The Brooklyn Nets on Saturday morning confirmed at least part of the rumors that broke late Friday involving Kenneth Faried, placing the veteran on waivers.
The Brooklyn Nets placed veteran forward Kenneth Faried on waivers Saturday morning, buying out the remaining $5.87 million on his contract.
The Nets announced the roster move on their website after news broke Friday night from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that Brooklyn was finalizing a buyout agreement with the 29-year-old power forward/center in advance of Faried joining the Houston Rockets as a free agent.
According to Wojnarowski, the Rockets plan to sign Faried once he clears waivers on Monday — assuming he is not claimed by another team over the next 48 hours — and immediately put him into their starting lineup.
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Houston lost its starting center, Clint Capela, to a torn ligament in his right thumb. Capela underwent surgery on Thursday and is expected to miss at least four to six weeks.
The Rockets were thin at the center position and started undrafted rookie Gary Clark, who began the season on a two-way contract, in Wednesday’s overtime loss to the Nets.
Houston was outrebounded 57-47 in that game and blew a 14-point lead in regulation and a seven-point lead in overtime before dropping a 145-142 decision.
In the first game after Capela was hurt in a loss to the Orlando Magic on Jan. 12, Nene Hilario started for the Rockets at the center spot. But because of Nene’s age (36) and injury history, Houston does not like him to play more than 15 minutes per game.
He is also held out of at least one game in back-to-back sets.
The other options in the middle for Houston are 7-foot rookie Isaiah Hartenstein, a second-round pick from Germany in 2017 who joined the team after spending last season with their NBA G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and former lottery pick Marquese Chriss, acquired from the Phoenix Suns in a trade last August,
In order to sign Faried in time to insert him into the starting lineup when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, the Rockets will have to clear a roster spot. Wojnarowski reported the team is desperately trying to find a trade destination for veteran Carmelo Anthony, who is on the roster but has not been with the team since mid-November.
If Houston is unable to move Anthony, their other option could be to terminate the 10-day contract of James Nunnally, the 28-year-old journeyman who signed with the Rockets on Wednesday and then scored nine points in 25 minutes against Brooklyn.
Nunnally’s deal is set to expire on Jan. 25, but the Rockets can terminate it early without having to move Nunnally through waivers, though they would still owe him the full value of the 10-day contract ($76,236 according to Jeff Siegel at Early Bird Rights).
Brooklyn, meanwhile, gains an open roster spot, but could only sign a free agent for a minimum contract, as they are nearly $14.1 million over the cap, per Early Bird Rights.
They could also opt to bring in a player for a 10- or 20-day audition before signing them for a prorated minimum deal. Players can be on two 10-day contracts with a team before it either has to sign them or allow them to return to free-agent status.
The Nets could potentially use the spot for some frontcourt help, with Jared Dudley out indefinitely with a strained hamstring and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson slowly returning to action after missing seven games with an adductor strain.
Hollis-Jefferson has played just 21 minutes in two games since being returned to the active list on Wednesday and did not return in Friday’s road win over the Orlando Magic after cracking knees with Spencer Dinwiddie on a broken play.
Brooklyn could also opt for guard depth, though they seem deeper at the wing and point spots with D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Shabazz Napier able to play both guard positions and Joe Harris, Treveon Graham, DeMarre Carroll and Rodions Kurucs providing wing flexibility.
Musa had been playing primarily with the team’s Long Island Nets affiliate in the G League before injuring his shoulder on Dec. 16 while playing for Long Island.
The trade deadline is less than a month away — Feb. 7 to be precise — and the open roster spot could provide the Nets with additional flexibility on that front as well.