DECEMBER 15TH, 1:41pm: The Rockets have had discussions with several teams about trading Jones, but they’d like to keep him, sources tell Watkins, who confirms earlier reports of the team’s interest in Morris.
DECEMBER 7TH, 11:09am: Houston is holding on to Jones for now, even as several teams around the league want to trade for him, tweets Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported late Sunday that the Rockets would likely relinquish Jones if they were to deal for Markieff Morris.
DECEMBER 4TH, 2:39pm: The Rockets are looking into trading either Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas or both, a source tells Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). It’s unclear whether Houston has reached out to other teams about the power forwards or if the discussion is merely internal. SheridanHoops editor Chris Sheridan, who relayed Scotto’s reporting, said the team was “kicking tires” on the idea.
Rockets officials have been “sniffing around” for deals, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders wrote this week, though they aren’t exploring trades involving Ty Lawson, Kyler later heard. Houston is a disappointing 8-11 but has won three of its last four.
Motiejunas has yet to play this season as he recovers from a back injury that prematurely ended his 2014/15 campaign, though interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff made comments today that suggested he’s open to the idea of Motiejunas making his season debut tonight, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Jones has been healthy this year after missing much of last season with a nerve injury that prompted him to worry he’d never play again.
Both Jones and Motiejunas abandoned extension talks after their reps were reportedly unable to make any headway as they negotiated with GM Daryl Morey and company. That means the pair of former first-round picks are set for restricted free agency in July. In the meantime, they’re playing on the final seasons of their respective rookie scale contracts, with Jones making slightly less than $2.49MM and Motiejunas pulling down about $2.288MM.
The Rockets are hamstrung as they make moves this season, since they imposed an $88.74MM hard cap on themselves when they signed second-round pick Montrezl Harrell, who plays the same position as Jones and Motiejunas. Houston is less than $2MM shy of that cap. The team has a trade exception worth less than $1MM that’s set to expire on December 19th, and while it holds relatively little value, it could come in handy if the team constructs a complicated trade.
Should the Rockets trade Jones, Motiejunas, both, or neither? Leave a comment to give your input.