Daniel Theis

Rockets Acquire Daniel Theis In Sign-And-Trade

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).


AUGUST 2: The Rockets will fortify their frontcourt by signing Daniel Theis to a four-year contract worth $36MM, his agents at CAA Basketball tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

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.

Free Agency Rumors: Bulls, Galloway, Bullock, Caruso, Dinwiddie, Theis

The Bulls appear to be aware that they need to upgrade their playmaking. Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports (Twitter video link) that Chicago could be looking to add Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball and Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan to their roster.

Windhorst notes that the Bulls may be able to extract Ball from the Pelicans in a sign-and-trade deal, provided the Pelicans can add a point guard replacement for Ball either in the trade or elsewhere. The notion of DeRozan joining the Chicago backcourt as well is intriguing. “From what I am told, [the Bulls] are also interested in DeMar DeRozan, and are interested in pulling off a possible double sign-and-trade where they would send [Chicago’s restricted free agent power forward] Lauri Markkanen to San Antonio,” Windhorst said in an ESPN segment.

Here are more free agency rumors from around the NBA, with the official start of the signing season just moments away:

  • After averaging a career-low 4.8 PPG in a career-low 40 games as essentially a part-time player for the eventual 2021 championship runner-up Suns, Langston Galloway appears ready to move on. “I was on a team that made it to the finals, but my biggest thing is getting an opportunity to play,” Galloway told Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “Being on a team like that, I learned a lot, and all I need is someone that’s going to believe in me. That’s going to go a long way, and it’s going to pay dividends for whatever team I get the chance to play for next year.”
  • Free agent Knicks shooting guard Reggie Bullock may have suitors offering him new deals in the range of a three-year mid-level contract, tweets Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks still hope to bring Bullock back. Berman adds that the Knicks are also rumored to have interest in free agent shooting guard Evan Fournier, and if they were to add him and Bullock, the incumbent Bullock would be demoted to the New York bench.
  • Unrestricted free agent Lakers reserve point guard Alex Caruso will speak with several clubs and is intent on picking a free agent destination expediently, writes Marks Medina of USA Today (Twitter link). Medina writes that the Lakers, who hold Caruso’s Bird rights, could look to retain him, especially since he could provide their suddenly top-heavy roster with some much-needed shooting and defense in the backcourt.
  • Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie apparently will decide between the Pelicans, Knicks and Wizards, though the Celtics could also a candidate, reports Jordan Schultz of ESPN (Twitter link). Sources inform Schultz that the Pelicans at least are prepared to offer Dinwiddie a long-term deal that could pay $20MM or more annually. Shams Charania reports (Twitter video link) that Dinwiddie will meet with the Wizards at the start of free agency. “They have made him an ultimate target early in this free agency process,” Charania said.
  • Free agent Bulls center/power forward Daniel Theis could be a target for several clubs looking for a big man upgrade, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto lists teams like the Rockets, Spurs, Raptors, Pistons and the playoff-contending Heat as candidates for Theis this summer.

Hollinger’s Latest: CP3, Knicks, Fournier, Bulls, Rose, Pacers, More

There was talk last week that the Pelicans would be a serious suitor for Chris Paul in free agency, but that chatter seems to have faded, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who says the veteran point guard is now widely expected to re-sign with the Suns.

As Hollinger explains, he heard the Suns’ initial offer to Paul when the two sides were discussing a possible extension was somewhat “underwhelming,” but the club now appears prepared to offer a more serious package. No one around the league will be surprised if the total value of Paul’s new deal gets up to $100MM or more, Hollinger adds.

Here are several more free agent rumors from Hollinger:

  • Amidst rumors that Evan Fournier‘s price tag may be too high for the Celtics‘ liking, Hollinger suggests that the Knicks may be the team preparing to make an aggressive offer to the free agent wing. Hollinger adds that it’s worth keeping an eye on Mitchell Robinson and the Knicks, since a renegotiate-and-extend deal is a possibility for the two sides. That sort of agreement would give Robinson a raise for 2021/22 and lock him up for multiple seasons.
  • If the Bulls don’t land Lonzo Ball, one of their backup plans may be offering Derrick Rose a deal in the neighborhood of $12MM per year, says Hollinger.
  • Hollinger’s sources expect T.J. McConnell to stick with the Pacers for a deal worth around – or slightly above – the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.9MM), but the competition for Doug McDermott will be fiercer and Indiana will face tax issues if the team wants to re-sign both players without trimming salary elsewhere.
  • If Richaun Holmes‘ presumed suitors – such as Charlotte and Toronto – end up using their cap room in other ways, he might be squeezed in free agency, allowing the Kings to re-sign him despite only holding his Early Bird rights. If that scenario plays out, Hollinger expects Holmes to sign a two-year deal with a player option so that he can hit the open market again in 2022 with full Bird rights.
  • There hasn’t been much free agent chatter surrounding Nuggets guard Will Barton or Trail Blazers Norman Powell, according to Hollinger, who writes that teams seems to be assuming those two players will remain with their respective clubs.
  • It has been tricky to figure out what the Spurs plan to do with their projected cap room, says Hollinger. Daniel Theis is the most prominent free agent target Hollinger has heard linked to San Antonio.

Western Rumors: Lakers, Pelicans, McDermott, Ja. Green, Holmes, More

After agreeing to acquire Russell Westbrook from Washington, the Lakers won’t have a ton of cap flexibility to add outside free agents this offseason. Los Angeles will likely be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum-salary contracts, since acquiring a player via sign-and-trade would create a hard cap that the team wouldn’t be able to stay under.

However, even with limited resources, that doesn’t mean the Lakers will have to wait until the second or third wave of free agency to go bargain hunting. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, people around the NBA believe that several veterans in search of a championship ring could be willing to pass on more lucrative offers elsewhere to join the Lakers. Fischer identifies DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Carmelo Anthony as some players who may fit that bill.

Here are a few more rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • The Pelicans, Suns, and Nuggets are believed to be among the teams interested in pursuing Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott in free agency, according to Fischer. A recent report from The Indianapolis Star suggested Indiana may lose McDermott this summer.
  • A return to the Nuggets is a possibility for JaMychal Green, but the power forward is also expected to draw interest from the Pelicans and Timberwolves, says Fischer.
  • Following up on a Marc Stein report linking Daniel Theis to the Rockets, Fischer confirms Houston is eyeing the veteran big man and suggests the team’s $8.2MM trade exception could be used to land Theis in a sign-and-trade.
  • According to Fischer, sources expect Richaun Holmes to remain with the Kings. That’s a bit of a surprise — Sacramento only has Holmes’ Early Bird rights and has been linked to several other centers, having agreed on Friday to acquire Tristan Thompson. But the Hornets, one of Holmes’ presumed suitors, are no longer expected to go big for a free agent center after drafting Kai Jones and agreeing to trade for Mason Plumlee, per Fischer. The Raptors, Mavericks, and Knicks may still be possibilities for Holmes, Fischer adds.
  • The Mavericks are viewed as the favorites to sign Sterling Brown in free agency, league sources tell Fischer.

Stein’s Latest: Simmons, Lowry, Raptors, Rockets, Theis

Earlier today, veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein reported that the Jazz are preparing a contract offer in the three-year, $75MM range for free agent point guard Mike Conley and said teams with interest in Hawks big man John Collins were growing increasingly pessimistic about landing him.

In his full Substack newsletter, Stein reiterates those points, noting that Collins seems intent on re-signing with the Hawks, and shares a handful of other tidbits related to free agency and the trade market. Let’s dive in and round up the highlights…

  • Stein dismisses rumors that the Sixers might be becoming more open to a trade structured around Ben Simmons and Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, describing that idea as “ill-founded.” If Philadelphia is going to make a deal with Portland, Damian Lillard will be the target, says Stein. The 76ers, who aren’t inclined to do the Blazers any favors in their efforts to convince Lillard to remain in Portland, continue to insist they’re not in a rush to resolve the Simmons situation, Stein adds.
  • Kyle Lowry is the top free agent target for the Heat, Mavericks, and Pelicans, according to Stein, who wonders if the point guard’s close relationship with Jimmy Butler might give Miami a recruiting advantage once free agency begins.
  • Some rival teams believe the Raptors may become more willing to pursue a Pascal Siakam trade after drafting Scottie Barnes fourth overall on Thursday, per Stein.
  • There was “considerable chatter” leading up to the draft that veteran center Daniel Theis will be one of the Rockets‘ top priorities in free agency, says Stein. It’s not clear if Houston’s selection of Alperen Sengun in Thursday’s draft changes the team’s frontcourt plans at all.

Free Agent Notes: McConnell, McDermott, Theis, DeRozan, Oubre

The Pacers are more likely to retain T.J. McConnell than Doug McDermott in free agency in August, according to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required). Michael suggests that Indiana is likely to re-sign McConnell, but will probably lose McDermott due to his “escalating price tag” following a career year.

If the Pacers bring back McConnell, it may affect what the team does with Aaron Holiday. According to Michael, the 24-year-old point guard – who is entering the final year of his rookie contract – has been hoping for a change of scenery since the 2021 trade deadline, so he could emerge as a trade candidate again this offseason.

Here are a few more notes related to free agency:

  • Chatter around the NBA suggests that Daniel Theis will be seeking a “big payday” in free agency, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, who suggests the veteran center may not be back with the Bulls.
  • Appearing on the Club Shay Shay podcast (video link), Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan said that his free agency decision will be “all about winning.” Asked by host Shannon Sharpe what that means for his salary expectations, DeRozan admitted he’d like to be well-compensated too, but said he feels more urgency to compete for a title as he enters his age-32 season.
  • Speaking to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Kelly Oubre didn’t offer many specific details about his plans for free agency, but hinted that a new deal with the Warriors may not be his top priority. “I want to continue to expand my game, grow and spread my wings. I want to continue to show all the things I’m capable of and not be put in a box,” Oubre said. “I felt like the universe was trying to put me in a box last year.”

Free Agency Notes: Portis, Forbes, Cap Room, Dinwiddie

Bucks rotation players Bobby Portis ($3.8MM) and Bryn Forbes ($2.4MM) both have player options for the 2021/22 season, but are expected to turn down them in search of new contracts, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said on his latest podcast with Yossi Gozlan. Since Milwaukee only has Non-Bird rights on both Portis and Forbes, it’ll be a challenge to bring them back, Gozlan notes.

Scotto and Gozlan discussed a handful of other free agency situations on the HoopsHype Podcast, examining the likelihood of P.J. Tucker returning to the Bucks, exploring whether Kyle Lowry is a realistic target for the Pelicans, and suggesting that the Hornets may be in the market for multiple centers – rather than just one – on the free agent market.

Here are a few more items related to the NBA’s upcoming free agent period:

Scotto’s Latest: Magic, Hartenstein, Allen, Ennis, Theis

Appearing on the HoopsHype podcast alongside Yossi Gozlan, Michael Scotto identified Nets assistant Ime Udoka and former Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson as potential candidates to watch for the Magic‘s open head coaching position.

Clippers assistant Dan Craig and Bucks assistant Darvin Ham are among the other names Scotto has heard linked to the job in Orlando. If the Bucks lose their second-round series to Brooklyn, it could be the end of the road in Milwaukee not just for Mike Budenholzer, but for several members of his staff, including Ham, Scotto notes.

Here’s more from the podcast:

  • Scotto says Cavaliers big man Isaiah Hartenstein plans to turn down his player option, after hinting as much last month. Hartenstein will be eligible for restricted free agency and is a good bet to remain in Cleveland, either on a multiyear contract or on his qualifying offer, according to Scotto.
  • Some executives around the NBA believe the Hornets and/or Mavericks could pursue Jarrett Allen, but Scotto expects the RFA center to ultimately remain with the Cavaliers, who gave up a first-round pick for him earlier this year.
  • James Ennis, who has played for seven teams since entering the NBA in 2014, will be seeking some stability as a free agent this offseason, per Scotto, who says Ennis is hoping for a deal that covers three years, or at least two. After knocking down 43.3% of his three-pointers in 2020/21, the veteran forward will be looking for a salary worth at least the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, Scotto adds.
  • Scotto has heard from people around the league that free agent center Daniel Theis could command a deal worth at least the mid-level exception. Theis would like to join a winning team, but also wants the opportunity to play regularly.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Heat, Theis, Clifford

Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak recently discussed a variety of topics related to his team, including free agency, head coach James Borrego, LaMelo Ball and more.

Charlotte (33-39) managed to reach the play-in tournament despite coping with several injuries this season, but lost to Indiana by a score of 144-117. Still, Kupchak believes the Hornets are on the rise and should appeal to free agents this summer.

“I think free agents around the league look at the pace we play, and players want to play that way. I think we have a player’s coach,” Kupchak said, as relayed by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. “And if (free agents) remember why (Ball) is so much fun to play with — his ability to pass — I don’t know why players wouldn’t want to come here to play with him.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

Central Notes: Vucevic, Bulls, Joseph, Ellington, Warren

Nikola Vucevic didn’t shoot three-pointers when he entered the league in 2011, but it’s become a big part of his offensive game in recent years, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times notes. The All-Star center has drained 44.1% of his long-range shots since joining the Bulls. “I think it’s also the way the NBA has been going, and I had to adjust,” he said. “I used to shoot a lot of mid-ranges. That’s not as much a part of the way teams play, so I had to make an adjustment and evolve.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Lauri Markkanen, Daniel Theis, Denzel Valentine and Tomas Satoransky are among the players who likely won’t remain with the Bulls next season, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic speculates. Mayberry takes a look at each player and predicts whether they’ll be part of the front office’s plans.
  • The Pistons snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating Memphis on Thursday. It’s no coincidence that veterans guards Cory Joseph and Wayne Ellington suited up, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com notes. That duo scored 18 points apiece and Joseph added 11 assists. “Guys were kind of hanging their head and losing confidence a little bit,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “We understand – we’re rebuilding. But you’ve got to compete to win each night.” Ellington will be a free agent after the season, while Joseph’s $12.6MM contract is only partially guaranteed.
  • There were conflicting reports this week about whether T.J. Warren asked for a trade and his feelings toward Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren. J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link) cites a new source who says that Warren is happy in Indiana, noting that Warren has been featured offensively and will be paid like a main cog. Warren also likes playing in a smaller market and the franchise’s plans for him, regardless of who’s coaching the team, Michael’s source adds.