The Houston Rockets are set to waive forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Robinson-Earl, who is 22 years old, was the 32nd overall selection in the 2021 draft. He began his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he averaged 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game over 92 appearances during his first two seasons.
In a recent trade that involved Victor Oladipo going to Houston in exchange for Kevin Porter Jr. and a couple of future second-round picks, Robinson-Earl was part of the deal.
Due to falling down the frontcourt depth chart behind Jaylin Williams in Oklahoma City and the expected reduced role in the 2023/24 season with the return of Chet Holmgren, Robinson-Earl was impacted by the Thunder’s preseason roster constraints.
Houston already has Jock Landale and Boban Marjanovic as potential backups for their starting center, Alperen Sengun.
Apparently, the Rockets saw no reason to add a fourth big man to the mix, despite Robinson-Earl’s reasonable salary.
He will receive a guaranteed $1.9 million for this season, but the Rockets won’t be committed to his $1.99 million team option for 2024/25.
Unless a team utilizes their cap room or a trade exception to acquire Robinson-Earl from the waiver wire, he will soon become an unrestricted free agent.
In this scenario, he can sign a regular contract with any team, except for Oklahoma City, or a two-way contract with any team other than the Thunder or the Rockets.
It’s worth noting that if a player is waived by his new team after being traded, the original team cannot re-sign him.
Moreover, a team that releases a player cannot rehire him for a two-way contract if the player had already received over $75,000 in guaranteed money.
As of now, the Houston Rockets have 16 players under standard contracts and three on two-way deals.
To meet the requirements for the regular season roster, they will need to make another move today.
It’s likely that Jeenathan Williams, who is under an Exhibit 10 contract, will be converted into a two-way deal. In that case, the Rockets will have to waive one of their current two-way players.