Grizzlies Trade Adams To Rockets For Oladipo, Second-Round Picks

FEBRUARY 2: The trade is official, according to press releases from both the Rockets and Grizzlies.

The three draft picks sent from Houston to Memphis in the deal are as follows, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link) and The Athletic’s John Hollinger:

  • The Thunder’s 2024 second-round pick.
  • Either the Nets’ 2024 second-round pick (protected 55-58) or the Warriors’ 2024 second-round pick (protected 56-58) (whichever is most favorable).
  • Either the Rockets’ 2025 second-round pick or the Thunder’s 2025 second-round pick (whichever is most favorable).

FEBRUARY 1: The Grizzlies are trading center Steven Adams to the Rockets in exchange for Victor Oladipo and three second-round picks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Adams is out for the season with a knee injury while Oladipo is also battling a long-term left patellar tendon injury.

According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), the Grizzlies are acquiring two 2024 second-round picks and a 2025 second-round pick in the trade.

The move is a primarily financial one from Memphis’ side, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Grizzlies were and are facing tough contract decisions with an expensive roster set for 2024/25. Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marcus Smart are among players set to make $20MM or more next season and, before acquiring Oladipo, their only free-agent-to-be next season was Xavier Tillman. Adams is set to make $12.6MM next season while Oladipo is on an expiring deal.

Not including the cap hold for a likely lottery pick, the Grizzlies had $186MM in salary for next season with the second apron projected for $190MM, according to Marks (Twitter link). Moving Adams creates some breathing room to the club, who may also look to shed additional salary ahead of next week’s deadline.

While Tillman was the Grizzlies’ only projected standard free agent, they also could look to move Luke Kennard, who possesses a $14.7MM team option for next season. While they could simply decline the option, it may make sense to try and extract value for the career 43.7% three-point shooter. Alternatively, they could exercise Kennard’s team option and look to make smaller moves to duck out of tax territory, according to Spotrac’s Keith Smith.

If they don’t flip him in another trade, the Grizzlies could buy out Oladipo in order to create an opening on their 15-man roster. Two-way player GG Jackson is impressing and is only under contract through the season. Memphis could work out a longer-term deal with him and have the 19-year-old forward take Oladipo’s roster spot, if they so choose.

The Rockets are getting a quality big man when healthy who can play alongside or behind rising star Alperen Sengun. Although Adams is out for the rest of the season, he’s the kind of physical big man the team was seeking. A Wednesday report indicated players like Portland’s Robert Williams and Atlanta’s Clint Capela were among the centers on Houston’s radar.

In the end, the Rockets landed on Adams, who should be full recovered for next season, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Houston’s front office believes in the toughness and leadership he can bring to the team. Adams averaged 8.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 0.9 steals across 42 games with the Grizzlies in ’22/23.

Smith observes that while three second-round picks looks steep on paper for the Rockets, none of those picks are projected to be near the top of the second round. While the exact picks are unknown, the Rockets have second-rounders from Brooklyn, Golden State and Oklahoma City in 2024 and their only 2025 second-rounder is from the Thunder. Additionally, the Rockets are still well below the luxury tax for next season and can dip further by moving off of Jock Landale.

Memphis will be taking on Oladipo’s expiring contract using the $12.4MM disabled player exception they were granted as a result of Ja Morant‘s season-ending injury. That will allow the team to create a $12.6MM trade exception (equivalent to Adams’ full outgoing salary). As explained in our glossary, that trade exception would be good to use for one year.

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