Rockets trade second-round draft assets to Memphis for Steven Adams

For months, a physical, defensive minded backup center to complement incumbent starter Alperen Sengun has been atop the wishlist of the Houston Rockets. On Thursday, with a week to go until the NBA’s Feb. 8 trade deadline, they finally made it happen.

Unfortunately, they likely won’t reap the benefits until the 2024-25 season. As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets are sending three second-round picks (two in 2024, and another in 2025) to Memphis for veteran center Steven Adams, who is under contract through 2024-25 at $12.6 million annually.

Now 30 years old, Adams averaged 8.6 points (59.7% FG) and 11.5 rebounds as the starting center in Memphis last season.

The bruising 6-foot-11 big man is out for 2023-24 after undergoing knee surgery but is expected to return healthy in 2024-25. For a team in Houston (22-25) that is improving this season but not yet in contention mode, that delayed gratification makes sense.

The Rockets are using the expiring $9.5-million contract of Victor Oladipo (acquired for Kevin Porter Jr. in October) as the salary matching vehicle to make the deal work under league rules. For Memphis, the primary incentives are the second-round picks and the financial flexibility once Oladipo rolls off their books this summer.

Here’s our look at immediate reaction to the deal, both from media members and fans who actively follow the Rockets.

Rockets-Steven Adams trade reaction

Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire