AUGUST 7: The sign-and-trade deal with the Bulls is official, the Rockets announced in a press release, with Chicago getting cash considerations in return.
“Daniel is a versatile center who impacts both ends of the court,” Rockets general manager Rafael Stone said. “We’re looking forward to adding his skillset to our young core and giving Coach (Stephen) Silas even more flexibility with his lineups.”
Theis’ new four-year contract includes a 15% trade kicker, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (via Twitter).
Theis was frequently linked to Houston in the days leading up to free agency. As Tim MacMahon of ESPN notes (via Twitter), Houston’s plan is to work with the Bulls, Theis’ old team, to complete a sign-and-trade deal that would allow the Rockets to fit the center into their leftover trade exception from the Victor Oladipo trade.
That trade exception is worth about $8.2MM and could be used to sign Theis to a contract worth up to $35.6MM over four years. Taking that approach would preserve Houston’s mid-level exception for another signing (or multiple signings).
According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link), the Rockets are expected to send cash to the Bulls to finalize the sign-and-trade.
Theis, 29, averaged a career-high 9.6 PPG in 2020/21 in 65 games (24.6 MPG) for Boston and Chicago. He also contributed 5.5 RPG and 0.9 BPG while shooting 54.1% from the floor and even launching the occasional three-pointer (32.2% on 2.3 attempts per game).
While Theis isn’t particularly dangerous on the offensive end, he’s a solid defender who will give the Rockets another reliable veteran in the frontcourt alongside Christian Wood.