Khyri Thomas

And-Ones: Exum, Thomas, Doncic, Tatum, Yabusele

Former NBA guard Dante Exum plans to return to the NBA when his three-month contract with Barcelona expires, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Exum is averaging just 4.4 PPG in the EuroLeague after signing with the Spanish team early last month.

Exum was waived by the Rockets during training camp. He signed a three-year deal with Houston in September but the contract was non-guaranteed and Houston had 15 other players with guaranteed deals.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Khyri Thomas has officially signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to a team press release. A report surfaced over the weekend that Maccabi was interested in the former NBA guard. Thomas, a 2018 second-round pick, played in Spain last month before suffering an injury. He saw action in five games with Houston last season and came off the bench in 34 games for Detroit during the previous two seasons.
  • Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum remain the two players under 25 years old that NBA talent evaluators would want to build their teams around, according to an annual poll conducted by Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype. Ja Morant, LaMelo Ball and Trae Young round out the top five.
  • Guerschon Yabusele has agreed to a contract extension with Real Madrid, according to a team press release. The three-year extension runs through June 2025. Yabusele, a first-round pick by the Celtics in 2016, last appeared in the NBA during the 2018/19 season when he saw action in 41 games for Boston.

And-Ones: Thomas, Goodwin, Nurkic, Herro, Hawks/Celtics Trade, Rivers, Carlisle

Maccabi Tel Aviv has targeted former NBA guard Khyri Thomas to improve its backcourt depth, Donatas Urbonas of Basketball News reports. Thomas, a 2018 second-round pick, played in Spain last month before suffering an injury. He saw action in five games with Houston last season and came off the bench in 34 games for Detroit during the previous two seasons.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Archie Goodwin has signed with Budivelnyk Kyiv in the Ukraine, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Goodwin had been playing in France. Goodwin played four seasons in the NBA, most recently in 2016/17 for the Pelicans and Nets.
  • The Trail BlazersJusuf Nurkic and Heat‘s Tyler Herro each drew $25K fines for an altercation on Wednesday, NBA Communications tweets. They were both ejected in the final minute of Miami’s victory. Herro shoved Nurkic in the back after the Portland center knocked the guard to the floor on a screen. Nurkic retaliated with a shove to the face.
  • Could a blockbuster deal energize the inconsistent Hawks and Celtics? Sports Illustrated’s Michael Pina proposes a Jaylen Brown trade in which the Hawks would give up De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, Jalen Johnson and two unprotected first-round picks.
  • Nearly half of the league’s head coaches have entered the health and safety protocols this season. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer talks to Philadelphia’s Doc Rivers and Indiana’s Rick Carlisle on how they interacted with their assistants during their absences.

Khyri Thomas Signs With Spanish Team

Former NBA shooting guard Khyri Thomas has signed with Bilbao Basket, a Spanish team that competes in the Liga ACB, according to agent Misko Raznatovic (Twitter link). Thomas had been a free agent since being waived during training camp last month by the Rockets.

The 38th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Thomas appeared in 34 games for Detroit in his first two NBA seasons, but saw limited action, averaging just 2.3 PPG and 1.0 RPG in 10.5 MPG. After being traded to Atlanta and waived during the 2020 offseason, Thomas caught on with Houston near the end of the 2020/21 campaign, playing well in five games with the team (16.4 PPG, 5.0 APG, and 3.6 RPG in 30.6 MPG).

Thomas’ deal with the Rockets covered multiple years, but it wasn’t guaranteed beyond ’20/21, so the team was able to part ways with him last month without taking on any dead money. The 25-year-old was cut to make room on the roster for Houston to complete its trade for Sekou Doumbouya.

Thomas will be one of several players on Bilbao’s roster with NBA experience. Big men Jeff Withey and Angel Delgado also played in the NBA, as did shooting guards Andrew Goudelock and Damien Inglis. The Spanish club is looking to bounce back from a 3-8 start to the season.

Rockets Waive Khyri Thomas To Complete Trade With Nets

The Rockets have officially waived wing Khyri Thomas, the team announced today in a press release.

The move was necessary in order to make room on Houston’s 20-man preseason roster for Sekou Doumbouya, whom the club agreed to acquire from the Nets. Even though the Rockets intend to waive Doumbouya, they needed an open roster spot to complete the trade, which is now official, according to press releases from both the Rockets and Nets.

Thomas, 25, was the 38th overall pick in the 2018 draft. He appeared in 34 games for Detroit in his first two NBA seasons, but saw limited action, averaging just 2.3 PPG and 1.0 RPG in 10.5 MPG.

After being traded to Atlanta and waived during the 2020 offseason, Thomas caught on with the Rockets near the end of the 2020/21 season, playing well in five games with the team (16.4 PPG, 5.0 APG, and 3.6 RPG in 30.6 MPG). Houston signed him to a multiyear contract, but it wasn’t guaranteed for 2021/22, so the team is able to waive him without taking on dead money.

Thomas will clear waivers on Thursday, assuming he goes unclaimed. Meanwhile, once they waive Doumbouya, the Rockets will have an open spot on their 20-man roster. The Nets will now be able to complete their trade with Indiana, acquiring Edmond Sumner using their newly-created trade exception from the Doumbouya deal.

Rockets Notes: Injuries, Thomas, Reynolds, Tate, Brooks

As has been the case for much of the 2020/21 season, the Rockets have a crowded injury report today, with 10 of the team’s players having been ruled out for the regular season finale in Atlanta.

However, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), none of those 10 players are dealing with long-term injuries that will hinder their ability to conduct offseason training or participate in Summer League games.

That includes Khyri Thomas, who underwent an MRI this weekend after he “tweaked” his Achilles on Friday (Twitter link via Feigen). According to head coach Stephen Silas, that Achilles injury isn’t severe, which bodes well for Thomas and the Rockets — the young swingman just signed a four-year contract with the team on Friday.

Here’s more out of Houston:

  • Cameron Reynolds will only spend three days (two games) with the Rockets before his rest-of-season contract expires, but even that brief stint with his hometown team means a lot to the Pearland, Texas native, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston relays. “I’ll never forget this,” Reynolds said, adding that several family members were in attendance to watch him on Friday. “I’ll never forget being able to play for the Houston Rockets. This is huge for me.”
  • After going undrafted in 2018, Jae’Sean Tate played for a new team in each of his first three professional seasons, so he’s especially appreciative of being able to enter the 2021 offseason knowing he’ll remain under contract with the Rockets and won’t have to find a new home. “It’s kind of surreal,” Tate said, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “This is what I’ve been dreaming of. This is what I’ve been working so hard for, to come in on the back end of my first year. It went by so fast; I feel I just walked into training camp. Also, it just makes me hungrier because I know there are so many things I can work on and get better at.”
  • Armoni Brooks, who went undrafted in 2019, didn’t make his NBA debut until last month, but he has played big minutes (25.6 MPG) for an injury-ravaged Rockets team and his 54 three-pointers are the most ever by any NBA player through the first 19 games of his career. In a separate Houston Chronicle story, Feigen looks at what’s next for Brooks, who is shifting his focus to summer workouts.

Southwest Notes: Thomas, Popovich, Valanciunas, Brooks, Gordon

The multi-year contract the Rockets gave to Khyri Thomas on Friday has no guarantees beyond this season, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. The contract is non-guaranteed for the next two seasons and includes a team option for the 2023/24 season but the contract is still non-guaranteed even if that option is exercised. However, Thomas did receive $250K for this season, which is $217K more than the prorated minimum.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Gregg Popovich dismissed a report from last August that claimed the Nets were interested in hiring him away from the Spurs, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News tweets. Popovich said the report “had no foundation in reality.” The report, which cited sources familiar with both franchises, came out prior to the hiring of Steve Nash as head coach.
  • The Grizzlies possess two throwback players in Jonas Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks that have improved the team on both ends of the floor this season, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian writes. The Grizzlies have been far more efficient with that duo on the court, Herrington notes. Valanciunas is averaging 16.9 PPG and a career-best 12.5 RPG, while Brooks is averaging career highs in points (17.2 PPG) and steals (1.2 SPG).
  • Rockets guard Eric Gordon has two more guaranteed years remaining on his contract but he admits he doesn’t know what kind of future he has with the rebuilding organization, as he told Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “I’ve been on losing teams before, but I’ve never been a part of a season where we lose 20 in a row. … So my relationship with (GM Rafael Stone and coach Stephen Silas) is fine, but as I said, we’ll have to see what real direction that they want to go this off-season,” he said. “They could have a lot of new guys, whether they’re younger or older, you just never know.”

Khyri Thomas Inks Multiyear Deal With Rockets

MAY 14: Thomas’ contract is official, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

MAY 13: New Rockets shooting guard Khyri Thomas will ink a multiyear deal with Houston, per Kelly Iko and Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Houston first added Thomas on a 10-day deal via hardship extension last week, and since that time he has proven to be a bright spot in what has been a tough season for the Rockets, forced to part with their signature star James Harden earlier this year. Houston possesses the worst record in the NBA, with a 16-54 mark thus far. In so doing, the team have given itself the best odds at nabbing the top pick in what is supposed to be a loaded 2021 draft.

The No. 38 pick in the 2018 NBA draft out of Creighton, Thomas spent his first two seasons as a reserve with the Pistons, averaging just 7.5 MPG and 7.6 in 2018/19 and 2019/20, respectively. In seven games (all starts) for the Austin Spurs during the 2020/21 NBAGL season, the 6’3″ guard averaged 13.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 1.0 SPG.

In four games (including one start) with the injury-depleted Rockets, Thomas has logged major minutes. He is averaging 16.3 PPG, 5.0 APG, 3.8 RPG, 2.3 SPG, and 0.8 BPG in 30.8 MPG. He boasts a shooting line of .436/.308/1.000.

Thomas’ 10-day contract is technically scheduled to run through the end of the season, so Houston will have to terminate it early in order to re-sign him to a new deal. A multiyear contract wouldn’t be possible if he was still occupying an extra roster spot using the hardship exception, but the team has waived DaQuan Jeffries in order to create room on the 15-man roster for Thomas.

Texas Notes: Wall, Thomas, White, Green, Carlisle

With John Wall‘s first season with the Rockets over, Kelly Iko and John Hollinger of The Athletic examined the initial impressions the veteran guard made in Houston, considering whether or not he fits into the team’s future long-term.

Wall was a perennial All-Star with the Wizards early in his career, but a series of injuries cost him significant portions of the past three seasons. As Iko and Hollinger write, Wall has to be commended for the mere fact that he returned to the court and played significant minutes, showing glimpses of his past explosiveness.

However, both scribes also noted that despite those glimpses, Wall appeared to be a fraction of the player he used to be, raising questions about his ability to even remain a starting point guard for the rest of his career. The hefty sum remaining on his contract will make it difficult to trade and therefore, it remains to be seen how the Rockets, or any team, would deploy him moving forward.

Check more news out of the NBA’s Texas squads:

  • Newly-signed Rockets forward Khyri Thomas contributed 16 points in his first game and expressed gratitude for the opportunity, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26. “I’m never gonna take this opportunity for granted, whether it’s 10-day or a whole year,” he said. “I’m not trying to go out and be Michael Jordan. Just trying to fit in.”
  • Having established himself as a long-term keeper for the Spurs, Derrick White is now working on being a more vocal leader, as Spencer Davies of writes. “The front office and (head coach Gregg Popovich) have been on me (about) trying to be more of a leader,” White said. “It’s something that I’m continuing to develop in. The more confidence you have, the more you’re doing the right things, the more you can hold other people accountable. So it’s a constant thing that I’m developing, and hopefully I just keep getting better and better at it.”
  • The Spurs could conceivably make the play-in tournament without doing much winning as the regular season winds down. However, the team is looking to achieve more than just sneaking into the new postseason format, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes.
  • Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is taking a nuanced view toward the play-in tournament, which Dallas could find itself participating in without a strong finish to the season. Carlisle said the goal should be to avoid the tournament altogether, but if it’s an option, it should be “embraced” and could be a valuable experience to a young team, tweets Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.
  • As the Mavericks have shown a willingness to be shifty and open-minded with their lineups, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News wonders if it’s time to give rookie Josh Green more playing time.

Rockets Sign Khyri Thomas Via Hardship Exception

MAY 7: The Rockets have officially signed Thomas, the team announced today in a press release. Since Houston was granted a hardship exception as a result of all their injuries, no corresponding roster move was required.

Houston announced the deal as a 10-day contract — there are only 10 days left in the regular season, so it’ll cover the team’s remaining games.

MAY 5: Free agent shooting guard Khyri Thomas is set to ink a new deal with the Rockets, according to Kelly Iko and Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic (Twitter link). Terms of the agreement have yet to be disclosed, but Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle suggests it could be a 10-day contract.

Selected with the No. 38 pick in the 2018 draft, Thomas spent his first two NBA seasons with the Pistons. The 6’3″ wing logged time across 34 games during his two seasons with Detroit, averaging 7.5 MPG.

Thomas and swingman Tony Snell were sent by the Pistons to the Hawks in exchange for Dewayne Dedmon during the 2020 offseason, and Thomas was quickly released by Atlanta. The 24-year-old Creighton alum was mostly recently signed to an Exhibit 10 deal with the Spurs, but San Antonio waived him before he could play a regular season game with the club.

Given that they are already eliminated from playoff contention with a 16-49 record, it makes sense for the tanking Rockets to take a flyer on a young player with some upside during the waning days of the 2020/21 regular season. Houston has seven games remaining in its schedule.

The Rockets will need to waive someone in order to make room for Thomas unless they’re granted a hardship exception that allows them to add an extra player. That’s a possibility, given all the injuries the team is dealing with.

Spurs Sign, Waive Khyri Thomas

The Spurs signed guard Khyri Thomas to an Exhibit 10 contract this weekend, waiving the 24-year-old shortly thereafter, Jeff Garcia of News 4 San Antonio tweets.

Thomas is expected to play with the team’s G League affiliate in the proposed bubble next month. The Thunder were among those to express interest in the free agent guard before he signed with the Spurs, Garcia adds.

Thomas, the No. 38 pick back in 2018, has spent the past two seasons with the Pistons. He appeared in a total of 34 games, struggling with his shooting and getting traded to Atlanta last month. The Hawks then waived the Creighton product upon acquiring him.

This move marks the second of its kind in recent days for San Antonio, who also signed and waived Kylor Kelley on Friday, sources told Hoops Rumors. Both players were inked to Exhibit 10 deals, which enables the pair to receive a bonus of up to $50K if they remain on the team’s G League affiliate for at least 60 days.