Rockets Release Theo Maledon

5:00pm: The Rockets have officially waived Maledon, per’s transaction log.

3:53pm: The Rockets are releasing guard Theo Maledon, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Like Maurice Harkless, Maledon was acquired by Houston as part of the eight-player swap with the Thunder, and will now be waived as the team eats his $1.9MM salary for 2022/23, which is fully guaranteed.

Once the two transactions are complete, the Rockets will still have 16 players on guaranteed standard deals and Willie Cauley-Stein on a non-guaranteed contract, and they’ll need to reduce the standard roster down to 15 players before the regular season starts.

Maledon, 21, was the 34th overall pick of the 2020 draft. He appeared in 116 regular season games (56 starts, 23.3 MPG) with the Thunder over the past two seasons, averaging a combined 8.8 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 2.9 APG on .371/.322/.766 shooting.

Evidently neither the Thunder nor the Rockets were high enough on the French point guard to keep him around, despite his above-average size (6’4″) and youth. Since he only has two years of NBA experience, Maledon is eligible to sign a two-way deal if and when he clears waivers on Thursday, and that might be more likely than another guaranteed standard contract at this point considering a couple of rebuilding clubs decided not to retain him.

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