Former Arizona Wildcats guard Kyle Fogg made it into only one of Houston's five summer league games in July but said the Rockets always told him he would get his chance.
Now he knows what they were talking about.
Fogg told the Star on Thursday that he has been invited to the Rockets' preseason camp, expecting to sign a contract before the camp begins Oct. 1, though a Rockets spokesman said the team has not announced nonroster invitees yet.
"I didn't play at all, really," Fogg said of his Las Vegas summer league experience. "But I think they got a good idea of how I played during camp before. They had so many rookies they kind of had to play those guys a lot more. They kind of stayed with me every game and told me not to worry."
Although the Rockets were loaded with 18 players on their Las Vegas roster, Fogg did get one 22-minute audition against the Bulls, hitting 2 of 3 field goals, with two rebounds, one assist, four turnovers and one steal.
The fall camp atmosphere probably won't make it any easier for Fogg to stand out. The Rockets have 20 players on their current roster, including former Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, and they may also bring in other players currently not on the roster.
But Fogg has quietly been trying to carve out a niche for himself as a dogged defender who can play both guard positions. He attended the NBA's Portsmouth Invitational camp in April and underwent predraft workouts for teams such as the Suns, Kings and Clippers.
Since that process, Fogg has caught the Rockets' eyes.
"I know they love the way I play defense and my ability to shoot the ball," Fogg said. "I'm getting a lot better at ballhandling and running the point. I can pretty much guard anybody 6-foot-6 and down."
Fogg has been working on his game mostly at home in Southern California, working out with friends that include former UA teammates Chase Budinger and Derrick Williams.
Budinger is a former Rocket himself who played with Fogg at UA during the 2008-09 Sweet 16 season under interim coaches Russ Pennell and Mike Dunlap. Fogg said Budinger, who was traded to the Timberwolves in June, spoke highly of the Rockets' organization.
Fogg said he also spent time living with Williams at his place in Marina del Rey, Calif., both working out and discussing the NBA.
Sort of like Fogg, Williams has something to prove this season: He didn't quite reach the massive expectations he had as a rookie after becoming the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2011.
"I definitely learned a lot from (Williams) and Chase, the guys who have been through it," Fogg said. "Derrick is working really hard. He knows he can do better than he did. I expect him to be even better. I mean, he played the five-man (center) in college and now he's a three. Now, in the second year, he'll really turn it around."
Then again, there's much more urgency for Fogg. While Williams is guaranteed $4.95 million next season, Fogg isn't guaranteed a thing.
In fact, just by going to camp with the Rockets, Fogg held off on potential opportunities in Germany and Italy for this season.
He's going all in for the NBA. And if it doesn't work out, Fogg aims to find a backup plan.
"Definitely, I'm thinking about all my options worst case-best case scenario," Fogg said. "But right now I'm just working every day and preparing."