Chinanu Onuaku

Mavericks Waive Chinanu Onuaku

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.

Rockets Trade Chinanu Onuaku To Mavericks

AUGUST 2: The Mavericks have officially announced the trade in a press release. Dallas receives Onuaku, cash, and the ability to swap the Warriors’ 2020 second-round pick with the Rockets’ pick. In exchange, Houston receives the draft rights to 2008 second-rounder Maarty Leunen.

AUGUST 1: The Rockets are trading center Chinanu Onuaku to the Mavericks, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), Dallas will receive Onuaku and cash from Houston in exchange for the ability to swap 2020 second-round picks.

Onuaku, 21, was selected by the Rockets in the second round of the 2016 draft with the 37th overall pick. Although he has spent the last two seasons with Houston, he has appeared in just six NBA regular season games for the club.

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. In his NBAGL career, Onuaku has averaged a double-double (12.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG) to go along with 2.5 APG, 1.4 BPG, and 1.1 SPG. He also has a .617 FG%.

Having apparently felt that Onuaku wouldn’t have a role on this year’s team, Houston will move him and his guaranteed $1,544,951 salary to Dallas, creating a trade exception worth that same amount. The in-the-tax Rockets may end up replacing Onuaku on their roster, but will perhaps do so with a slightly less expensive player who has a better chance to contribute to the 2018/19 squad.

As for the Mavericks, they’ll absorb Onuaku’s contract using their leftover cap room. Once the move is official, Dallas figures to move forward with completing minimum salary deals for Salah Mejri and Devin Harris.

Rockets Pursuing Hawks’ Kent Bazemore?

The Rockets are interested in dealing for the Hawks’ Kent Bazemore, according to Kelly Iko of RocketsWire.

While the addition of Carmelo Anthony after he clears waivers seems like a foregone conclusion, the Rockets are in the market for a defensive-minded wing. Bazemore fits that bill but Houston would have come up with a package that would interest the Hawks.

Presumably, the Rockets would deal Ryan Anderson’s contract to make the numbers match up, but they’d have to attach a draft pick and/or young player to entice Atlanta’s front office. Anderson has two years and $41.7MM left on his deal with no options; Bazemore has two years and $37.3MM left on his contract but holds a player option for the final year.

A package of Anderson, Chinanu Onuaku and a 2019 first-rounder would be feasible financially but Atlanta doesn’t view Onuaku as a ‘move-the-needle’ player, according to Iko.

Bazemore averaged 12.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.5 APG and 1.5 SPG in 65 starts with Atlanta last season.

The Pelicans are also looking at Bazemore, according to Iko, but Atlanta doesn’t want Solomon Hill as part of the deal.

Rockets Looking To Sign Isaiah Hartenstein?

According to a report from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the Rockets are working toward signing 2017 second-round pick Isaiah Hartenstein to an NBA deal with hopes they will reach an agreement by the end of the week.

Hartenstein, 20, had a strong showing for the Rockets during this year’s NBA Summer League after the 7-foot center played for the Rockets’ G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, last season.

Before being selected No. 43 overall in last year’s draft, Hartenstein played with Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas, where he helped lead the team to a seventh straight Lithuanian Basketball Club title.

With the Vipers, Hartenstein averaged 9.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game, making 57.1 percent of his shots. He averaged 10.3 points and eight rebounds per game during this year’s Summer League.

Hartenstein’s signing could mean the end of center Zhou Qi‘s time with the Rockets. Both big men Nene and Chinanu Onuaku have fully-guaranteed salaries for the upcoming 2018/19 campaign, while Qi has no guaranteed money on his contract that runs through 2021.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/28/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:


  • After participating in today’s practice with the South Bay Lakers, Thomas Bryant has been recalled to the NBA, the Lakers announced (via Twitter). Bryant, who will be in uniform for L.A.’s game on Wednesday night, has posted 19.7 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 37 G League games this season.


  • The Rockets assigned young bigs Zhou Qi and Chinanu Onuaku to the G League today, the team announced (Twitter link via Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston). Houston’s affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, will be in action on Friday night, hosting the Texas Legends in the NBAGL playoffs.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/21/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA.


  • The Warriors have recalled guard Quinn Cook and center Damian Jones from their affiliate in Santa Cruz, tweets Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area.
  • The Cavaliers have assigned center Ante Zizic to their Canton affiliate, the team announced on its website.
  • The Jazz assigned center Tony Bradley to their affiliate in Salt Lake City, according to the team website.


NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/23/18

Here are the G League moves from around the league on Tuesday:

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/3/2018

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:


  • The Rockets have recalled little-used big man Chinanu Onuaku from the G League, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). It appears the team is bringing Onuaku back to the NBA for health reasons, not because he’ll get a chance to play — Feigen indicates that the secodd-year center is undergoing sinus surgery.


  • The Wizards have assigned third-year forward Chris McCullough to the G League, according to the team. Washington doesn’t have a G League team of its own, so McCullough will join Milwaukee’s affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. The Herd are in action tonight, but McCullough’s assignment may end up lasting multiple games beyond that, tweets Candace Buckner of The Washington Post.
  • After being sent to the G League on Tuesday, rookie guard Derrick White was recalled by the Spurs today, per a press release. White helped lead the Austin Spurs to a win on Tuesday night, putting up 22 points in just 24 minutes.
  • The Pacers have assigned rookie center Ike Anigbogu to the G League, the team announced today in a press release. The NBA’s youngest active player, Anigbogu has appeared in seven games so far for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Indiana’s G League affiliate, averaging 6.6 PPG and 6.7 RPG.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 10/23/17

NBA G League training camps open today, with the start of the 2017/18 season less than two weeks away. With camps getting underway, NBA teams have begun to assign players to their respective affiliates. However, as we detailed earlier this year, four teams are still lacking affiliates.

The Nuggets are one of those teams without an affiliate for 2017/18, which means their two-way players are headed to two different G League clubs. Denver announced today in a press release that Monte Morris will join the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets‘ affiliate, while Torrey Craig will play for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat‘s affiliate.

Here are today’s G League assignments:


  • After spending the day in the G League, Isaiah Whitehead has been recalled to the Nets, the team announced this evening in a press release.


  • The Nuggets have assigned first-round pick Tyler Lydon to the G League too, according to the team. Lydon will head to the Rockets‘ affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, along with Morris.
  • While the Rockets are adding a pair of Denver players to their G League squad, they’ll also send a couple players from their own NBA roster to the Vipers, announcing today (via Twitter) that Chinanu Onuaku and Troy Williams are G-League-bound.
  • Despite some minutes becoming available in the Nets‘ backcourt in the wake of Jeremy Lin‘s season-ending injury, second-year guard Isaiah Whitehead hasn’t cracked the rotation. Brooklyn is sending him to the Long Island Nets to get him some playing time, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • The Heat have assigned center A.J. Hammons to the G League, the club announced today in a press release. Head coach Erik Spoelstra said that Hammons is joining the Skyforce to work on his conditioning after he missed time with the flu, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Western Notes: Barnes, Onuaku, Noel

The Warriors will face the Jazz in the conference’s semifinals, though Golden State was rooting for the Clippers to beat Utah in the previous round, Chris Haynes of writes. Were the Warriors concerned about the opposition’s slow pace, Gordon Hayward‘s perimeter game, or Rudy Gobert‘s defensive presence? None of the above. They were worried about being bored.

“There’s no nightlife in Utah,” Matt Barnes said. “Obviously, as players, you want to be able to have a little bit of a nightlife, but the main focus is winning games. Me personally, I want to get out there because I want to beat the Clippers. That’s my former team, and my kids are out there. But as far as nightlife, there’s no comparison to nightlife in Utah and L.A.”

Barnes added that he’s not sure what he’ll do during his spare time in Utah.  “I think there’s an Olive Garden out there and then a Benihana. So you’ll definitely be locked in [on the game] all the way,” He said.

The small forward hasn’t played yet in the postseason because of ankle and foot issues, though it appears he’s getting set to play in Game 1 against Utah, according to Golden State’s Twitter feed. Shaun Livingston, who has a hand injury, is considered questionable for the contest.

Here’s more from the Western Conference: