Joshua Obiesie

Rockets Sign, Waive Joshua Obiesie

SEPTEMBER 29: Obiesie has been waived, per’s official transactions log.

AUGUST 1: The Rockets officially signed Joshua Obiesie to a one-year contract, having completed the move last Friday, according to RealGM’s NBA transaction log.

According to Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link), it’s a non-guaranteed training camp deal that includes Exhibit 10 language.

Obiesie has played the past six seasons for teams in Germany. The 6’6″ wing declared for the 2019 NBA draft but ultimately went undrafted. Still just 23 years old, Obiesie averaged 12.1 points and 3.2 assists per game last year for the Fraport Skyliners.

Obiesie is the first reported training camp contract for the Rockets, who have one two-way contract roster spot open. The signing gives Houston 16 players on its roster — 12 on guaranteed standard contracts, one on a partially guaranteed deal, a pair on two-way pacts, and now Obiesie on an Exhibit 10 contract.

Obiesie’s contract is eligible to be converted into a two-way deal, which could be in play if he impresses in camp. If he’s cut, clears waivers, and remains stateside, the Rockets would control his G League rights. In that scenario, Obiesie could earn a bonus worth up to $75K if he joins Houston’s G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and spends at least 60 days with the club.

Rockets Sign Nate Hinton, Matthew Mayer To Camp Deals

3:06pm: Hinton and Mayer have officially signed with the Rockets, according to a press release from the team.

10:12am: A flurry of roster moves for the Rockets will continue with training camp deals for Summer League standouts Nate Hinton and Matthew Mayer, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (subscription required).

In the process of filling out its 21-man offseason roster, Houston also recently signed Joshua Obiesie to a camp contract and agreed to a camp deal with Jeenathan Williams and a two-way pact with Jermaine Samuels.

Hinton, a 6’5″ wing who played his college ball at Houston, has spent most of his three professional seasons on two-way contracts or G League deals, appearing in 23 NBA games for the Mavericks and Pacers since 2020. The 24-year-old played for the Cleveland Charge – the Cavaliers’ NBAGL affiliate – during the 2022/23 season, averaging 12.0 PPG and 6.3 RPG on .466/.383/.789 shooting in 27 regular season games (33.9 MPG).

A 6’9″ forward, Mayer went undrafted in June out of Illinois and caught on with the Rockets’ Summer League team, putting up 12.5 PPG and 7.3 RPG with a .516/.435/.889 shooting line in four contests (25.2 MPG). Hinton also played well for the Rockets in Vegas, averaging 11.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.7 SPG on 50.0% shooting in six appearances (26.4 MPG).

As Feigen explains, Hinton, Mayer, and Williams are all expected to participate in training camp with the Rockets this fall, so they’re receiving contracts with Exhibit 9 language, which protects a team financially in the event of an injury.

A team can only sign a player to an Exhibit 9 contract once it has 14 players already on standard contracts, so Houston added Obiesie as its 14th man in order to begin finalizing the rest of its camp deals. Obiesie, whose deal doesn’t include Exhibit 9 protection, “will not be involved in the camp,” per Feigen, but the Rockets will control his G League rights after he’s waived.

I would expect that all of Houston’s camp invitees will also have Exhibit 10 language in their deals, which will entitle them to bonuses worth up to $75K if they eventually join the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and remain with the Rockets’ G League affiliate for at least 60 days.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Hawks, Jerome, Vucevic

The Heat probably don’t have enough to offer to trade into the top 10 of the draft, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald opines. Miami has the No. 13 pick and would likely have to get a third party involved in order to move up, Chiang continues, noting that the Heat can’t combine their first-rounder with their 2020 or 2022 first-round pick under current rules. Miami might be able to secure a future protected first-rounder if it trades down in the first round. If the club trades the pick without getting a first-rounder in return, the incentive would be to dump a big contract, Chiang adds.

We have more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks worked out six prospects on Friday, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. The group included guards Jalek Felton (BC Nokia), Joshua Obiesie (Oliver Wurzburg) and Charles Matthews (Michigan), forwards Daulton Hommes (Point Loma) and Nikola Miskovic (Mega Bemax) and center Sagaba Konate (West Virginia).
  • Shooting guard Ty Jerome, a mid- to late first-round prospect, worked out for the Magic on Friday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. Jerome is ranked No. 25 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. The Magic hold the No. 16 pick in the first round.
  • The Magic worked out Gonzaga forward Brandon Clarke on Wednesday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Clarke is ranked No. 13 overall by Givony. Forwards Paul Eboua (Italy), Miskovic and Grant Williams (Tennessee) visited on the same day as well as point guards Chris Clemons (Campbell) and Jeremiah Martin (Memphis).
  • Magic center Nikola Vucevic will be highly coveted on the free agent market but he’ll strongly consider staying put in Orlando, Stefan Djordjevic of relays. “I’m satisfied in Orlando. This was our best season since I arrived,” Vucevic said. “Everything clicked with the arrival of the new coach. We advanced to the playoffs surpassing all expectations and everything’s fine on that side. I’ve also been reading that many are interested but to be honest, I don’t know which teams want me. When I see all the offers, I’ll think and decide.”
  • Taking on a bad contract or two in order to add draft picks might be a prudent strategy for the Heat next summer, Winderman writes in a commentary.

Hornets Notes: Zeller, Kemba, Draft Workouts

Hornets center Cody Zeller had some fun with Kemba Walker‘s impending free agency by jokingly setting up a lemonade stand to raise the necessary $221MM for his teammate’s new super-max contract, as Roderick Boone of The Athletic details in an entertaining story. While Zeller’s fundraising efforts were obviously in jest, he recognizes the importance of Kemba’s upcoming decision, acknowledging that it’s a “pretty serious situation” for the franchise.

“I mean, our careers and a lot of the organization, to be honest with you, depends on what Kemba decides this summer, whether he stays or goes,” Zeller said. “I think it really depends on his choice. But our team and our future can go two very different ways depending on what he decides. So I was kind of trying to make light of a serious situation.

“I think he likes Charlotte,” Zeller said of his All-Star teammate. “I think he’s a good fit here. But the reality of it is we haven’t been able to make deep runs in the playoffs. So hopefully that will still come in the future. But at the end of the day, Kemba has to do what’s best for him. And I’m going to support him, whatever decision he makes.”

Here’s more on the Hornets:

Latest On Early Entrants List For 2019 NBA Draft

The deadline for early entrants to declare for the 2019 NBA draft fell on Sunday night, with plenty of NCAA underclassmen and international prospects entering their names into the draft before that deadline.

News continues to trickle in on players making draft decisions, and it will just be a matter of time before the NBA issues an official list of the players who declared for the 2019 NBA draft as early entrants. Once that group is set, the next key deadline to watch will be May 29 — that’s the last day for NCAA players to withdraw from draft consideration while retaining their college eligibility.

Here are many of the early entrants who have declared for the draft within the past couple days (our full list can be found here):

NCAA early entrants:

International early entrants: