West Notes: Rockets, Steven Adams, Grizzlies, Blazers


The Rockets’ trade for center Steven Adams was about beefing up the frontline for coach Ime Udoka, per Kelly Iko and John Hollinger of The Athletic.Steven Adams

Adams won’t be available until next season, thanks to ACL surgery, but when he does join, he’ll be reunited with former Memphis teammate and current Rockets forward Dillon Brooks.

“For all the success the Rockets have had this season, they have struggled defending in the paint, a weakness that has reared its head on a routine basis,” Iko and Hollinger wrote. “Adams obviously isn’t available to suit up for Houston this season, still recovering from offseason knee surgery, but he will continue his rehab in the city and is expected to make a full recovery ahead of the 2024-25 season.”


The decision to trade Adams to the Rockets was about preserving cap space, Iko and Hollinger reported. At least partially, anyway.

Guard Victor Oladipo isn’t expected to suit up for Memphis, by the way.

“Memphis also generates a $12.6 million trade exception for Adams because it can take Oladipo’s expiring contract into the $12.5 million injured player exception for Ja Morant. (Yes, they are taking an injured player into an injured player exception. Nobody said the CBA made perfect sense, but here we are),” Hollinger wrote.

  • The Grizzlies will receive three second-rounders as part of the deal — two in 2024 and the best and worst of three that Houston had coming from the Warriors, Thunder and Nets and one in 2025 that is the better of the Rockets and Thunder.

Trail Blazers

Former Blazers and current Bucks guard Damian Lillard said he could envision himself back with Portland someday, despite the somewhat messy divorce between the sides over the summer.

“Because of how I feel about Portland,” Lillard explained to reporters. “How I feel about the organization here and the time that I spent here, in my mind I’ve always felt like that’s how my career would end.

“Right now, I’m just in a space of like, this is where I am now. I’m in Milwaukee. I wanted the opportunity to contend, and our team has an opportunity to contend for this year and years to come, and I’m just living in that. But I definitely, when I was traded, I see a day where I’ll be in a Trail Blazer uniform again before I’m done.”

  • The Blazers are believed to be shopping center Robert Williams, and have had several conversations with the Hawks in recent weeks, sources told Hoops Wire.

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