MAY 10: The Rockets have officially signed Oliver via a hardship exception, the team announced today in a press release. While Houston classifies it as a 10-day contract, there are only seven days left in the regular season, so it won’t technically cover 10 full days.
Oliver, 24, recently completed his second season with the Cairns Taipans in Australia’s National Basketball League, averaging 17.3 points, 10 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He is still under contract with the Taipans for the 2021/22 season, so his NBA stay figures to be brief.
Oliver is one of the top centers in Australia, according to Uluc, with elite athleticism and a shooting range stretching beyond the three-point line. He will join former Sydney Kings player Jae’Sean Tate and coach Will Weaver in Houston.
Oliver has a history with the Rockets, points out Ben DuBose of USA Today’s Rockets Wire. After going undrafted out of Nevada in 2017, Oliver signed with Houston and participated in training camp that year. He played two seasons in the G League before going to Australia.
The Rockets have a full roster, DuBose adds, but could add Oliver without another move if they get a second hardship exception from the league. With a roster severely depleted by injuries, Houston recently used its first hardship exception to add Khyri Thomas.