Of the four players acquired from Dallas in the Christian Wood trade, which became official on June 24, only veteran center Boban Marjanovic reportedly has a potential future with the Houston Rockets. Yet, none of the other three (Trey Burke, Sterling Brown, or Marquese Chriss) have been released in the nearly two months since.
There’s a good reason for that. With the NBA allowing each team expanded rosters of up to 20 players in the offseason and at training camp, there’s not much incentive for Rockets general manager Rafael Stone to rush into a release, since each of those players — Marjanovic at $3.5 million, Burke at $3.4 million, Brown at $3.0 million, and Chriss at $2.2 million — has a salary that could be used to make the potential trade matching math work on hypothetical deals elsewhere.
By comparison, if Stone released those players, any new signings to those spots would not be able to be dealt until midway through the 2022-23 season. So, there’s minimal harm — and potentially a lot of upside — to delaying official transactions as long as possible.
A key date arrives this week. Once 60 days pass from the original transaction, each of those players (Burke, Brown, Chriss, and Marjanovic) can be traded in combination with others. Before that, each player is eligible to be dealt individually, but not in a package. Given how small each salary is by itself, the aggregation route is far more realistic, in terms of potentially being of use to the Rockets.
As of this week, the 60-day mark since the June 24 transaction will pass. At that time, trade options open up for Stone and the Rockets.
It doesn’t guarantee that anything will materialize. If it doesn’t, expect the Rockets to release at least three of those four players prior to training camp and use those roster spots for players whose G League rights Houston would like to retain for the club’s Rio Grande Valley affiliate. But the fact that none of those releases have happened, so far, suggests that the Rockets at least want the option for something larger in the weeks leading up to 2022-23 training camp.
The transaction window will open shortly.
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Source: Yahoo Sports