Boban Marjanovic

Rockets Waive Derrick Favors

OCTOBER 17: The Rockets have waived Favors, the team confirmed today. Houston’s roster is now set for the regular season.


OCTOBER 14: The Rockets plan to waive veteran big man Derrick Favors, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link).

As Charania notes, Houston still needed to make one more cut with 16 players on guaranteed standard contracts. Favors will be the odd man out.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link), the Rockets are “huge fans” of Boban Marjanovic, another veteran center who may have been competing with Favors for the last roster spot. Iko says the team holds Marjanovic “in high regard as a locker room presence” and he’s “universally loved by his teammates,” in addition to having situational use as a backup.

The Rockets will be on the hook for all of Favors’ $10,183,800 salary in 2022/23 assuming he goes unclaimed on waivers, which is almost certain to happen. If he’s officially waived today, the 31-year-old will become a free agent on Sunday.

Favors was acquired by the Rockets in an eight-player trade with the Thunder at the end of last month, and all four players Houston acquired will have been waived before the season starts (the Rockets essentially took on extra expiring money this season to land a future second-round pick and received some cash to help offset the salary differences).

The third overall pick of the 2010 draft, Favors has appeared in 790 regular season games (503 starts, 24.3 MPG) with averages of 10.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG and 1.2 BPG while shooting 53.4% from the floor and 66.3% from the foul line. His mobility and production have declined in recent seasons, averaging career-lows of 5.3 PPG and 4.7 RPG in 38 games (18 starts, 16.7 MPG) with the Thunder in ’21/22, but it would be surprising if he doesn’t land with a new team soon after becoming a free agent.

Western Notes: Marjanovic, Cauley-Stein, Lakers Arena, Warriors

What is the status of the ever popular Boban Marjanovic? According to Marc Stein in a Substack post, Marjanovic has a place on the Rockets’ opening night roster despite an excess of big men.

Marjanovic was dealt by Dallas as part of its package for Christian Wood. He has one season left on the two-year, $7MM contract he signed last offseason.

Alperen Şengün is projected as Houston’s starting center, with Bruno Fernando and Willie Cauley-Stein also vying for spots on the regular season roster.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The addition of Cauley-Stein isn’t official yet, as Houston must clear a roster space to sign him. He’s a low-risk, potentially solid-reward addition, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes in his latest mailbag. Over the past five seasons, Cauley-Stein’s teams defended nearly five points better with him on the floor, Iko notes. He’s still athletic enough to play in Houston’s up-tempo system and should help the team defensively.
  • The home arena for the Lakers and Clippers in undergoing major renovations over the next three summers, according to David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times. Upgrades are being made at every level of Crypto.com Arena, formerly known as the Staples Center. The upgrades include new jumbo screens, updated concession stands, a better sound system and an enhanced “fan experience.” The Clippers are scheduled to leave for their new arena in 2024.
  • Which member of the Warriors’ big three will leave? In a mailbag post, Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett speculates that Draymond Green is the only one who might depart in the near future. Stephen Curry has four years left on his deal and is the face of the franchise, while Klay Thompson has two years left on his contract and will likely sign another with Golden State. Green can opt out of his contract after next season and the heavily taxed Warriors may pin their hopes on one of their young frontcourt players emerging at a lower cost, Bulpett writes.

Rockets Trade Christian Wood To Mavericks

JUNE 24: The trade is now official, the Mavericks announced in the early hours of Friday morning. Wood has officially landed in Dallas in exchange for Marjanovic, Brown, Burke, Chriss, and the draft rights to No. 26 overall pick Wendell Moore. Houston is flipping Moore to Minnesota in a separate deal.


JUNE 15: The Rockets are trading Christian Wood to the Mavericks in exchange for the No. 26 overall pick of the 2022 draft, Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

All five players are on expiring contracts in 2022/23, with the four Mavs players being sent out for salary-matching purposes. Wood will earn $14.3MM next season.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the trade can’t be officially completed until draft night, which is June 23, because the Mavs owe a protected first-round pick to the Knicks in 2023. Six months after the trade is completed, Wood will be eligible to sign a contract extension worth up to $77MM over four years, says Marks.

Burke holds a $3.3MM player option for ’22/23 and will need to exercise the option in order for the trade to work, Marks notes (via Twitter), adding that rosters expanding to 20 in the offseason will allow the Rockets to take back four players in exchange for one. Burke will receive a trade bonus of $247,500 from Dallas as part of the deal, Marks relays in another tweet.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report indicated on Tuesday that the Mavericks were looking to trade their only draft pick, and they found a match in the rebuilding Rockets, who now control three first-round picks: Nos. 3, 17 and 26. The Rockets have multiple options to explore ahead of the draft. If they want to package Nos. 17 and 26 to move up a bit, they likely could.

The 26-year-old Wood is a very solid return for Dallas, even if he comes with some character concerns. The talented big man averaged 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 block in 109 games for Houston the past two seasons, posting a shooting line of .507/.384/.626.

The move definitely comes with risks for the Mavs, because Wood is a subpar defensive player and can be quite inconsistent, especially from an effort standpoint, from game-to-game. However, he’s on an expiring contract, which limits the risk, and is theoretically in a good situation with star Luka Doncic.

Mavs GM Nico Harrison said the team would be looking to acquire a quality big man who could provide rebounding and rim protection after the team lost in the Western Conference Finals. Wood fulfills the first criteria — he’s a good rebounder — but falls a bit short on the second, as he isn’t much of a deterrent at the basket.

According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link), the Rockets wanted to move Wood in order to create more playing time for Alperen Sengun, who was a rookie this past season, and the No. 3 pick, who will likely be another big man. They’ll get a look at some veterans on expiring deals, but obviously the main appeal was the No. 26 pick and no long-term salary.

Chriss, who will make $2.19MM next season, underwent knee surgery on Wednesday and will be sidelined while rehabbing for the next couple months, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Texas Notes: Rockets, Wood, Dragic, Roddy, Williams

The players the Rockets will acquire when the Christian Wood trade becomes official may never play for the team, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Houston has agreed to send Wood to the Mavericks in exchange for the 26th pick in next week’s draft and four players on expiring contracts, Boban MarjanovicSterling BrownTrey Burke and Marquese Chriss.

Chriss and Brown both played for the Rockets before, but aren’t expected to be invited to training camp, according to Feigen. He cites Marjanovic as the most likely player to remain with the organization because of his abilities on offense and his willingness to accept a backup role, but adds that Marjanovic’s fate won’t be determined for a while.

None of the players will make more than $3.5MM next season, so they could be waived without a significant impact to the Rockets’ financial situation or they could be moved in other deals. Houston will have 16 players under contract once the deal is complete, along with its two-way players and three picks in the first round of the draft.

There’s more NBA news from Texas:

  • Wood’s time with the Rockets has seemed limited ever since the team traded up in last year’s draft to select Alperen Sengun, notes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Despite Wood’s unique talents, he wasn’t successful at power forward alongside Daniel Theis at the start of the season and he didn’t fit well next to Sengun. Wood also didn’t offer much rim protection as a center and he may not have been interested in re-signing with Houston because of his desire to be with a playoff team, Iko adds.
  • Marjanovic was one of Luka Doncic‘s best friends on the team, but the Mavericks could appease Doncic by pursuing fellow Slovenian guard Goran Dragic in free agency, suggests Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link).
  • Colorado State’s David Roddy is scheduled to work out for the Mavericks on Friday, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Dallas won’t have any picks once the Wood deal goes through, but the team could try to trade into the late first round or early second round, where Roddy is projected to be taken.
  • Arkansas big man Jaylin Williams worked out for the Spurs on Tuesday, according to Andrew Slater of Pro Insight (Twitter link). Along with three first-round picks, San Antonio has the No. 38 selection, where it could target Williams, who is projected as a mid second-rounder.

Stein’s Latest: Pinson, Boban, Hornets, Connelly, Handy

The Mavericks are “determined” to find space on their roster for Theo Pinson next season, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article. Pinson appeared in just 19 regular season games in 2021/22 and wasn’t eligible to play in the postseason, but the Mavs view the 26-year-old wing as an important part of the team dynamic in Dallas, Stein explains, noting that center Boban Marjanovic falls into this category too.

Marjanovic has a $3.5MM contract for next season, so the Mavericks will have no problem keeping him around if they want to, but Pinson’s two-way deal is set to expire, making him an unrestricted free agent. Since he’ll have four years of NBA service under his belt, Pinson will no longer be eligible to sign a two-way contract in 2022/23 — he’d have to get a standard contract and be part of the 15-man roster if the Mavs want to retain him.

Pinson was viewed as the unofficial ring leader of the Mavs’ bench mob that earned the team $175K in fines during the playoffs due to its “bench decorum” violations.

Here’s more from Stein:

  • With Darvin Ham off the board, it’s unclear which head coaching candidate is the frontrunner for the Hornets‘ job. However, Stein says there was some “fresh buzz” over the weekend that if Mike D’Antoni is hired by Charlotte, he could bring former Bulls head coach Jim Boylen along with him as an assistant. Stein reported a couple weeks ago that D’Antoni was in a strong position to land the job, but later cast some doubt on that report.
  • Sources with knowledge of the situation tell Stein that the “equity” aspect of Tim Connelly‘s deal with the Timberwolves has been overstated. Stein’s understanding is that Connelly’s contract includes a bonus based on the value of the franchise increasing during his five-year contract, but he doesn’t actually own a stake in the team.
  • It remains to be seen whether veteran assistant Phil Handy will return to the Lakers under Ham, according to Stein, who believes the Nets could be a fit for Handy if he doesn’t stay in L.A. Handy worked well with Kyrie Irving during their Cleveland days, and the Nets have a need on the player development side following Adam Harrington‘s exit, Stein observes.

And-Ones: Jerebko, Canaan, China, Teammate Award, Future Rankings

While some former NBA players have left Russian teams following the invasion into Ukraine, Jonas Jerebko is resuming his career there. The ex-NBA big man signed with CSKA Moscow, the team tweets. That didn’t sit well with the Swedish National Team, who suspended him, according to Johnny Askounis of EuroHoops.net“Unfortunately, we are forced to state that there are no conditions for Jonas Jerebko to play for the Sweden basketball national team,” a Swedish Basketball Federation press release stated in part. Jerebko played for four NBA teams.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Another Russian team, Unics Kazan, has mutually parted ways with guard Isaiah Canaan, according to a EuroHoops.net story. Canaan is joining Turkey’s Galatasaray, EuroHoops tweets. Canaan appeared in 235 NBA games, most recently during the 2018/19 campaign.
  • Chinese TV has resumed broadcasts of NBA games, Sopan Deb of the New York Times reports. China had boycotted NBA broadcasts since 2019, when former Houston executive Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. China Central Television, its state-run TV network, broadcasted Tuesday night’s matchup between the Clippers and Jazz, which kicked off a full return of the league to China’s airwaves.
  • The 12 finalists for the league’s Teammate of the Year award have been announced, the NBA announced (via Twitter). DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Jeff Green , Udonis Haslem, Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Jaren Jackson Jr., Kevin Love, Boban Marjanovic, Chris Paul, Fred VanVleet and Grant Williams are the contenders. The annual honor recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to team.
  • The Grizzlies top the list on ESPN’s Future Power Rankings, according to Kevin Pelton, Bobby Marks, Andre’ Snellings, and Tim Bontemps (Insider link). They’re followed by the Heat and Suns. The Kings sit at the bottom of the pile.

COVID-19 Updates: Malone, Budenholzer, Hawks, Holiday, Marjanovic, Vincent, Nader

Two head coaches may clear health and safety protocols in time for their teams’ next games. Michael Malone traveled with the Nuggets to Oklahoma City and expects to be on the sidelines Sunday, tweets Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Malone missed four games while in the protocols, and acting coach Popeye Jones compiled a 2-2 record.

Darvin Ham, who is serving as acting head coach for the Bucks, is hoping Mike Budenholzer will be ready to return for Monday’s game at Charlotte, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link). Nehm suggests that Budenholzer still needs to return multiple negative tests before being cleared.

Here are more updates on COVID-19 and the health and safety protocols:

  • Hawks head coach Nate McMillan remains in the protocols, but assistant Chris Jent has been cleared and will serve as acting head coach for Sunday’s game against the Clippers, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • Bucks guard Jrue Holiday tested out of the protocols, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. However, Holiday sat out tonight’s game because of pain in his left ankle.
  • Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic has cleared the protocols, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
  • Heat guard Gabe Vincent is out of the protocols, but isn’t with the team for tonight’s game in Phoenix, according to Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald (Twitter link). Marcus Garrett is the only Miami player remaining in the protocols.
  • Suns forward Abdel Nader has also cleared the protocols, tweets Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Nader is recovering from a knee injury and will have to go through reconditioning before he can play again.
  • Follow our Health And Safety Protocols Tracker for a complete list of how the virus is affecting the league.

COVID-19 Updates: Mavs, B. Boston, Cacok, Lakers, C. Thomas

The Mavericks have placed center Boban Marjanovic and guard Brandon Knight – who signed a hardship deal last week – in the health and safety protocols, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Marjanovic and Knight are the sixth and seventh Dallas players currently in the protocols.

As we noted earlier today, the Mavericks reportedly reached an agreement to sign Isaiah Thomas, who will be the team’s seventh replacement player. If Dallas had just five players in the protocols, the team wouldn’t be able to make another hardship signing, so the fact that Marjanovic and Knight are now in the protocols helps explain the Thomas deal.

Here are a few more COVID-related updates from around the league:

  • Clippers rookie Brandon Boston Jr. has entered the health and safety protocols, the team announced today. Boston had been playing an increased role as of late with the Clippers shorthanded, averaging 19.6 MPG in 13 games this month.
  • Spurs two-way big man Devontae Cacok has joined teammate Dejounte Murray in the COVID-19 protocols, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). They’re the only two San Antonio players affected for now.
  • Lakers guards Austin Reaves and Kent Bazemore have cleared the protocols, tweets Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group. They won’t be with the team in Memphis tonight, but should be available by Friday’s home game vs. Portland.
  • Nets rookie guard Cam Thomas has exited the protocols and is available, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Mavs Add Sterling Brown, Re-Sign Boban Marjanović

AUGUST 9: The signings of both Brown and Marjanović are now official, per NBA.com’s transactions log. Marjanović’s new contract with Dallas is worth $7MM over two years, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).


AUGUST 2: The Mavericks are set to make a pair of bench signings as free agency begins in earnest.

As had been rumored, the Mavericks are opting to bring back center Boban Marjanović this summer. Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets that Dallas will be re-signing the reserve big man.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN reports (via Twitter) that the 7’4″ Marjanović will be signed to a one-year deal with the Mavericks, his third full season with the team. Dallas initially signed the big man to a two-year, $7MM deal in the 2019 offseason. The club will thus have the 32-year-old’s full Bird rights next summer, following three full seasons of service.

Marjanović made a big impact in limited this season, averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.9 RPG in just 8.2 MPG across 33 contests.

Charania also reports (via Twitter) that the Mavericks will also be signing a new addition, free agent guard Sterling Brown. Brown, 26, was most recently a reserve contributor for another Texas club, the Rockets, for the duration of the 2020/21 season.

Brown averaged 8.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 1.4 APG in 51 games for the rebuilding Rockets, with a solid shooting line of .448/.423/.806.

Brown’s agent Mark Bartelstein has indicated that the 6’5″ vet will sign a two-year, $6.2MM contract with the club, per Marc Stein of Substack (via Twitter). There is no word as to whether both seasons will be guaranteed in the deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

Stein’s Latest: Lakers, Thomas, Holmes, Portis, More

Dwight Howard appears to be a strong candidate to rejoin the Lakers, who are also interested in veteran shooters Patty Mills and Wayne Ellington, according to Marc Stein of Substack. L.A. is looking for low-cost options to fill out its roster after the trade that brought Russell Westbrook from the Wizards, and Howard, Mills and Ellington may be willing to accept minimal deals for the chance to play for a title contender.

Given their financial position, the Lakers could have trouble holding onto Alex Caruso, Stein adds. The fourth-year guard has been effective in a bench role during his time in Los Angeles, and many teams are expected to pursue him.

There’s more from Stein:

  • The Celtics are interested in bringing back Isaiah Thomas, who was an All-Star in Boston before being sent out in the Kyrie Irving trade. New president of basketball operations Brad Stevens is a strong supporter of Thomas, who played three games for the Pelicans last season.
  • The Kings are expected to give center Richaun Holmes an offer in the four-year, $50MM range. However, he may do better on the open market after back-to-back strong seasons in Sacramento.
  • Several teams would like to add Bobby Portis, but there’s a belief around the league that he will stay with the Bucks despite their limited resources to re-sign him.
  • The Mavericks are virtually certain to keep center Boban Marjanović, who is a close friend of Luka Doncic.
  • There were some pre-draft trade rumors involving Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but the Thunder still see him as a franchise cornerstone and plan to use their draft capital to build around him. Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to receive a maximum extension on his rookie contract this summer, which would pay him $168MM over five years.
  • John Collins was the top target for the Spurs, who will have about $40MM to spend, but now that he’s expected to stay in Atlanta, San Antonio may shift to restricted free agent Lauri Markkanen.