In a deal between two teams that are rebuilding from the Western Conference, Oklahoma City will send Derrick Favors, Ty Jerome, Moe Harkless, Theo Maledon as well as the 2025 second-round selection via Atlanta and the Houston Rockets for David Nwaba, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
All the players in question have contracts that expire (see Rockets and Thunder books) So it won’t significantly affect the long-term salary cap plans. Oklahoma City is also sending $6.3 million in cash to make up for the huge wage gap, per Jackson Gatlin of Locked on Rockets.
The Rockets have purchased Brown, Burke, and Chriss for match-up reasons in the deal that sent Christian Wood to Dallas in June, but none was on the team’s agenda for the future.
Incorporating those players into the regular season of 2022-23 that begins in less than three weeks, could be difficult due to the NBA’s roster limit for offseason of 20 players is reduced down to fifteen standard contract as well as two two-way agreements. So, Rockets general manager Rafael Stone was trying to find some use of the assets prior to the roster deadline , which could force some (if but not every) of them to be let go.
Out of the players who were acquired by the Thunder in the deal, only Favors -an experienced player who could be Houston’s reserve center mixseems to have a chance of getting rotate in this season. Although Houston will likely to test every single player during the preseason, the deadline for rosters will likely result in the release of a few players.
In addition to the value of Favors for a particular position the most significant advantages of the trade seem to lie in his earnings as well as the possibility of a second-round draft selection through Atlanta. With a salary of $10.2 million Favors is a player who could aid the Rockets meet the cost of deals closer to the 2022-23 deadline for trades in February, but Favors is only a roster position. To get to that amount prior to this trade they Rockets would have needed to sign up for several roster spots because of the lower annual salary.
Furthermore, since Houston has been raking in more cash ($20.9 millions) than it is sending to the Thunder ($13.5 millions) and thus reducing the possibility of a luxury tax in Oklahoma City amount in the process, the Thunder will be compensating the Rockets by giving them a second-round draft pick as well as cash. In order to make the math work with the gap, the deal is broken down into pieces according to the ESPN’s NBA Insider in the front office Bobby Marks.
The Rockets effectively bought the future pick by taking a contract from a team that is looking to cut their salary, which is similar to the 2024 second-round selection they received from Brooklyn during the last preseason as part of a deal that involved Sekou Doumbouya. The player was then released.
Based on Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Houston’s newly purchased 2025 second-round selection via Atlanta is secured for selections 31-40 within the same order. If it does not the Rockets would be given the top 2026 second-rounder among Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Philadelphia and Philadelphia, which are currently part of the Thunder.
Check out the latest statistics of the players who participated in the deal and additional analysis and reactions to the trade.