Houston acquires 2025 2nd-round pick in eight-player trade with Thunder

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ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski described this as a “cap-centric deal” since it helped the Thunder get around $10 million below the luxury tax, while Houston added a 2nd-round pick by taking on $1 million in cap space.

The Rockets acquired Derrick Favors, Ty Jerome, Moe Harkless, Theo Maledon and a protected 2025 2nd-round pick from the Hawks and sent David Nwaba, Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss to Oklahoma City.

The 2nd-rounder from Atlanta is protected 31-40, and it will become the second best 2026 2nd-round pick between the Mavericks, Thunder, and 76ers if it doesn’t convey in 2025.

A tweet from Jackson Gatlin of Locked On Rockets indicates that Houston will also receive $6.3 million in cash from the Thunder.

Previous reports indicated that Derrick Favors was unlikely to remain with the Thunder this season, while Ty Jerome wasn’t participating in training camp as his representatives worked with the team to find an exit strategy for him. Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported that Houston plans to waive Jerome. Harkless was traded for the third time this summer. He was dealt from Sacramento to Atlanta in July as part of the Kevin Huerter deal, and then was shipped to OKC for Vit Krejci earlier this week. Hopefully he’ll be able to settle in with Houston this season.

As he enters his seventh season, this will be the sixth team that Nwaba has suited up for. The journeyman has had a few solid seasons, including averaging 9.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.0 steals for Houston during the 2020-21 season. Among the players in the deal, he’s the most likely candidate to carve out a role on his new team next season.

Brown, Burke, and Chriss were already traded once this summer as part of the deal that said Christian Wood to Dallas. Now, they’ll be depth pieces in Oklahoma City if the team decides to keep them around.

Daily Thunder’s beat writer Brandon Rahbar pointed out that the trade wouldn’t have been possible without the Disabled Player Exception that the Thunder received because of Chet Holmgren’s injury.

Watch Rudy Gobert help France beat Turkey with putback dunk

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Rudy Gobert may not be thought of as one the NBA’s clutch players, but it was his bucket late in the game that helped France survive in their first game of the Knockout Phase of EuroBasket 2022.

France led Turkey 49-38 during the third quarter before Turkey took over the game with a 19-0 run. Despite leading the majority of the game, it took some late heroics from Rudy Gobert for France to hold on. With 2.5 seconds left in regulation, Gobert tied the game with a putback dunk off of a missed floater from Evan Fournier.

France held on to win the game in overtime 87-86, thanks to a late 3-pointer from Fournier that put them up 86-83. Terry Tarpey’s steal with one second left gave them the win.

In regulation, Turkey was up two points with 12 seconds left with Cedi Osman at the free throw line. He missed both attempts, but Turkey came up with an offensive rebound. Fournier stole the ball from Bugrahan Tuncer, which led to Fournier’s missed floater and Gobert’s putback.

Along with the big play down the stretch, Gobert also led France with 20 points and 17 rebounds, which was by far his best game in EuroBasket this year. Gobert’s dominance down low helped France outscore Turkey 50-22 in the paint.

Gobert pointed out France’s resiliency down the stretch as a key piece to their victory.

“We just never stopped fighting,” Gobert said. “We always believed. It was obviously not our best game. But the thing I am really proud of is the fact that we never gave up. A lot of teams would have gave up in that position. They probably wouldn’t have tried to make the play and steal the ball. We didn’t, we kept fighting and we were rewarded for that.”

Fournier chipped in 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the win.

Tuncer led Turkey with a game-high 22 points, six 3-pointers, four assists, and three rebounds.

Osman didn’t show well for Turkey, finishing with just 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting. The other NBA player on Turkey’s roster, Alperen Sengun, had just eight points and five rebounds in 22 minutes. It was his first game not scoring in double figures during EuroBasket this year.

This isn’t the first disappointing loss for Turkey in recent years. In his postgame interview, Tuncer recalled losing to the United States in 2019 after being up two points late in the game before missing two free throws.

The victory sends France to the Quarter-Finals of EuroBasket 2022. They’ll await the winner of the Serbia-Italy matchup, which is at 12pm ET on Sunday, September 11th.

Serbia, a 1-seed in the tournament, is led by two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic, who is averaging 19.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game in EuroBasket.

Italy is led by Simone Fontecchio, who signed with the Jazz earlier this summer. He’s averaging 19.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.

List of 34 NBA players expected to take part in EuroBasket next month

Slovenia v Serbia - Basketball Friendly
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Already in the tune-up games, Luka Doncic seems to have developed a running hook shot, while Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers are dominating for Greece.

There will be a lot of NBA talent playing in EuroBasket — 34 NBA players are currently set to play for their teams in the European championships next month. Thanks to Johnny Askounis at EuroHoops, we have a list of them now.

Here are the NBA players currently scheduled to play in EuroBasket:

Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Jusuf Nurkic (Portland Trail Blazers)
Croatia:
Bojan Bogdanovic (Utah Jazz)
Dario Saric (Phoenix Suns)
Ivica Zubac (Los Angeles Clippers)
Czech Republic:
Vit Krejci (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Finland:
Lauri Markkanen (Cleveland Cavaliers)
France:
Evan Fournier (New York Knicks)
Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Theo Maledon (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Georgia:
Goga Bitadze (Indiana Pacers)
Sandro Mamukelashvili (Milwaukee Bucks)
Germany:
Daniel Theis (Indiana Pacers)
Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic)
Greece:
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Tyler Dorsey (Dallas Mavericks)
Israel:
Deni Avdija (Washington Wizards)
Italy:
Simone Fontecchio (Utah Jazz)
Danilo Gallinari (Boston Celtics)
Lithuania:
Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)
Jonas Valanciunas (New Orleans Pelicans)
Montenegro:
Marko Simonovic (Chicago Bulls)
Serbia:
Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Slovenia:
Vlatko Cancar (Denver Nuggets)
Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Goran Dragic (Chicago Bulls)
Spain:
Usman Garuba (Houston Rockets)
Juancho Hernangomez (Toronto Raptors)
Willy Hernangomez (New Orleans Pelicans)
Turkey:
Furkan Korkmaz (Philadelphia Sixers)
Cedi Osman (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Alperen Sengun (Houston Rockets)
Ukraine:
Alex Len (Sacramento Kings)
Svi Mykhailiuk (Toronto Raptors)

The Milwaukee Bucks have the most players in the tournament with three, led by the Antetokounmpo brothers.

 

Notes from 2022 NBA schedule release: LeBron chasing Kareem, ‘baseball’ series

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The full NBA schedule dropped on Wednesday, all 1,230 games.

It’s a lot of information. Outside of the games you don’t want to miss, there’s a lot of ground to cover. So here are some news and notes from around the NBA about the schedule release.

• One thing the schedule makers couldn’t predict: When LeBron James will pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most regular season points in NBA history. LeBron is 1,325 points behind Abdul-Jabbar, and at his scoring pace of last season (27.1 a game), it would take 49 games to get there. It’s unlikely the Lakers will play LeBron in every one of their first 49 games this season as they try to keep him fresh for the playoffs (and there could be minor injuries that keep him out a few games) but expect to see some massaging of televised games schedule as we get into February and beyond, making sure LeBron is on national television when he breaks the record.

• The NBA says it cut down on team travel this season, with the average team traveling 41,000 miles. That is down 2,000 from last season.

• How the league is doing that: 55 “baseball series” sets where a road team plays two games in a row against the same home team. For example, the Boston Celtics head to Charlotte to face LaMelo Ball and the Hornets on Jan. 14, then both teams are off on the 15th and play again in Charlotte on the 16th. The upsides to this: It does reduce travel, which is good for player recovery; and those second games in a set can be a little more playoff like as teams adjust strategies and matchups based on what did and didn’t work in the first game. The downside is for people who go to the games. First, NBA fans aren’t used to and may skip the second game of that series, although the NBA says it didn’t see evidence of that in a smaller sample size in past seasons (that’s also less of an issue when an elite team like Boston comes to town, but is anyone looking to see the Magic or Thunder back-to-back?). Second, what if Jayson Tatum tweaks his ankle and has to sit out a couple of weeks in January — Charlotte fans will not see Tatum when he comes to town. That can be an issue when a star like Trae Young, Luka Doncic, or LeBron James comes to a city and the locals do not get to see him play because both games are within a day of each other.

• Add in times a visiting team can play the Knicks/Nets or Lakers/Clippers without traveling, and you get 88 sets of road games without travel this season.

• The best schedule release video goes to the New Orleans Pelicans, playing off the rumor GM David Griffin played piano to impress Zion Williamson.

• The Brooklyn Nets dropped from 26 nationally televised games a season ago to 13 this season because of the uncertainty about their roster and whether Kevin Durant will be on it (nationally televised meaning the game is on TNT, ESPN, or ABC).

• The Nets’ 13 is still two more nationally televised games than the Heat. The team that had the best record in the East last season, that made the Eastern Conference Finals, that went to the NBA Finals just a couple of years ago, that has Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo apparently isn’t sexy enough for the NBA schedule makers. The Heat are not even in the top 10 of teams with the most televised games. If any team should feel snubbed by the schedule makers, it’s Miami.

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have the most nationally televised games with 30 (starting on opening night). They are followed by LeBron James and the Lakers (27), the Celtics (25), the 76ers and Bucks (23 each).

Ja Morant was happy with the Grizzlies getting 18 nationally televised games, including on Christmas.

 

• Nine teams have just one nationally televised game: Jazz, Kings, Magic, Pacers, Pistons, Rockets, Spurs and Thunder. That’s a surprisingly low number for the Jazz, but it speaks to the depth of their rebuild (and the fact everyone around the league expects Donovan Mitchell to get traded).

• The NBA scheduled 45 games on weekends that start at noon Eastern (or a couple of hours later) this season because that puts them on in prime time in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. There are big stars in many of those games.

• The Houston Rockets have 10 of their first 13 games on the road this season, tying an NBA record for most road games in the first 13 of the season.

Ben Simmons returns to Philadelphia on November 22 (a TNT game), assuming he plays.

• The NBA is going international again, with the Bulls facing the Pistons on Jan. 19 in Paris, and the Heat and Spurs will play in Mexico City on Dec. 17.

• The final day of the NBA regular season is April 9, and all 30 teams will play that day.

Willie Cauley-Stein reportedly agrees to deal with Houston Rockets

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Veteran center Willie Cauley-Stein, who played a total of 20 games last season between Dallas and Philadelphia, will get a chance to make the roster in Houston for next season.

The Rockets and Cauley-Stein reportedly agreed to a one-year deal, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This is almost certainly a non-guaranteed one-year contract, and it will be an uphill climb for Cauley-Stein to make the Rockets roster. Houston already has 20 people coming to training camp — 16 have some level of contract guarantee — a number that will have to be trimmed to 15 before the season starts.

Don’t be surprised if the Rockets make some kind of trade during training camp, with Eric Gordon‘s name consistently coming up in rumors. Plus there was a lot of buzz about them moving some of the players who came over in the Christian Wood trade: Marquese Chriss, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown, and Boban Marjanovic.

The Rockets will start Alperen Sengun at center, and they have Marjanovic on the roster already, plus rookie No. 3 pick Jabari Smith likely will get some small-ball minutes at the five. This could mean Cauley-Stein, Marjanovic and Bruno Fernando will be battling for one final roster spot.

Still, Cauley-Stein, 28 and entering his eighth NBA season, will get his chance.