The Rockets have claimed center Deyonta Davis off waivers, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Davis was released by the Hawks on Monday and would have been an unrestricted free agent if he went unclaimed today.
The 31st overall pick in the 2016 draft, Davis spent his first two NBA seasons with the Grizzlies, appearing in 98 games for the team. After being traded and waived during the 2018 offseason, the 22-year-old caught on with the Warriors’ G League team for most of last season. A solid NBAGL showing earned him a late-season call-up from the Hawks.
Davis averaged 4.0 PPG and 4.0 RPG in nine games (13.1 MPG) with Atlanta down the stretch, signing a contract with the club that included a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2019/20. That $1,645,357 salary will become partially guaranteed for $250K if he remains under contract through July 31, according to Basketball Insiders.
It’s not clear what the Rockets have in mind for Davis. We’ve seen GM Daryl Morey accumulate minimum-salary players for trade purposes in past seasons, but under the NBA’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, Davis won’t count for salary-matching purposes as long as his deal remains non-guaranteed. Players claimed off waivers also don’t become trade-eligible for 30 days.
The Rockets don’t need to make a corresponding roster move to take on Davis, since teams are permitted to carry up to 20 players in the offseason.