Marquese Chriss

Thunder, Rockets Complete Eight-Player Trade

SEPTEMBER 30: Both teams have announced that the trade is now official. However, the terms of the deal are slightly different than was previously reported.

Instead of Atlanta’s protected 2025 second-round pick, the Rockets will receive a 2026 second-rounder from Oklahoma City. That pick will be the second-most favorable of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’, and Sixers’ 2026 second-round picks. Houston is also receiving cash considerations in the deal.


SEPTEMBER 29, 9:15pm: The Rockets intend to waive Jerome, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Feigen adds that Favors and Maledon are considered the most likely among Houston’s new additions to claim spots on the 15-man regular season roster.


SEPTEMBER 29, 8:13pm: The Thunder have agreed to send center/power forward Derrick Favors, shooting guard Ty Jerome, forward Maurice Harkless, point guard Theo Maledon and the Hawks’ 2025 second-round draft pick (top-40 protected) to the Rockets in exchange for athletic swingman David Nwaba, wing Sterling Brown, point guard Trey Burke and power forward Marquese Chriss, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

As Wojnarowski observes, Oklahoma City will create two trade exceptions in the deal. In pure salary terms, the exchange will help the Thunder get $10MM under the league’s punitive luxury tax cap threshold. Wojnarowski notes that Favors in particular is tradable among the returning players arriving in Houston, as a solid backup big man on an expiring $10.2MM salary.

The 6’9″ Favors, 31, spent most of the last decade as a key role player with several good playoff-bound Jazz teams. Last year with the Thunder, he appeared in just 39 games, averaging 5.3 PPG on 51.6% shooting, plus 4.7 RPG, across 16.7 MPG.

Jerome and Maledon are both young players on modest contracts with remaining potential upside. Harkless, like Favors, is a veteran on an expiring deal.

On the Rockets’ side of the transaction, Houston is acquiring a future second-round draft pick in exchange for taking on some added salary, as Woj details.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (via Twitter) if that Hawks 2025 second-rounder lands in the top 40 and is protected, Houston will instead receive the second-best of the Thunder’s, Mavericks’, and Sixers’ 2026 second-round picks.

Given that No. 2 draft pick Chet Holmgren has been ruled out for the year with a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, and with the best player in this new trade being sent away from the team, it appears the Thunder are once again prioritizing a year of youthful development, as they look to the 2023 draft lottery to build out their impressive young roster.

Oklahoma City added four rookies in the 2022 draft, including two additional lottery picks beyond Holmgren. The Thunder have been in full-on rebuild mode since the end of the 2019/20 season, winning a total of 46 games over the last two years.

Houston has also been in the asset-collection and draft lottery-targeting phase of its journey since 2020. The team went 37-127 from 2020-22. This year, the Rockets drafted intriguing rookie power forward Jabari Smith with the third pick out of Auburn. They also made two other selections in the first round.

It appears unlikely that every player in this deal will be with their new clubs when the regular season opens. Bobby Marks of ESPN (via Twitter) notes that both teams will still have 18 guaranteed contracts on their books following this deal. Per league rules, they’ll each need to get down to 15 players by October 17.

Rockets Notes: Martin, Chriss, Porter, Outlook

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Kenyon Martin Jr. didn’t confirm an offseason report that stated he had talked to Rockets management about the possibility of being traded, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. However, the third-year forward also didn’t exactly deny it.

“Like I keep saying, I’m just here to do my job,” Martin told reporters. “Everything else is between upper management and my agents. This summer, my goal was to get better and try to make the team better. I feel like I got better. So, going into the season, just try to win as many games as possible and keep moving forward.”

Martin is on a guaranteed minimum salary this season and has a non-guaranteed team option worth the minimum in 2023/24. He has been a regular rotation player for Houston over the last two seasons, averaging 9.0 PPG and 4.3 RPG on .524/.360/.667 shooting in 124 games (22.0 MPG), but the depth chart has gotten increasingly crowded at his position, raising questions about where he fits in the team’s long-term plans.

Here’s more on the Rockets:

  • According to Feigen (Twitter link), the only Rockets player dealing with an injury entering training camp is Marquese Chriss, who is still rehabbing after undergoing knee surgery in June.
  • Kevin Porter Jr. said on Monday that he’s in a “beautiful space” as he prepares to begin his fourth NBA season, and isn’t stressing about a potential rookie scale extension. “I stopped worrying about that last year and it’s been that,” Porter said, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “I still got that mindset. I got a team that represents me and they handle that part. For me, I just come in here and try to become the best player (I can be). It hasn’t been weighing on me because that’s my mindset.” Porter will become eligible for restricted free agency in 2023 if he doesn’t sign an extension with Houston by October 17.
  • After winning 17 games in 2020/21 and 20 games in ’21/22, the Rockets are still a ways off from contending, but center Alperen Sengun is bullish on the long-term potential of the team’s young core. “We’re just going to learn, and then we’re going to be (the) best in this league one day,” Sengun said on Monday, according to Feigen. “I really believe this.”
  • In his training camp preview for The Athletic, Iko poses three questions facing the Rockets, including how long Eric Gordon will remain on the roster and whether the club can improve its defense this season after ranking dead last in the NBA in 2021/22.

Rockets Trade Christian Wood To Mavericks

JUNE 24: The trade is now official, the Mavericks announced in the early hours of Friday morning. Wood has officially landed in Dallas in exchange for Marjanovic, Brown, Burke, Chriss, and the draft rights to No. 26 overall pick Wendell Moore. Houston is flipping Moore to Minnesota in a separate deal.


JUNE 15: The Rockets are trading Christian Wood to the Mavericks in exchange for the No. 26 overall pick of the 2022 draft, Boban Marjanovic, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

All five players are on expiring contracts in 2022/23, with the four Mavs players being sent out for salary-matching purposes. Wood will earn $14.3MM next season.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the trade can’t be officially completed until draft night, which is June 23, because the Mavs owe a protected first-round pick to the Knicks in 2023. Six months after the trade is completed, Wood will be eligible to sign a contract extension worth up to $77MM over four years, says Marks.

Burke holds a $3.3MM player option for ’22/23 and will need to exercise the option in order for the trade to work, Marks notes (via Twitter), adding that rosters expanding to 20 in the offseason will allow the Rockets to take back four players in exchange for one. Burke will receive a trade bonus of $247,500 from Dallas as part of the deal, Marks relays in another tweet.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report indicated on Tuesday that the Mavericks were looking to trade their only draft pick, and they found a match in the rebuilding Rockets, who now control three first-round picks: Nos. 3, 17 and 26. The Rockets have multiple options to explore ahead of the draft. If they want to package Nos. 17 and 26 to move up a bit, they likely could.

The 26-year-old Wood is a very solid return for Dallas, even if he comes with some character concerns. The talented big man averaged 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 block in 109 games for Houston the past two seasons, posting a shooting line of .507/.384/.626.

The move definitely comes with risks for the Mavs, because Wood is a subpar defensive player and can be quite inconsistent, especially from an effort standpoint, from game-to-game. However, he’s on an expiring contract, which limits the risk, and is theoretically in a good situation with star Luka Doncic.

Mavs GM Nico Harrison said the team would be looking to acquire a quality big man who could provide rebounding and rim protection after the team lost in the Western Conference Finals. Wood fulfills the first criteria — he’s a good rebounder — but falls a bit short on the second, as he isn’t much of a deterrent at the basket.

According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link), the Rockets wanted to move Wood in order to create more playing time for Alperen Sengun, who was a rookie this past season, and the No. 3 pick, who will likely be another big man. They’ll get a look at some veterans on expiring deals, but obviously the main appeal was the No. 26 pick and no long-term salary.

Chriss, who will make $2.19MM next season, underwent knee surgery on Wednesday and will be sidelined while rehabbing for the next couple months, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Mavs’ Chriss, Suns’ Biyombo Separated In Tunnel Following Ejections

Mavericks forward Marquese Chriss followed Suns center Bismack Biyombo off the court and into the tunnel after the two players were ejected near the end of Phoenix’s Game 5 win on Tuesday night, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN details.

With the Suns up by 28 and just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Biyombo went up for a dunk and was fouled hard by Chriss (video link). The two big men exchanged words and had to be separated, as referees assessed technical fouls to both players and immediately ejected them from the game.

When Biyombo exited through the tunnel toward the Suns’ locker room, Chriss followed him instead of heading into the tunnel on the opposite side of the court. As McMenamin writes, several members of the teams’ security staffs – along with Mavs center Boban Marjanovic – ran after the two players.

Chriss and Biyombo were separated by the Suns’ security team before any physical contact was made, according to TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce (Twitter link). Chriss was then escorted back through the tunnel and toward the opposite end of the court.

“I get the competitiveness of the game, but we’re just trying to win the game,” Suns coach Monty Williams said during his postgame media session, per McMenamin. “All the stuff that happens that’s extra-curricular, I don’t have anything to say about that. I understand how chippy it can be. We just want to win the game and that’s it. We’re trying to get one more win, and that’s our focus right now.”

While the confrontation didn’t come to blows, it seems likely the NBA will review the incident — it’s possible one or both players could face a fine.

The Suns lead the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Thursday in Dallas.

Mavs Notes: Dinwiddie, Chriss, Porzingis

Spencer Dinwiddie got a fresh start after being traded to the Mavericks and he’s appreciative of the opportunity, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon writes. Dinwiddie was part of the blockbuster deal with Washington that sent Kristaps Porzingis back to the Eastern Conference.

“People said I was a bad guy, people said I was washed, all that stuff after 30 games coming off an ACL, which sucks,” Dinwiddie said. “But (GM) Nico (Harrison) didn’t have to have that faith. He didn’t have to pull that trigger, especially with a player the caliber of Porzingis, an All-Star-caliber player.”

Dinwiddie made the game-winning 3-pointer against Brooklyn on Wednesday off a feed from Luka Doncic. Dinwiddie credited the team’s franchise player for making that decision.

“You can make people feel wanted, you can make them feel not wanted. You can trust them, not trust them. … He’s the superstar,” Dinwiddie said. “He could have done whatever he wanted.”

We have more on the Mavericks:

  • Dinwiddie is in the first year of a three-year, $54MM contract but he hasn’t completely settled in following his midseason trade, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News notes. Dinwiddie has been staying in a variety of hotels and hasn’t looked for a home or signed a lease in Dallas. He wants to wait until the offseason to rent or buy a home to ensure he’s in the team’s plans beyond this season.
  • Backup big man Marquese Chriss has returned to practice and coach Jason Kidd is hopeful he will be available for one of the team’s games this weekend, MacMahon tweets. Chriss hasn’t played since February 10 due to knee soreness.
  • By dealing Porzingis, the Mavericks have plenty of flexibility to make a “home-run trade” for another star player over the next two years, according to The Athletic’s John Hollinger. The team will also have the ability to deal multiple first-round picks now that the obligations from the Porziņgis deal have either been fulfilled or will be in the near future, Hollinger adds.
  • In case you missed it, former exec Donnie Nelson has filed a lawsuit against the franchise.

Southwest Notes: Gordon, Chriss, Mavs, Pelicans, Spurs

Rockets guard Eric Gordon has been the subject of plenty of trade speculation already this season, and those rumors figure to continue heating up with the February 10 deadline just a few weeks away. However, as Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes, Gordon isn’t dwelling on the possibility that he could be playing for a new team next month.

“I’m not even thinking or worried about that,” Gordon said. “Things happen. Get traded or not, you’ve still got to play the game of basketball. Fortunately, I’ve been here for going on six years now, and it’s been really good. I know the situation I’m in. I’m looking to just continue to play my game and look forward to continue to thrive with this group of guys.”

A Monday report indicated that the Rockets are expected to seek a first-round pick in any Gordon trade.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Marquese Chriss‘ new two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Mavericks includes a fully guaranteed salary for 2022/23, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link).
  • New Mavericks president of basketball operations Nico Harrison will be involved in some key decisions at this season’s trade deadline, but he’s hoping to get a good look at the roster at full strength before making those decisions, per Brad Towsend of The Dallas Morning News. “I think you can always improve,” Harrison said. “But as I look at our team, we haven’t been whole for a while. I’m really excited to see how [good] we are, now that we’re whole.”
  • Examining the Pelicans‘ outlook for the trade deadline, Will Guillory of The Athletic contends that the team should try to acquire one more reliable perimeter player, while Christian Clark of NOLA.com makes a similar argument, writing that the team lacks consistent creators in its backcourt.
  • Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia has joined the Spurs as a minority owner, as first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic and officially announced by the team. The franchise has brought in multiple minority stakeholders since Peter J. Holt took over as managing partner in June, according to Charania, who says 13 previous investors have sold off equity. Besides Gebbia, other new minority owners include Bay Area investment firm Sixth Street and Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Technologies.

Mavericks Waive Willie Cauley-Stein, Sign Marquese Chriss To Two-Year Deal

6:22pm: Both moves are official, the Mavericks announced (via Twitter).


4:08pm: The Mavericks will sign hardship addition Marquese Chriss to a two-year contract, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Willie Cauley-Stein will be waived to make room on the 15-man roster. 

Chriss, who signed his third 10-day deal with Dallas under the hardship provision earlier this week, has been productive since joining the team in December. He has appeared in 12 games, all off the bench, and is averaging 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per night.

Chriss will earn a prorated minimum salary for the rest of the season and a standard minimum in 2022/23 for a player with six years of service, giving him roughly $3MM overall, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. It’s unclear at this point if next season’s salary will be guaranteed.

The 24-year-old was taken by the Suns with the eighth pick in the 2016 draft, but hasn’t lived up to the promise he showed during his rookie season. He also spent time with the Rockets, Cavaliers and Warriors, but was out of the league until COVID-19 forced teams to seek emergency replacements.

Cauley-Stein is in his seventh NBA season and his third with the Mavericks. He’s averaging 1.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in 18 games, but hasn’t played since November 27.

The 28-year-old center is making $4.1MM on an expiring contract. Dallas will still owe him the remainder of that salary (about $1.95MM) unless he is claimed on waivers, according to Marks (Twitter link). The sixth pick in the 2015 draft, Cauley-Stein signed with the Mavericks as a free agent before the start of the 2020/21 season.

COVID Updates: Porzingis, Chriss, Kidd, Jones

Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis has cleared the league’s health and safety protocols and is listed as a probable starter on Saturday. However, it’s not certain he will play, since Dallas has always been cautious regarding Porzingis’ health and he hasn’t practiced for a couple of weeks, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News notes (Twitter links). Porzingis, who is averaging 20.6 PPG and 8.0 RPG, hasn’t played since New Year’s Eve.

We have more COVID-19 related news:

  • Marquese Chriss will remain with the Mavericks but will be inactive with Porzingis off the protocols list, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. The Mavs will look at their options to create roster spot for Chriss after his latest 10-day contract under the hardship exception expires on January 20. Chriss is averaging 6.8 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 12 games with the Mavs.
  • Dallas coach Jason Kidd is also out of protocols and will return to the bench when the team faces Orlando, Townsend tweets.
  • Kings big man Damian Jones has cleared the protocols, James Ham of The Kings Beat tweets. He made his last appearance on January 7 and is now reconditioning.

Mavs Sign Marquese Chriss To Third 10-Day Deal

1:04pm: Chriss’ 10-day contract is now official, according to the Mavs (Twitter link). It’ll run through January 19, covering Dallas’ next five games.


9:42am: The Mavericks intend to sign big man Marquese Chriss to a third 10-day hardship contract, according to Marc Stein (Twitter link). Chriss’ second 10-day deal with Dallas expired overnight, so he’s technically a free agent for now.

A player isn’t permitted to sign more than two traditional 10-day contracts with the same team in a single season. However, that rule doesn’t apply to hardship deals, which are permitted as long as a team has at least one player who is in the health and safety protocols. The Mavs are eligible to sign Chriss to another 10-day deal via a hardship exception because Kristaps Porzingis remains in the protocols, says Stein.

Chriss, 24, has now appeared in 10 games with the Mavs this season, averaging 6.1 PPG and 4.1 RPG in just 11.9 minutes per contest. Dallas has gone 8-2 in those games. The former eighth overall pick, who previously played for the Suns, Rockets, Cavaliers, and Warriors, is coming off a 2020/21 season that ended after just two games when he broke his right fibula.

Entering today, Dallas had 15 players on its standard roster, with one two-way slot open. Theo Pinson, whose 10-day hardship contract also expired overnight, is expected to fill that opening — Chriss wasn’t eligible for a two-way deal because he’s in his fifth NBA season.

If the Mavs want to retain Chriss once they’re no longer eligible for a hardship exception, they’ll need to trade or release someone from their 15-man roster.

Southwest Notes: Morant, Porter, Pelicans, James, Chriss

While there has been some debate this season about whether Grizzlies guard Ja Morant will make his first All-Star team, teammate Desmond Bane believes the answer to that question is obvious. In Bane’s view, Morant should be the subject of another discussion, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes.

“People debate whether or not he should be an All-Star, but I think we should be debating whether he’s the best point guard in the league,” Bane said. “I don’t think it’s any question he’s an All-Star. The real conversation is, ‘Is he the best point guard in the league?'”

While it may be premature to place Morant above the likes of Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic, he matches up favorably with the Western Conference’s star point guards this season — and he looks like a good bet to join them on this year’s All-Star team. In 27 games (32.5 MPG), Morant is averaging a career-high 25.1 PPG on .489/.400/.772 shooting while also contributing 6.7 APG, 5.7 RPG, and 1.4 SPG.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. said on Tuesday that he apologized both “to the group” and “individually” following the locker-room incident that resulted in him being suspended for Monday’s game, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “I think just as a man and as a human, that’s the right thing to do,” Porter said. “Even if you feel like you’re in the right, there’s ways to approach things in situations, and I felt as a man, I didn’t approach it the right way. So I apologize. I feel like that’s just something you need to do as a principled thing.” Porter added that he still feels supported by the organization.
  • The Pelicans don’t plan to re-sign Justin James, whose 10-day contract expired overnight, sources tell Andrew Lopez of ESPN (Twitter link). With the team getting healthier, there wasn’t an immediate need to retain James, Lopez explains.
  • Marquese Chriss, currently on his second 10-day contract with the Mavericks, would love to remain in Dallas beyond the expiration of his current deal on January 9, writes Dwain Price of Mavs.com. However, even if he isn’t retained, the big man is happy to be back in action after losing nearly an entire season due to a broken leg. “Being able to be back on the court, I’m just thankful for that,” Chriss said. “And I’m just trying to make the most out of the opportunity that I can. Hopefully it’s here (in Dallas).”