9:15 pm: The Rockets plan to forego newly acquired wing Ty Jerome, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Feigen adds that Derrick Favors and Theo Maledon are considered the most likely of these new additions to the team to stick with the standard 15-man squad when the regular season kicks off.
20:13: The Thunder will send center Derrick favorsshooting guard Ty Jeromeforward Maurice Harklesspoint guard Theo Maledon and the Hawks’ second-round draft pick in 2025 to the missiles in exchange for athletic swingman David Nwaba, wing Sterling Brownpoint guard Trey Burke and power forward Marquis Chrissby Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Woj adds that Oklahoma City will include two trade exceptions in the deal. In pure salary terms, the exchange will help the Thunder get $10 million under the league’s punitive luxury tax cap. Wojnarowski notes that Favors is particularly marketable among the returning players arriving in Houston, as a solid backup big man with a declining salary of $10.2MM.
The 6’9′ Favors, 31, was a key backup big man for a long time with several solid clubs in the playoffs. Last year with the Thunder, he appeared in just 39 games, averaging 5.3 PPG at 51.6% shooting, plus 4.7 RPG, over 16.7 MPG. Jerome and Maledon are both young players on rookie deals with still upside potential, and could benefit from their time in Houston.
On the Rockets side of the transaction, Houston acquires a second round draft pick and only needs to take back an additional $1MM in salary, as Woj details.
Kelly Iko of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the 2025 second-rounder will be protected by the first ten second-round picks of that draft. Should the roster not be passed in 2025, Houston will receive the second-highest 2026 second-round draft pick among the Thunder, Mavericks and 76ers.
Given that No. 2 draft pick Chet Holmgren has been out for a year with a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, and with the team’s best player in this new trade being sent off, it looks like the Thunder are prioritizing a year of youthful development as they look to the 2023 draft lottery to build out their impressive young selection.
Oklahoma City added four rookies to the 2022 draft, including two other lottery picks outside of Holmgren. The Thunder has been completely rebuilt since 2019/20 and has won a total of 46 games over the past two seasons.
Houston has also been in the asset-gathering and lottery-targeting phase of its journey since 2020. The team went 37-127 from 2020-2022. This year the club drafted an intriguing rookie power forward Jabari Smith with the third pick from Auburn. The Rockets also made two other selections in the first round.
It seems unlikely that every player in this deal will be with his new clubs when the regular season starts. Bobby Marks of ESPN (via Twitter) notes that both teams still have 18 guaranteed contracts on their books after this deal. According to the rules of the competition, that number must be 15 by October 17.