Rockets sign young guard Khyri Thomas to multi-year contract

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May 8, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Houston Rockets guard Khyri Thomas (20) drives to the basket against Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) in the second quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Houston Rockets guard Khyri Thomas (20) drives to the basket against Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) in the second quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

With an open roster spot from the release of DaQuan Jeffries, the Houston Rockets are signing recently acquired guard Khyri Thomas to a multi-year contract.

Thomas was signed late last week to a hardship exception, which effectively operates as a 10-day contract. Thus, to retain the 25-year-old for future years, some sort of new transaction had to be made. Houston general manager Rafael Stone said recently that the Rockets planned to spend more of their 2020-21 mid-level exception (MLE), which would allow Thomas to be signed to a deal of three or four seasons in length.

A 6-foot-3 guard, Thomas has made quite an impression over his first week in Houston. He’s averaging 16.3 points (43.6% FG), 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.3 steals in 30.8 minutes per game, and he’s also proven to be a tough and versatile defender for Stephen Silas.

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Thomas was drafted No. 38 overall in 2018 by Philadelphia before being traded to Detroit. Over the next three seasons, Thomas played sparingly in the NBA but flourished as a sharpshooter in the G League, where he averaged 17.7 points per game on 44.5% 3-point shooting. Thomas had become well regarded for his on-ball defense, as well, having earned Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2017 and 2018 during his college basketball career at Creighton.

Now, Thomas will get his first extended NBA opportunity as the Rockets begin preparations for the 2021-22 season.

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