Daishen Nix

Wolves Cut Matt Ryan, Convert Daishen Nix To Two-Way Deal

1:20pm: The moves are official, per RealGM’s transaction log.

11:16am: The Timberwolves are making a roster change ahead of the regular season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Minnesota will waive sharpshooter Matt Ryan and convert Daishen Nix‘s Exhibit 10 contract to a two-way deal.

Ryan appeared in 34 total games for the Lakers and T-Wolves in 2022/23, averaging 3.6 points in 9.1 minutes per game while making 38.1% of his three-point attempts.

Ryan’s ability to hit outside shots – he’s a career 40.1% three-point shooter in 37 G League regular season appearances – helped earn him a two-way qualifying offer from Minnesota in June, and he eventually accepted that QO in September. However, he’ll lose his two-way spot just a few days ahead of opening night.

Nix, 21, had a solid preseason for the Wolves after joining the team on a non-guaranteed camp deal, averaging 6.0 points and 3.3 assists in just 10.6 minutes per contest, with a red-hot shooting line of .571/.750/1.000.

The young guard already has 81 games of NBA experience under his belt with the Rockets, having spent the last two seasons in Houston. He averaged 3.7 PPG and 2.3 APG in 16.0 MPG (57 appearances) in 2022/23.

Nix will join Luka Garza and Jaylen Clark as Minnesota’s two-way players, while Ryan will become an unrestricted free agent if he passes through waivers without being claimed.

Timberwolves Sign Daishen Nix To Exhibit 10 Deal

SEPTEMBER 18: The signing is official, according to RealGM’s transaction log.

SEPTEMBER 17: Daishen Nix will sign a one-year contract with the Timberwolves, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. It’s an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Chris Hine of The Star Tribune (Twitter link).

The 21-year-old combo guard averaged 4.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 57 games with the Rockets last season. Shooting has been an issue for Nix, who connected on just 34.2% of his attempts from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc in 2022/23.

Nix earned a two-way contract with Houston in 2021 after playing one year with the G League Ignite. He spent most of his rookie season in the G League, where he helped the Rio Grande Valley Vipers capture the championship.

The Rockets decided to waive Nix in late June before his $1,836,096 for next season became guaranteed. Houston had a team option for Nix for 2024/25, but it was also non-guaranteed.

The Exhibit 10 clause in Nix’s new deal with the Wolves will allow him to earn a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived and spends at least 60 days with Minnesota’s G League affiliate in Iowa. Exhibit 10 contracts can also be converted into two-way deals.

Minnesota has 14 players with fully guaranteed standard contracts, plus one two-way spot open, so there’s an opportunity for Nix to make the roster if he’s impressive during training camp. Once Nix’s signing becomes official, the Wolves will have two openings left on their offseason roster.

Rockets Waiving Daishen Nix

The Rockets are waiving guard Daishen Nix, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The move is a money-saving one for the Rockets, who would’ve been on the hook for Nix’s full $1,836,096 salary if he had remained on the roster beyond today, as our list of early salary guarantee dates shows.

Nix, 21, signed with the Rockets after going undrafted in 2021 and appeared in 81 games for the club over the last two seasons. He didn’t make a significant impact at the NBA level during that time, averaging a modest 3.7 PPG and 2.1 APG on .355/.283/.606 shooting in 14.5 MPG.

Nix did flash some potential in the G League in 2021/22, putting up 20.6 PPG, 7.7 APG, and 5.9 RPG on .486/.400/.592 shooting in 18 regular season appearances (34.2 MPG) for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s NBAGL affiliate.

Nix’s contract included a team option for the 2024/25 season, but it was also non-guaranteed, so the Rockets won’t owe him any additional money once they officially waive him. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent if he clears waivers on Saturday.

Western Notes: Lakers, Nuggets, Rockets, Potter, Liddell, Spurs

Although he didn’t play in the Lakers‘ preseason finale on Friday due to lower back soreness, Anthony Davis will have “no restrictions, whatsoever” when the team’s regular season tips off on Tuesday in Golden State, head coach Darvin Ham said (link via Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times).

Russell Westbrook, who sustained a left hamstring injury in Friday’s game, could “definitely” be available for the opener, according to Ham, but reserve point guard Dennis Schröder likely won’t be, as Turner writes.

Ham said that Schröder’s thumb ligament injury was still being evaluated as of Sunday, and while he’s still considered day-to-day, the ailment may take a little time to heal, tweets Kyle Goon of The Southern California News Group.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Nikola Jokic (wrist) and Jamal Murray (hamstring) are both expected to be available for the Nuggets‘ regular season opener on Wednesday in Utah, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post. Barring an unexpected setback, it will be the first time Denver’s two stars have shared the court in a regular season game since April 2021.
  • The Rockets will likely have a handful of players on the injury report to start the season, but head coach Stephen Silas said on Sunday that he’s hopeful rookie Jabari Smith (ankle) will be available for the team’s opener, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Silas added that Garrison Mathews (illness) and Daishen Nix (back) are “close” to being ready too. Jae’Sean Tate (ankle) is the least likely of the group to be available for the opener, Feigen writes.
  • The two-way contracts signed in recent days by Jazz center Micah Potter and Pelicans forward E.J. Liddell both cover two years, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. As our tracker shows, those are the fifth and sixth two-way deals signed this offseason that are for two years instead of one.
  • Noting that the Spurs have had “so many guys over the years” develop their games in the G League, head coach Gregg Popovich said two-way players Dominick Barlow and Jordan Hall will likely spend most of their time in Austin this season, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “He’ll spend some time in the G League and play lots of minutes,” Popovich said, specifically addressing Barlow’s situation. “If he was with us right now, he’s not going to get on the court that much, which doesn’t help him develop.”

Southwest Notes: Wood, Gordon, Schröder, Grizzlies, Mavs

Rockets veterans Christian Wood (left hamstring tightness), Eric Gordon (right groin soreness), and Dennis Schröder (left shoulder soreness) were held out of Monday’s game vs. San Antonio and seem unlikely to play any more this season, says Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

As Feigen outlines, none of those injuries are invented, but it’s probably safe to assume Wood, Gordon, and Schröder wouldn’t all be sidelined by “tightness” and “soreness” if the Rockets were in the midst of a playoff race. Instead, the team is invested in securing a top spot in the draft lottery — currently, Houston is in a three-way tie for the NBA’s worst record (20-56).

With Wood, Gordon, and Schröder out, prospects like Daishen Nix and Usman Garuba will likely see more action down the stretch for the Rockets, joining fellow rookies Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, and Josh Christopher in the regular rotation, Feigen writes. Nix and Garuba each played 14 minutes in Monday’s loss to the Spurs.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • In addition to having the NBA’s second-best record this season, the Grizzlies are the “sleeping giant” of the 2022 offseason, according to Danny Leroux of The Athletic. As Leroux lays out, Memphis has some cap flexibility and a handful of draft picks available this summer and should be motivated to add talent before Ja Morant transitions from his rookie contract to a more expensive second contract in 2023.
  • The Mavericks strongly considered signing free agent guard Quinn Cook to a 10-day hardship contract earlier in the season, but ultimately chose Isaiah Thomas in part due to proximity, writes Marc Stein at his Substack. Cook, who is currently playing for the Stockton Kings in the G League, said in a tweet over the weekend that he was at “rock bottom” earlier this year and would be thrilled to get an NBA call-up before the season is over.
  • The Mavericks hired Jason Kidd as their head coach in part because of the impact the Hall-of-Fame point guard could have on Luka Doncic, and so far it seems that bet is paying off, per Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. “He’s been great for us,” Doncic said of Kidd. “He communicates with the players. He’s just been great, helping not just me but everybody, just to see a better picture.”

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Wieskamp, Primo, Nix

The Pelicans‘ recent surge is largely because of their improved defense, William Guillory of The Athletic writes. New Orleans has won four straight games, including a 124-90 victory over the Jazz on Friday.

Prior to that, the Pelicans held the Kings and Lakers to 95 points each, plus the Suns to 102 points. On the season, the team has allowed 108.7 points per game, which ranks 13th in the league. New Orleans currently holds the No. 10 seed in the West at 27-36.

“I feel like we’re doing a great job of defending, keeping guys out of the paint and just forcing them into tough shots,” said Herbert Jones, one of the league’s rising young defenders. “We’re flying all over the place, helping each other out. One guy gets beat, it’s another one of our brothers there to help him out. Hopefully, we can stay consistent and keep defending how we’re defending.”

There’s more from the Southwest:

Texas Notes: Porzingis, Popovich, Dragic, Nix

The Mavericks decided to trade Kristaps Porzingis to the Wizards last week because they determined he couldn’t be an effective second star with Luka Doncic, Tim Cato of The Athletic states in a discussion of the deal. Porzingis was in his third season in Dallas, and all three had been disrupted by injuries, leading to concerns about whether he would ever be reliable to stay on the court. The Mavs are 13-9 in the games he has missed this season, so the front office felt it was safe to move on from his contract.

Cato is skeptical about Dallas’ return in the deal, although he says Spencer Dinwiddie will be a welcome addition for a team that has trouble driving to the basket and the Mavericks believe Davis Bertans is a better defender than his reputation would suggest. They plan to use him in larger lineups where his lack of rebounding will be less important.

There’s more NBA news from Texas:

  • The Spurs are focused on making the play-in tournament and reaching the playoffs, even though their 22-36 record indicates that they might be better off maximizing their first-round draft pick, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express NewsDejounte Murray and Devin Vassell both talked last weekend about the importance of getting to the postseason, and coach Gregg Popovich repeated that message on Monday. “If you put yourself in the situation, more as a coach than any other position in the organization, besides players, you can’t go to your team and ask them to lose,” Popovich said. “You can’t do that. It’s an impossibility for all of the logical reasons you can think of on your own. So, you go play your best, you keep teaching, you keep doing what you do. And if you lose and wind up with a high draft pick, well, you accept it and you are glad you got a high draft pick. But it can’t be because you didn’t push them or teach them or demand from them.”
  • Goran Dragic gave up $819,835 in his buyout agreement with the Spurs, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. The amount is equal to a 54-day minimum-salary contract for Dragic, so he’ll make up roughly all that money once he signs with a new team.
  • The Rockets used part of their mid-level exception to sign rookie guard Daishen Nix to a four-year contract, according to Smith (Twitter link). Nix will make $612K for the rest of this season and $1,563,518 in 2022/23. The final two years of the deal are non-guaranteed at $1,836,096 and $1,988,598, and the last season is also a team option.

Daishen Nix Signs Four-Year Deal With Rockets

FEBRUARY 15: Nix’s promotion to the 15-man roster is now official, the Rockets announced today in a press release.

Nix is joining Houston on a four-year, $6MM deal, with only the first two seasons guaranteed, per Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype (via Twitter).

FEBRUARY 14: Point guard Daishen Nix has agreed to a four-year contract with the Rockets, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets.

The exact terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but it almost certainly won’t be fully guaranteed across all four years. Houston will use a portion of its mid-level exception to give Nix four years.

Nix was on a two-way contract with the club and will have it converted to a standard contract. The rookie has excelled against G League competition and Rockets GM Rafael Stone said the promotion was well-earned, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes.

“He’s playing great,” Stone said. “He’s really happy, and he’s just developing at an awesome rate. I would imagine that at some point, he will be back (in the NBA). He’s been on the court with the Rockets already, so that’s not a secret, and I would imagine we’ll see that again. But there’s not, like, a firm plan that he needs to do this or that. We’re really, really happy with his development, and so there’s no need to interrupt that right now.”

Nix has played in eight games with the Rockets this season, averaging 3.8 PPG in 8.4 MPG. In 22 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, he is averaging 24.5 PPG, 7.3 APG, 6.4 RPG and 2.6 SPG.

Nix was one of a handful of prospects who opted to forgo college ball in favor of a spot on the G League Ignite last season, but he went undrafted.

Houston won’t have to make another roster move to promote Nix to the 15-man squad, since the team waived Enes Freedom earlier in the day.

Rockets Convert Daishen Nix’s Deal To Two-Way Contract

4:01pm: The Rockets have issued a press release confirming that Nix’s deal has been converted to a two-way contract and announcing that they’ve waived Marcus Foster.

1:09pm: The Rockets are converting Daishen Nix‘s Exhibit 10 contract to a two-way deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Houston entered this week with Anthony Lamb and Tyler Bey occupying its two-way slots. However, Bey was waived so that the team could first convert Armoni Brooks to a two-way deal, then negotiate a new multiyear contract with him. Now that Brooks has finalized a new four-year pact and moved back to the standard roster, the Rockets have an open two-way spot, and it looks like Nix will fill it.

Nix was one of a handful of prospects who opted to forgo college ball in favor of a spot on the G League Ignite last season. The 6’5″ guard averaged 8.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 5.3 APG in 15 games (26.5 MPG) for the Ignite, but made just 38.4% of his shots from the floor, including 17.6% from beyond the arc.

After playing for the Sixers in Summer League, Nix signed a non-guaranteed camp deal with the Rockets. He made a cameo in just one of Houston’s preseason games and recorded more turnovers (2) than points (0) in his limited minutes, but it appears the team wants to see more from the 19-year-old.

Nix figures to split time between the Rockets and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League as long as he remains on a two-way deal with the club.

Rockets Sign Daishen Nix, Tyler Bey To Exhibit 10 Deals

AUGUST 25: The Rockets have officially signed both Nix and Bey, the team announced today in a press release.

AUGUST 24: The Rockets have agreed to Exhibit 10 training camp deals with undrafted rookie Daishen Nix and 2020 second-round pick Tyler Bey, reports Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

Nix was a highly-ranked point guard prospect before joining the G League Ignite last season, where he showcased impressive passing instincts and size, but struggled with his shot. He averaged 8.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.3 APG in 26.5 MPG with the Ignite, but shot just .384/.176/.714.

Nix played Summer League with the Sixers, averaging 5.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.8 APG and 1.6 SPG in just 11.5 MPG, but only connected on one-of-five three-point attempts in over 57 total minutes.

Bey was selected with the 36th pick in the 2020 draft by the Sixers and was included in the deal that sent Josh Richardson to the Mavericks for Seth Curry. Bey only played 18 games with the Mavs, and averaged just 3.9 minutes a game in those 18 contests, though he recorded 15.1 PPG and 9.2 RPG in the G League.

The Rockets have no shortage of guards on their roster, but few true point guards, especially if the team is able to move one or both of John Wall or D.J. Augustin, so there’s a chance Nix could find a home if he proves himself in training camp. However, both players face steep competition on a roster full of young, hungry prospects. Unless one earns a two-way contract, they’re more likely to end up playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s G League affiliate.