Rockets Trade Stauskas, Baldwin To Pacers

10:00pm: The Pacers have officially completed their trade with the Rockets, acquiring Stauskas, Baldwin, Milwaukee’s 2021 second-round pick and the rights to Maarty Leunen for cash considerations, the team announced.

Indiana also waived Anigbogu to make the agreement official.

1:05pm: The Pacers are waiving second-year center Ike Anigbogu to make room for their incoming players, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

12:16pm: A day after acquiring Nik Stauskas and Wade Baldwin, the Rockets have reached an agreement to send them to the Pacers, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Houston will also ship a second-round pick to Indiana, Woj adds, and the Pacers plan to waive both players (Twitter link).

The Pacers only have one roster opening, so they will have to get rid of someone before they can take on Stauskas and Baldwin, notes Keith Smith of Real GM (Twitter link). The Rockets are making the deal for tax purposes, so it’s unlikely they will be getting anyone in return.

A flurry of trades over the past two days has put Houston $634K under the luxury tax, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). The Rockets are down to 12 players, two below the league minimum, but are expected to be active on the buyout market. They will have two weeks to get their roster back to at least 14. Owner Tilman Fertitta has been saying that he wanted to get under the tax this season to avoid repeater penalties in the future, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).

Indiana will drop down to 13 players once if it follows through with plans to waive Stauskas and Baldwin and will also have two weeks to get back to the 14-player minimum.

The Rockets acquired both players last night in a three-team deal that also brought them Iman Shumpert. Houston had to take both players from the Cavaliers to help Cleveland stay below the luxury tax. This is the third trade in four days for Stauskas and Baldwin, who were also sent from the Trail Blazers to the Cavs in the Rodney Hood swap.

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20 thoughts on “Rockets Trade Stauskas, Baldwin To Pacers

    • jeb39999

      I don’t think they should buy a plane ticket anywhere yet because who knows where they will end up

  1. hiflew

    So are Stauskas and Baldwin married or otherwise attached? Is there a reason they aren’t being separated?

    • Cap purposes. Both are on cheap, 1 year deals so they’re easy to move. Cavs likely needed to send both to Houston to take on Knight’s and Chriss’ contracts. Houston doesn’t want either so it made sense to try and package both in a deal to a team with some space.

  2. Does this deal even help the Rockets at all with their luxury tax concerns? Eventually they’ll have to fill the spots on their roster. I imagine signing a bought out player even to the prorated veteran’s minimum would eat up a large chunk of that $600k in space they opened up.

    • Michael Chaney

      They could also just elect to sign a few guys to 10-day contracts every two weeks when they need to add a 14th player; the cap hits on those are only a little over $80,000 if I’m not mistaken

      • xdrta

        Well, there’s about 10 weeks left, so I’m not sure if that would squeeze them under the line or not.

  3. Rosstradamus

    ALL these teams will RUE THE DAY they got rid of ‘Sauce Castillo’….LOL

  4. Nebraska Tim

    Poor Stauskas and Baldwin. This can’t have been a fun ride. I hope the front offices were communicating clearly with them, so they weren’t stuck in travel hell.

  5. Fertitta is gotta be the cheapest owner in the NBA, penny pinching on the tax while wasting his only shot at competing… petty.

  6. x%sure

    Money problems? Do what the major franchisors do. Call upon Baldwin and Stauskas, right now, for your refi needs!

  7. Jeff Zanghi

    What’s the deal with Maarty Leunen’s draft rights also being included in this deal? in fact what’s up with his trade rights being traded 3 times since 2016 when it appears he may not even be playing pro basketball anymore!? Is this some like GM-insider joke!? haha or is there actually something going on here like this guy wants to play in the NBA before he calls it quits or something??

    • Not sure why he is really included in this deal, but drafted players who never end up signing a contract in the NBA are often used just to complete a trade. In any trade, both teams have to be sending something the other way. In a case like this, where a team is trying to cut salary via trade, a team might trade a current player to another team for the draft rights to some random player just to fulfill the requirement of both teams giving something up.

      • Luke Adams

        This is true. In this case, Leunen’s rights seem like an unnecessary addition, but for what it’s worth, prior to this deal, the Rockets had seven of those draft rights held guys and the Pacers only had one. So maybe they just got Houston to throw in one in case they need him in another trade later?

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