The Rockets are trimming their roster to 15 players in advance of today’s cutdown deadline, and have made three moves so far, according to various reports. Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle tweets that the team has waived rookie guard Gary Payton II, while Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News tweets that camp invitees P.J. Hairston and Le’Bryan Nash have also been cut.
Hairston and Nash are likely ticketed for the Rockets’ D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, having been on non-guaranteed contracts. Payton could also ultimately land in Rio Grande, but his case isn’t quite as clear, since he had been on a guaranteed salary for 2016/17, giving him a little more flexibility for his next move.
With Payton, Hairston, and Nash out of the mix for a roster spots, the Rockets are now carrying 16 players, and will need to make one more cut. Tyler Ennis, recently acquired in a trade with Milwaukee, is probably safe, which would leave Bobby Brown and Kyle Wiltjer battling for the 15th and final roster spot. Neither player has a fully guaranteed deal, but Wiltjer received a sizable partial guarantee of $275K from Houston.
The Rockets figure to announce their final cut – and confirm their other moves – in a press release later today.