Multiple players, including a former top five NBA draft pick, were reportedly involved in a trade between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.
It’s a swap of players between the Thunder and Houston, per ESPN. Oklahoma City will be sending Derrick Favors, the third overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, Ty Jerome, Moe Harkless, Theo Maledon and a 2025 second-round pick via the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for David Nwaba, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and Marquese. Chris from Houston.
The move also has to do with both teams’ cap situation. The Thunder now have two trade exceptions and $10 million more in cap room, ESPN reported. The Rockets also got that second-round pick by taking on $1 million.
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Favors is entering his 14th year in the league, and this will now be his fifth team. The veteran center played with the Thunder for just one season in a depth role, playing 16.7 minutes and averaging 5.3 points with 4.7 rebounds in 39 games.
Harkless is another journeyman in the NBA, now joining his seventh team in what will be his 11th season. He played with the Sacramento Kings, averaging 4.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 47 games last year (24 starts).
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Nwaba saw a minute decrease with the Rockets, going from 22.6 in 2020-21 to 13.2 in 2021-22. He was lowered on the depth chart due in part to Jalen Green, the second overall pick from 2021 for Houston, joining the team.
Burke was a former top 10 pick dating back to the 2013 Draft when he came out of Michigan. After three seasons with the Utah Jazz in his early career, he has since bounced around, playing for the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers.
Overall, this trade is just swapping depth pieces to better balance out the respective rosters of two teams continuing to rebuild since their All-Stars went elsewhere.
For the Thunder, it was the three-headed monster of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook who ended up parting ways with Oklahoma City to go to bigger cities more primed to handle their stardom and financial responsibility. Westbrook was the last to stay in OKC before he went to the Rockets to join Harden once again.
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But that never worked out, with Harden seeking a trade two seasons ago to the Brooklyn Nets. He’s now with the 76ers, aiming for that elusive NBA title run.
Houston is a more recent rebuild, and they believe in Green as one of their cornerstone pieces. Jabari Smith Jr. was also just drafted while Kevin Porter Jr. has played a solid point guard.
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As for Oklahoma City, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey create a fun backcourt to watch and be excited about for the future. Unfortunately for them, though, their first-round pick this year, Chet Holmgren, has been declared out for the season after a right foot injury that required surgery.