and drawn out process, Gaines was elated for it to come to an end and eager to get on the court and begin his next chapter.
Gaines said Georgia head coach Mark Fox contacted him to discuss his decision and he was very receptive.
“Coach Fox and I spoke earlier (Wednesday), and he was very congratulatory of me,” Gaines said. “I appreciate everything he has done for me, which has prepared me for the real world after college.”
Gaines will hit the road and begin his Summer League tenure on July 8 in Las Vegas.
Joining the Rockets’ Summer League squad follows a four-year career at Georgia, which included one NCAA Tournament appearance and two showings in the NIT.
As a senior this past season, Gaines averaged 12.8 points per game. His season-best came in a 35-point outburst against Murray State, which was a 63-52 win for Georgia. Gaines was regarded as Georgia’s top defender, routinely drawing the opposition’s top outside scoring option.
Gaines was not selected in last week’s NBA draft, which has given him something to prove now that he has an opportunity this summer.
“It’s just a feeling of relief,” Gaines said. “I had a feeling of uncertainty about my next move and how everything was going to turn out, but I just kept the faith and put it in God’s hands.”