Report: Rockets trade Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin IV to Pacers
The Houston Rockets have traded the recently-acquired Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin IV and a second-round pick to the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Pacers plan to waive both players upon completing the trade.
The Rockets recently acquired both guards from the Portland Trail Blazers, making this flip a matter of saving money. The Rockets have a whopping seven trade exceptions, which has put them under the luxury tax threshold after being expected to be $14.6 million into the tax level when the season started.
The Pacers want none of that liability and will waive both players, hoping to find better assets in the buyout market.
Indiana is reportedly looking into adding Wes Matthews if he survives the trade deadline and is waived by the New York Knicks, giving them a capable long-range shooting wing after suffering the loss of talisman Victor Oladipo to a season-ending knee injury.
Stauskas is a decent shooter with upside to help a team, but he has struggled to fit with the right system throughout his NBA career. He’s a microwave-type player who can get hot at a moment’s notice and deliver good performances, but lacking size and athleticism.
Baldwin has been back and forth between the G League and the NBA, struggling to find his footing in a roster with no apparent specialty skills. Both players have now been traded three times in the last week.