Darius Days

Rockets Cut Darius Days, Convert Jeenathan Williams To Two-Way Deal

5:12pm: The Rockets have officially waived Days and converted Williams to a two-way contract, according to NBA.com’s transaction log.

2:27pm: The Rockets are waiving forward Darius Days ahead of Monday’s regular season roster deadline, a source tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required).

Days, who turned 24 on Friday, had been on a two-way contract with Houston, having accepted his qualifying offer from the team at the start of the offseason. He spent the entire 2022/23 season on a two-way deal with the Rockets, appearing in just four NBA games but enjoying an excellent year for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s G League affiliate.

In 47 total regular season and Showcase Cup games for the Vipers last season, Days averaged 21.9 points and 9.2 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per contest, posting a shooting line of .487/.359/.816. He finished third in NBAGL Rookie of the Year voting and claimed a spot on the All-G League second team.

Despite Days’ strong 2022/23 campaign, he became the victim of a roster crunch this fall, as the Rockets needed to open up a two-way slot for preseason standout Jeenathan Williams, per Feigen.

A 6’5″ shooting guard, Williams put up 8.6 PPG on 63.3% shooting despite logging just 10.2 MPG in five preseason appearances. He had been on an Exhibit 10 contract but remained on the roster through Saturday, which is when virtually every other player on an Exhibit 10 deal was cut so that they could clear waivers before the regular season began. That was a signal that the Rockets intended to keep him around by converting him to a two-way contract.

Once Houston officially waives Days, converts Williams, and cuts Robinson-Earl – whose fate was reported earlier this afternoon – the team will be within the regular season roster limit, carrying 15 players on standard contracts and three on two-way deals.

Darius Days Re-Signs With Rockets

The Rockets have re-signed Darius Days to another two-way contract, the team announced today in a press release.

Houston claimed Days last October after he was waived by the Heat and inked him to a two-way contract. He spent almost the entire season with the organization’s G League affiliate in Rio Grande Valley, earning second team all-league honors by averaging 24.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.0 made three-pointers per game.

The 23-year-old forward also saw minimal playing time in four NBA games.

The Rockets submitted a two-way qualifying offer to Days earlier this week, which serves as another one-year contract as a two-way player with a small financial guarantee attached.

Houston has also re-signed Trevor Hudgins, its other two-way player from last season. The club still has an open two-way slot, since teams can carry up to three players on two-way deals starting in 2023/24.

Trevor Hudgins Accepting QO From Rockets

Rockets two-way player Trevor Hudgins has accepted his qualifying offer from the team, his agent tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The offer will amount to another one-year deal as a two-way player with a small salary guarantee.

Hudgins signed with Houston last summer after going undrafted out of Northwest Missouri State. He spent the season almost entirely in the G League, where he averaged 19 PPG for Rio Grande Valley, but he did see minimal playing time in five NBA games.

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement has given each team a third two-way player, so Hudgins’ spot on the roster may be secure.

The Rockets also made a qualifying offer to Darius Days, their other two-way player from last season.

Rockets Exercising Team Option On Kenyon Martin Jr.

The Rockets are exercising their $1,930,681 team option on Kenyon Martin Jr. for the 2023/24 season, reports Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Martin, 22, has been with Houston for the last three years and had arguably his best NBA season in 2022/23, appearing in all 82 games and making 49 starts. The 6’6″ forward established new career highs in points (12.7), rebounds (5.5), and assists (1.5) per game, as well as field-goal percentage (56.9%).

While the Rockets’ decision to pick up Martin’s option may look like a no-brainer on paper, it wasn’t a lock. Exercising the option will put the former second-round pick on track for unrestricted free agency in 2024, whereas turning it down and issuing him a qualifying offer would’ve allowed Houston to negotiate with Martin as a restricted free agent this summer.

Still, there are plenty of reasons why it made sense for the Rockets to pick up the option. Keeping Martin on a minimum-salary cap hit will allow the club to maximize its league-high cap room, which projects to exceed $60MM. Martin will also immediately become eligible to be extended or traded — he has consistently been mentioned in trade rumors for over a year.

In other Rockets news, according to Iko (Twitter link), the team will also issue two-way qualifying offers to Darius Days and Trevor Hudgins, making them restricted free agents.

Because Days and Hudgins were NBA rookies in 2022/23 and finished the season on two-way contracts, their qualifying offers will each be the equivalent of another one-year, two-way deal with a small partial guarantee.

NBAGL Announces 2022/23 All-League Awards

The NBA G League named the recipients of its All-League, All-Rookie, and All-Defensive teams on Thursday (all Twitter links found here). Many of the honorees are on standard NBA or two-way contracts.

Here’s the full list:

All-NBA G League First Team

All-NBA G League Second Team

All-NBA G League Third Team

NBAGL All-Defensive Team

NBAGL All-Rookie Team

  • Kenneth Lofton
  • Lester Quinones – Santa Cruz Warriors *
    • Note: Quinones placed second in ROY voting.
  • Darius Days
    • Note: Days placed third in ROY voting.
  • Jamaree Bouyea
  • Moussa Diabate

(^ denotes standard NBA contract)

(* denotes two-way contract)

(# Bouyea signed 10-day deals with the Heat and Wizards, but is now an NBA free agent)

Both Dunn and Samanic signed standard contracts with the Jazz, while Harrison signed with the Lakers at the very end of the season after playing with Portland on a 10-day deal. Duke and Lofton recently had their two-way contracts converted into standard deals.

Cooper, Chiozza and Anderson all hold NBA experience as well. Cooper spent 2021/22 — his rookie season — on a two-way deal with the Hawks; Chiozza has played for the Rockets, Nets and Warriors, and recently signed with a Spanish team; Anderson has appeared in 242 NBA games with six teams in as many seasons.

Grizzlies’ Lofton Named G League Rookie Of The Year

First-year forward Kenneth Lofton Jr., who is on a two-way contract with the Grizzlies, has been named the G League Rookie of the Year for the 2022/23 season, according to the NBA (Twitter link).

Lofton has appeared in just 19 games and averaged only 5.5 MPG at the NBA level in his first professional season after signing with the Grizzlies as an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech. However, he played a major role for the Memphis Hustle, the team’s G League affiliate.

In 17 regular season games for the Hustle, Lofton averaged a double-double (20.2 PPG, 10.5 RPG) despite logging a modest 28.6 minutes per night. He shot 53.9% from the floor and also chipped in 3.9 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. Lofton’s performance helped the Hustle secure the No. 2 seed in the NBAGL’s Western Conference with a 23-9 record.

Lofton will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer, since his two-way contract only covers the 2022/23 season.

According to the NBA (Twitter link), Warriors two-way guard Lester Quinones and Rockets two-way forward Darius Days finished second and third, respectively, in Rookie of the Year voting.

Quinones averaged 21.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 4.8 APG in 31 G League regular season games (32.0 MPG) for the Santa Cruz Warriors, while Days put up 24.4 PPG and 9.7 RPG on .486/.371/.857 shooting in 29 contests (35.6 MPG) for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Darius Days Gets Two-Way Contract With Rockets

OCTOBER 17: The Rockets have converted Days to a two-way contract, the team confirmed today. With Favors also officially waived, Houston is now within the regular season roster limit.

OCTOBER 16: The Rockets will give their open two-way slot to Darius Days, tweets Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Houston claimed Days on Tuesday after he was placed on waivers by the Heat.

The 6’7″ forward out of LSU had a strong showing with the Spurs at the Las Vegas Summer League. The Heat gave Days a two-way contract in July, but later converted him to an Exhibit 10 contract and cut him when they decided to give Jamal Cain that two-way slot.

Miami had hoped to send Days to its G League affiliate if he cleared waivers, but the Rockets snatched him away.

Houston’s roster now appears set with veteran big man Derrick Favors expected to be waived before Monday’s deadline. Rookie guard Trevor Hudgins holds the team’s other two-way slot.

Checking In On Roster Situations Around The NBA

As expected, the majority of the NBA teams made their roster cuts on Saturday and didn’t wait until Monday’s deadline to set their regular season rosters.

Making those moves on Saturday will ensure the players on non-guaranteed contracts clear waivers on Monday, before the regular season begins. If a team had waited until Monday to waive a player on a non-guaranteed deal, he wouldn’t clear waivers until Wednesday, and the team would be on the hook for two days’ worth of his salary.

After yesterday’s flurry of roster moves, here’s where things stand around the NBA…

Teams whose rosters are within the regular season limits

Of the NBA’s 30 teams, 26 have rosters that comply with the league’s regular season roster limits, which state that clubs can’t carry more than 15 players on standard contracts or two on two-way contracts.

The following 16 teams are right at the limit, carrying 15 players on standard contracts and a pair on two-ways:

  • Boston Celtics
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • New York Knicks
  • Orlando Magic
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Utah Jazz
  • Washington Wizards

Just because these rosters look ready for the regular season doesn’t mean they’re fully locked in. In fact, it would be a surprise if at least one or two of these teams don’t make minor tweaks before Monday’s regular season roster deadline. That could be as simple as swapping out one two-way player for another.

The Sixers are one team to watch, since Michael Foster Jr. – who is on an Exhibit 10 contract – remains on the roster. It’s possible Philadelphia intends to convert him to a two-way deal on Sunday or Monday, which would mean the club would have to waive one of its current two-way players (Charlie Brown Jr. or Julian Champagnie).

The following seven teams are carrying 14 players on standard contracts and two on two-ways:

  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Miami Heat
  • Phoenix Suns

The majority of these teams have luxury tax concerns and will open the season with an open roster spot to keep their projected tax bill in check, though that’s not the case for all of them.

The Hornets are well clear of the tax, for instance, and could comfortably make a roster addition if they want to. They may also be leaving a spot open for Miles Bridges, though his NBA future is up in the air due to his legal situation.The Mavericks, meanwhile, are in the tax but are still expected to sign veteran guard Facundo Campazzo before the regular season begins.

We’ve covered 23 teams so far. That leaves three more who are in within the regular season limits. Those teams are as follows:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers: 14 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way deal.
  • New Orleans Pelicans: 15 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way deal.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: 14 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way deal.

The Trail Blazers are right up against the tax line and will likely keep their 15th spot open to start the season, but the Cavaliers could add a 15th man if they so choose. All three teams could be keeping an eye on players who were waived in recent days as they mull how to fill their open two-way slots.

It’s worth mentioning that the Pelicans still haven’t signed second-round pick E.J. Liddell, who suffered a torn ACL during Summer League play. I suspect New Orleans wants Liddell to sign a G League contract and rehab with the Birmingham Squadron this season so that the team can use its second two-way slot on someone who can actually contribute on the court, but it remains possible that Liddell could fill that two-way opening.

Teams that still have moves to make before Monday’s deadline

The following teams haven’t yet made their necessary cuts to get within the regular season roster limits:

Detroit Pistons: 16 players on standard contracts and two on two-way deals.

The final cut will be pretty simple for the Pistons. They still haven’t officially waived Kemba Walker, but they’re expected to do so before the start of the season. Because Walker’s salary is fully guaranteed, Detroit can afford to wait until Monday instead of waiving him on Saturday, since there will be no additional financial penalty.

Houston Rockets: 17 players on standard contracts and one on a two-way deal.

The Rockets‘ final moves also looks pretty straightforward. Derrick Favors, who has a guaranteed salary, and Darius Days, who is on an Exhibit 10 contract, remain on the team’s roster for now. Favors will reportedly be waived on or before Monday. The deadline to convert players from Exhibit 10 deals to two-way contracts is Monday, so if Houston converts Days to a two-way today or tomorrow, the club will be set for the season.

Oklahoma City Thunder: 17 players on standard contracts and two on two-way deals.

The Thunder will actually have to waive three players, not just two, because they’re also reportedly signing Isaiah Joe to their 15-man roster. David Nwaba is reportedly one of the players being cut, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the other two are also players the Thunder acquired from Houston last month: Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss.

San Antonio Spurs: 16 players on standard contracts and two on two-way deals.

The Spurs will have to waive one player to get to the 15-man limit. Keita Bates-Diop and Tre Jones don’t have fully guaranteed salaries, but the fact that San Antonio didn’t finalize its cuts on Saturday suggests that a player with a guaranteed contract will be the odd man out. Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News reported on Saturday that Joe Wieskamp and Romeo Langford are “on the bubble.”

Reported Exhibit 10 signings that never materialized

There are a handful of free agent contract agreements that were reported at some point during the offseason and, as far as we can tell, never actually materialized. Those agreements are as follows:

These players and teams could still technically finalize these deals on Sunday or Monday, but it’s also very possible they simply fell through for one reason or another. For instance, reporting in September indicated that Montero’s buyout from his Spanish team might be an issue.

We’re no longer assuming that these signings going to happen.

Hoops Rumors’ roster resources

We consistently maintain and update a number of lists and trackers that are designed to help you keep tabs on NBA rosters. They’re all up to date following Saturday’s cuts. Those resources, which can be found on the right-hand sidebar of our desktop site or on the “Features” page within our mobile menu, include the following:

Rockets Claim Ex-Heat Forward Darius Days

The Rockets claimed forward Darius Days off waivers and may give him their available two-way contract, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Days was waived by the Heat on Sunday, right after his two-way contract was converted to an Exhibit 10 deal. Miami was hoping Days would clear waivers and that he’d join its G League affiliate in Sioux Falls. However, the Rockets had other plans for him.

Days was given a two-way contract in mid-July after a strong Summer League showing with the Spurs. The strong play of rookie Jamal Cain this season led Miami to give him the two-way slot Days previously held.

Days, a 6’7″, 245-pound forward, played four seasons at LSU and averaged 13.7 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Tigers last season.

Jamal Cain Gets Two-Way Contract With Heat

1:15pm: The Heat have issued a press release confirming that their series of moves – converting Cain to a two-way deal, waiving Days, and signing Mulder – are now official.

10:33am: The Heat will convert Jamal Cain‘s Exhibit 10 contract to a two-way deal, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

The team will waive Darius Days from his two-way contract to accommodate the move, and his roster spot will be given to Mychal Mulder.

Cain, a 23-year-old small forward, signed the Exhibit 10 deal in July after going undrafted out of Oakland. He played for the Heat’s Summer League team and has been impressive during the preseason, causing Miami officials to fear that he might not clear waivers if he was let go.

The Heat still have plans for Days, assuming he clears waivers, Chiang writes in a full story. His two-way contract was converted to an Exhibit 10 deal on Saturday, and he appears headed to Miami’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls if he’s not claimed by another team.

Days was given a two-way contract in mid-July after a strong Summer League showing with the Spurs. He appeared in two preseason games, but saw limited action.