AUGUST 2: The Mavericks have officially announced the trade in a press release. Dallas receives Onuaku, cash, and the ability to swap the Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick with the Rockets’ pick. In exchange, Houston receives the draft rights to 2008 second-rounder Maarty Leunen.
AUGUST 1: The Rockets are trading center Chinanu Onuaku to the Mavericks, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Dallas will receive Onuaku and cash from Houston in exchange for the ability to swap 2020 second-round picks.
Onuaku, 21, was selected by the Rockets in the second round of the 2016 draft with the 37th overall pick. Although he has spent the last two seasons with Houston, he has appeared in just six NBA regular season games for the club.
The former Louisville big man has spent most of his two professional seasons in the G League, playing in 83 total games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. In his NBAGL career, Onuaku has averaged a double-double (12.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG) to go along with 2.5 APG, 1.4 BPG, and 1.1 SPG. He also has a .617 FG%.
Having apparently felt that Onuaku wouldn’t have a role on this year’s team, Houston will move him and his guaranteed $1,544,951 salary to Dallas, creating a trade exception worth that same amount. The in-the-tax Rockets may end up replacing Onuaku on their roster, but will perhaps do so with a slightly less expensive player who has a better chance to contribute to the 2018/19 squad.
As for the Mavericks, they’ll absorb Onuaku’s contract using their leftover cap room. Once the move is official, Dallas figures to move forward with completing minimum salary deals for Salah Mejri and Devin Harris.