Josh Christopher

Southeast Notes: Livers, Bagley, Christopher, Hawks’ Trade Chatter, Washington

The Wizards view Isaiah Livers and Marvin Bagley III as the most important parts of their trade with the Pistons on Sunday, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, rather than the two second-round picks Detroit tossed in to rid itself of Bagley’s contract.

Washngton parted with Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala in the deal. The Wizards are banking on their player development system to get more out of the two forwards they acquired. The team can make Livers a restricted free agent this summer if it likes what it sees from him the rest of the season.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Josh Christopher is joining the Heat’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Christopher, who had a two-way contract with the Jazz before he was waived on Monday, appeared in 138 games with Houston from 2021-23 but hasn’t seen any NBA action this season. He has appeared in 18 games (17 starts) for the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, averaging 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 29.0 minutes per contest.
  • Trae Young and Jalen Johnson are the only players the Hawks are unwilling to trade, John Hollinger of The Athletic confirms. There’s plenty of trade chatter involving Dejounte Murray and they’re also trying to determine the trade value of De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela. The Hawks could use Murray as means to shed the contract of either Capela or Hunter.
  • Hornets forward P.J. Washington returned to action on Sunday after missing the previous three games with a foot injury. the team’s PR department tweets. Washington, who is averaging 13.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season, signed a three-year contract over the summer.

Jazz Waive Christopher, Sign Preston To Two-Way Deal

The Jazz have waived Josh Christopher and signed Jason Preston to a two-way deal, Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets.

Preston spent training camp with the Grizzlies but was waived prior to the season. He was also cut by the Clippers at the beginning of October before his $1.8MM salary became fully guaranteed. He appeared in 14 games with L.A. last season and spent most of his time in the G League.

Prior to getting a contract with Utah, Preston was playing for the G League’s Memphis Hustle. Preston played in 17 games (16 starts) for the Hustle, averaging 12.4 points (on 48.1% shooting), 8.6 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per contest.

Christopher appeared in 138 games with Houston from 2021-23 but hasn’t seen any NBA action this season. He has appeared in 18 games (17 starts) for the Jazz’s G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, averaging 17.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 29.0 minutes per contest.

He was signed to a two-way deal in mid-October.

Jazz Sign Josh Christopher To Two-Way Contract

OCTOBER 13, 11:49am: The Jazz have officially signed Christopher to a two-way contract, the team confirmed today in a press release.

OCTOBER 12, 8:24pm: Utah has waived Hauser to open up a two-way slot for Christopher, according to’s transaction log.

OCTOBER 12, 6:32pm: The Jazz are signing former Rockets first-round pick Josh Christopher to a two-way contract, according to Shams Charania and Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Christopher, 21, was selected with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The former Arizona State wing averaged 6.9 points in 138 games (four starts) in his first two seasons in the league.

The 6’5″ Christopher was waived by the Grizzlies at the end of September after the team acquired him in an earlier offseason trade. Now, he’s heading to Utah after showcasing the ability to score in bunches at the NBA level. He holds career highs of 30 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

Christopher can provide immediate wing and scoring depth for the Jazz and could look to carve out a role on the bench. He averaged 5.8 points per game last season.

The Jazz already have three players signed to two-way contracts – Joey Hauser, Johnny Juzang and Micah Potter – and will have to waive one to bring in Christopher. Utah has a full 21-man roster as of this moment.

Christopher joins Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington as recent former Houston first-round picks to sign two-way deals with other teams this offseason. Houston traded away the young trio in the same five-team deal that brought Dillon Brooks to the Rockets via sign-and-trade.

Grizzlies Sign Mulder, Hurt; Waive Christopher, Todd

The Grizzlies have signed guard Mychal Mulder and forward Matthew Hurt, the team announced on Twitter. Guard Josh Christopher and forward Isaiah Todd were waived to make room on the roster.

Mulder, 29, has 84 games of NBA experience with the Warriors, Magic and Heat. He spent last season in the G League with Sioux Falls, where he led the league by making 129 three-pointers.

Hurt, 23, played for the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate last season, averaging 13.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 45 G League Showcase and regular season games with the Memphis Hustle.

The Grizzlies acquired Christopher from the Rockets in the five-team trade in July that sent Dillon Brooks to Houston. Christopher, 21, was the 24th pick in the 2021 draft and averaged 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 138 games during his two seasons with the Rockets. Christopher’s $2.5MM salary for the upcoming season is guaranteed, so Memphis will be on the hook for the full amount unless he’s claimed on waivers.

Todd, 21, spent the past two seasons with the Wizards and came to Memphis in July in a trade with the Suns. His $1.8MM salary for 2023/24 is also guaranteed.

Today’s moves should clarify the Grizzlies’ roster situation heading into training camp. With Christopher and Todd gone, Memphis is down to 15 fully guaranteed contracts.

Southwest Notes: Nowell, Mavs, Christopher, Rockets

The Mavericks are reportedly eyeing former Timberwolves shooting Jaylen Nowell, Darren Wolfson of SKOR North suggests on a new episode of his podcast The Scoop.

“No, he’s not coming back to the Wolves,” Wolfson said. “There’s a mutual understanding that, ‘Hey, time for Jaylen to move on.’ But here’s a new team in on Jaylen Nowell: the Dallas Mavericks. They need to create some roster flexibility, they are looking into doing some stuff is the word and it may not come to fruition. But Jaylen Nowell is on Dallas’ radar. The Nowell camp is still also awaiting finality on the Damian Lillard situation.”

The 6’4″ Nowell, now an unrestricted free agent, had been with Minnesota since being selected in the second round of the 2019 draft out of Washington. He enjoyed his most prolific season yet in 2022/23, averaging 10.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.0 APG and 0.6 SPG in 65 contests.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks made some major offseason moves to reconfigure their roster following a disappointing end to the 2022/23 season, but will they be enough in a talented West? In a new reader mailbag, Tim Cato of The Athletic asserts that, while Dallas may not be quite a legitimate contender yet, the team made some solid new veteran and rookie additions while replenishing some future draft equity.
  • New Grizzlies shooting guard Josh Christopher could yet emerge as a helpful rotation piece for Memphis, in part due to a minor shortage at the position, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis acquired the 6’5″ swingman as part of the five-team sign-and-trade that shipped Dillon Brooks to the Rockets — the team still has 17 players on standard guaranteed contracts, so it’s unclear whether or not Christopher will be on the regular season roster.
  • In case you missed it, we took stock of the offseasons of two lowly 2022/23 Southwest clubs, the Rockets and Spurs, and asked you which club they thought would have a better record in 2023/24.

Rockets Acquire Dillon Brooks In Five-Team Deal

JULY 8: The complex five-team trade that sends Brooks to Houston has been finalized, the Rockets announced in a press release The breakdown of the deal, which combined several separate trade agreements, is as follows:

  • Rockets acquire Brooks (via sign-and-trade), the Clippers’ 2026 second-round pick, the Grizzlies’ 2027 second-round pick (from Clippers), and the draft rights to Alpha Kaba (from Hawks).
  • Hawks acquire Usman Garuba, TyTy Washington, the Timberwolves’ 2025 second-round pick (from Rockets), the Rockets’ 2028 second-round pick, and cash (from Thunder).
  • Grizzlies acquire Josh Christopher.
  • Thunder acquire Patty Mills, a 2024 second-round pick (from Rockets), the Rockets’ 2029 second-round pick, and the Rockets’ 2030 second-round pick.
  • Clippers acquire Kenyon Martin Jr.

In a separate deal, Oklahoma City will ship Mills to Atlanta in exchange for Garuba, Washington, Rudy Gay and a second-round pick.

6:04pm: The Rockets will acquire Brooks via sign-and-trade, generating a trade exception for the Grizzlies, Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter).

Sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link) that Houston is trading Josh Christopher to Memphis. Although Iko doesn’t specify it will be part of a Brooks sign-and-trade, that seems logical.

The Grizzlies’ trade exception for Brooks would be $11.4MM due to base year compensation rules, notes Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype (Twitter link). If Christopher heads to Memphis in the deal, that TPE would shrink to $8.9MM, Gozlan adds.

5:20pm: The Rockets and Brooks have agreed to a four-year deal worth $80MM, agent Mike George tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The deal will have a descending structure, tweets Wojnarowski. It will be fully guaranteed, with no player or team option, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).

As with VanVleet, Houston’s offer in order to secure a commitment ended up being for more years and more money than initially anticipated.

JULY 1, 4:35pm: The Rockets are close to reaching a contract agreement with unrestricted free agent Dillon Brooks, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

While Houston has the cap room necessary to sign Brooks outright, the team has been engaged in trade talks around the league, according to Charania, who says a sign-and-trade with the Grizzlies is a possibility if the Rockets reach a deal with the veteran forward.

Brooks was frequently linked to the Rockets in the days leading up to free agency. One report indicated that Houston was preparing to offer him a deal in the range of $14-16MM annually, while another stated the team had a meeting lined up for Friday or Saturday with the 27-year-old.

Brooks is a talented perimeter defender who earned All-Defensive Second Team honors this spring, but he has become an increasingly erratic shooter, making a career-worst 39.6% of his field goal attempts in 2022/23. His three-point percentage dipped to 32.1% on 5.6 attempts per game during the last two seasons after he converted 35.3% of 4.5 threes per game in his first four seasons, all with the Grizzlies.

On top of his offensive struggles, Brooks’ outsized personality and aggressive playing style have gotten him into trouble both on the court and in interviews off it. He received three one-game suspensions this season, once for an on-court altercation with Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell and twice for accumulating so many technical fouls.

Brooks ultimately wore out his welcome in Memphis, with a report after the season indicating that the Grizzlies didn’t plan to bring him back “under any circumstances.” His performance during the team’s first-round loss to the Lakers was reportedly considered to be a breaking point. Brooks referred to Lakers star LeBron James as “old” following Memphis’ Game 2 win, suggesting the NBA’s all-time leading scorer was well past his prime.

He was then ejected from Game 3 for hitting James in the groin, surrendered a pair of key baskets to LeBron in a Game 4 loss, and was eventually fined $25K for declining to speak to reporters after three games of the series (all losses). Offensively, Brooks shot just 31.2% from the field and 23.8% on three-pointers across six playoff games.

A change of scenery could benefit Brooks, and the Rockets have reportedly been prioritizing tough, defensive-minded veterans under new head coach Ime Udoka. Houston has reached an agreement with Fred VanVleet and was said to be aggressive in its pursuit of Defensive Player of the Year runner-up Brook Lopez, who ultimately decided to remain in Milwaukee.

Fischer’s Latest: Lillard, Harden, Saric, Christopher, N. Powell

After a busy first two days of free agency on Friday and Saturday, the pace has slowed down on Sunday and Monday, with minimum-salary deals, rookie agreements, and two-way signings dominating headlines at Hoops Rumors.

While that shift is partly due to the fact that most of this year’s top free agents have come off the board, it’s also related to the trade requests submitted by Damian Lillard and James Harden, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, who suggests that neither the Trail Blazers nor the Sixers are in a rush to make a deal. Some areas of the free agency market may be on hold until those situations are resolved, Fischer explains.

For instance, the Heat – who are Lillard’s top suitor – have told several free agents, including Malik Beasley, that they won’t be moving forward with veteran’s minimum signings until they have more clarity on the Lillard situation. Miami would presumably be a more attractive destination for veteran free agents with Lillard on the roster — and would have more roster openings to fill.

According to Fischer, Dario Saric and Josh Christopher are among the players who “could be involved” with the Heat depending on what happens with Lillard. Saric is a free agent, while Christopher is reportedly being traded from Houston to Memphis, so perhaps there are scenarios in which he’d be re-routed to Miami. Beasley apparently decided not to wait on the Heat, having agreed to sign with Milwaukee.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • Like Lillard with the Heat, Harden has conveyed a strong preference that he end up with the Clippers, according to Fischer. The fact that the two stars are each focused on a single destination is one reason why the Trail Blazers and Sixers are moving so deliberately, Fischer notes, since they don’t want to be “backed into a corner” and accept pennies on the dollar. It will be a challenge for Portland and Philadelphia to extract the best possible package they can for their respective stars without opening up the market to other teams, either as potential Lillard/Harden destinations or as third or fourth clubs in multi-team deals that get the star guards to their desired landing spots.
  • The Clippers appear better positioned to work out a deal with the Sixers for Harden than the Heat are with the Trail Blazers for Lillard, in part because Philadelphia is prioritizing expiring contracts and Los Angeles has plenty of those to offer, Fischer says. Still, he wonders if Clippers swingman Norman Powell – who has three years left on his contract – might hold some appeal for the Sixers, whose new head coach Nick Nurse had Powell on his 2019 title team in Toronto.
  • The fact that Harden has just one year left on his contract – compared to Lillard’s four – may make a dark-horse suitor more comfortable about rolling the dice on the Sixers guard, knowing that if it doesn’t go well, he’ll be off the books in a year and it won’t be a long-term problem, Fischer writes. On the other hand, team executives around the NBA aren’t necessarily convinced that Lillard, who has a reputation for being a consummate professional and can’t reach free agency until at least 2026, would play hardball and refuse to report to camp if he’s sent to a non-Heat team, Fischer adds.

Trade Rumors: Lillard, Harden, Brogdon, Fournier, Rockets

The Trail Blazers told rival teams that they are “open for business everywhere in the league” regarding a Damian Lillard trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (YouTube link).

Lillard, who asked for a trade on Saturday after weeks of speculation, reportedly hopes to end up in Miami, where he could be part of a title contender. However, the Heat may not be able to offer the best trade package, and Portland GM Joe Cronin intends to focus on the team’s needs rather than Lillard’s preference while negotiating a deal.

“For Portland, they’re going to go out into the marketplace and try to find the best deal they can,” Wojnarowski said, “a combination of young players, draft picks, salary cap relief, all the things you want when a star of Damian Lillard’s magnitude asks to be traded.”

Woj adds that he doesn’t expect a Lillard deal to be completed quickly and that Miami doesn’t have any advantage because Lillard wants to go there. The Blazers haven’t told Lillard whether they intend to comply with his request to join the Heat, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

There are more trade rumors to pass along:

  • The Sixers‘ asking price for James Harden has been “really high,” Wojnarowski said in the same segment, noting that president of basketball operations Daryl Morey tends to seek a lot in return when a star player wants to be traded. Harden picked up his $35.6MM player option this week, and reports have indicated that he wants to be dealt to the Clippers. Wojnarowski adds that it’s “not an easy trade to make” because Philadelphia has to get value in return to pair with MVP Joel Embiid and keep the team in title contention. Woj speculates that trade talks could extend beyond Summer League action.
  • The Celtics aren’t trying to trade Sixth Man of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Brogdon was involved in an early version of the Kristaps Porzingis deal, but that fell through when the Clippers pulled out due to medical concerns about Brogdon. Himmelsbach adds that Brogdon is expected to be ready for the start of next season, even though he’s considering surgery for a right elbow injury he suffered in the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • The Knicks will continue to explore trades involving Evan Fournier, per Ian Begley of, but they don’t need to open any more cap flexibility to add Donte DiVincenzo after agreeing to send Obi Toppin to the Pacers. New York doesn’t seem to be actively pursuing either Lillard or Harden, according to Begley.
  • David Weiner of (Twitter link) suspects the Rockets will fold multiple reported trade agreements into their sign-and-trade deal for Dillon Brooks in order to maximize their cap room. After acquiring Patty Mills and using up their remaining cap space, Weiner posits, Houston will package Josh Christopher (to the Grizzlies), Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington (to the Hawks), and Mills (destination TBD), whose combined salaries will be enough to match Brooks’ expected first-year salary (approximately $21.6MM) without requiring room.

Trade Rumors: LaVine, Garland, Rockets, Clippers, Blazers, Bucks

The Bulls have engaged with “several” teams about the possibility of a Zach LaVine trade this offseason, but haven’t gotten serious about moving the high-scoring guard, reports Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

As Fischer explains, LaVine’s pricey long-term contract will make potential trade partners wary about giving up a substantial package of players and draft picks, but the Bulls would be seeking a return that far outweighs what Washington got for Bradley Beal last week.

Fischer names the Knicks and Mavericks as possible teams to watch for LaVine, but immediately throws cold water on the likelihood of either club emerging as a legitimate suitor in the near future. New York seems to be taking a more patient approach to building its roster, according to Fischer, who adds that Dallas was viewed as a more serious threat for LaVine before acquiring Kyrie Irving as a co-star for Luka Doncic.

Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors from around the NBA:

  • Despite some speculation to the contrary, the Cavaliers haven’t had any discussions about trading Darius Garland and have no intention to move the All-Star point guard, sources tell Chris Fedor of (Twitter link). The Cavs appear focused on pursuing roster moves that don’t involve trading any of their four cornerstone players (Garland, Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen).
  • In addition to Kenyon Martin Jr., the Rockets have gauged potential trade interest in young players like Usman Garuba and Josh Christopher, sources tell Fischer.
  • Norman Powell and Marcus Morris have both been mentioned in recent days as trade candidates. According to Fischer, the Clippers have been canvassing the league to see what a package of both players might return.
  • No clear suitors have emerged for guard Anfernee Simons, who looks like the Trail Blazers‘ most obvious trade chip, says Fischer. According to Fischer, the Blazers and Cavaliers had some brief talks about Nassir Little prior to the draft, but didn’t gain any real traction toward a deal.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on the latest episode of his Lowe Post podcast that the Bucks had some “relatively serious” internal conversations about John Collins before he was dealt to Utah. “I do think Milwaukee is looking around for, like, ‘Can we get a little injection of randomness? (An) injection of, like, bounce and athleticism, and just change?'” Lowe said. “Maybe just change more than anything else. But I don’t think (the Collins interest) went anywhere serious.”

Southwest Notes: Brooks, Valanciunas, Christopher, Doncic

Grizzlies small forward Dillon Brooks was fined $35K by the league for knocking over a camera operator during a road game against the Heat last week. Brooks has since apologized for the incident and stated that he plans to call the camera person, according to Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

“I didn’t mean to hurt him in any way possible,” Brooks claimed. “I’m not that type of person… Whatever the NBA did is what they did, but I’m not that type of person. I play the game hard.”

Cole notes that Brooks’ cumulative tally of lost cash via suspensions and fines now total $200K for the 2022/23 season.

According to Miami radio play-by-play announcer Jason Jaxson (Twitter link), that camera person was physically injured by Brooks, to the point where he was still being evaluated by doctors a couple days after the incident.

“The fine was on point,” Jackson wrote, “but the max ($50K) would have felt like a sliver of justice after disregard for another human – an incredible one at that.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • The struggling Pelicans managed to pull off a 117-107 Sunday win against the Rockets by playing through veteran center Jonas Valanciunas, writes Christian Clark of Valanciunas was a big part of the team’s early offensive attack, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds. “It makes it a lot easier, especially when we have him more engaged on the offensive end,” forward Brandon Ingram said. “You see him do more on the defensive end. He’s down in a stance. We just kind of fed off him today. Every time he caught it, he was aggressive, and he made the right play.” 
  • Second-year reserve Rockets shooting guard Josh Christopher recently explained how he has improved since the 2022/23 season began, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “I’m growing up,” Christopher said. “Of course, with more experience, I’m going to keep on getting better. Me slowing down is a part of me getting better. I’m starting to read the game a little more and I’m more decisive. It’s helped a lot… My teammates tell me to go out there and be myself. Coaches tell me to be myself. I watch a lot of tape. I stay in the gym. It makes everything easier, on top of me knowing when I’m going to play, and I am in the rotation.”
  • Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic remained out for Monday’s loss to the Grizzlies with a left thigh strain, Dallas has tweeted. He has now missed the team’s last five contests, including three against Memphis, with the injury. That said, head coach Jason Kidd indicated today that Doncic is progressing well from the ailment, per Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). “He’s going in the right direction, so hopefully [he will be back] soon,” Kidd said. “I think these last couple days have been really, really good, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”