Vie. Feb 23rd, 2024

The Houston Rockets have acquired Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams in a trade for guard Victor Oladipo and three second-round picks, the teams announced Thursday.

As part of the trade, the Grizzlies are getting a 2024 second-round pick via Oklahoma City, a conditional ’24 second-rounder, which will be the most favorable pick between the Brooklyn Nets’ and Golden State’s own, and a more favorable 2025 second-round pick of Houston’s, according to sources.

Adams, 30, has been out since January 2023 after undergoing right knee surgery, but he’s expected to be fully recovered for the 2024-25 season. The Rockets are eager to pair his physicality, rebounding and leadership as a backup to burgeoning star center Alperen Sengun. Coach Ime Udoka has placed a significant premium on upgrading the roster’s toughness and rebounding, and Adams gives the Rockets a player who led the NBA in offensive rebounding in both 2021-22 and 2022-23. Prior to his knee injury last season, Adams averaged 11.5 total rebounds through 42 games.

The deal unloads $12.4 million in guaranteed salary off the Grizzlies’ payroll for 2024-25, dropping them about $17 million below the punitive $190 million level of the salary cap referred to as the second apron. Oladipo, who’s on an expiring contract, has no timeline for his return to play.

With a slew of injuries this year — including season-ending shoulder surgery for All-NBA guard Ja Morant — the Grizzlies are in the unique position of being a contending franchise in line to land a high lottery pick in the 2024 NBA draft. The Grizzlies could keep that pick to add another top young player, or use it in a trade to complement the team’s core of Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Marcus Smart.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks contributed to this report.

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