AUGUST 6: The Mavs have officially waived Onuaku, according to a team press release.
AUGUST 2: The Mavericks will waive newly-acquired center Chinanu Onuaku, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). After completing the move, Dallas will be able to move forward with other signings, such as the club’s new deal with free agent guard Devin Harris.
Onuaku, 21, appeared in just six NBA regular season games in two NBA seasons with the Rockets. The former Louisville big man has spent most of his two professional seasons in the G League, playing in 83 total games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and averaging 12.3 PPG and 10.0 RPG to go along with 2.5 APG, 1.4 BPG, and 1.1 SPG. He also has a .617 FG% in the NBAGL.
While the Mavs’ acquisition of Onuaku may look pointless now that he’s being released, it essentially represented a no-cost opportunity to move up a few spots in the second round of the 2020 draft. The Rockets are reportedly covering Onuaku’s salary with cash as part of the trade, with the Mavs giving up the rights to a player who will likely never play in the NBA. Dallas will get the chance to swap the Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick for Houston’s second-rounder.
As we noted earlier today, the Mavs had already committed to free agent deals with 21 players this offseason, so it’s not a surprise that they’re cutting Onuaku to help make room for those signings. They’ll need to release or trade one more player to finalize all their reported deals.
As for Onuaku, once he’s officially waived, he’ll spent two days on waivers. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, eligible to sign with any team except the Rockets.