TRADE ALERT

Houston Rockets make a move as NBA trade deadline nears

Houston Rockets make a move as NBA trade deadline nears
The Rockets have acquired Steven Adams. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

The Memphis Grizzlies traded center Steven Adams to the Houston Rockets for guard Victor Oladipo and three draft picks on Thursday night.

Neither Adams nor Oladipo has played this season because of injuries.

The Grizzlies, who announced the deal late Thursday night, said they acquired three second-round draft picks from the Rockets in the trade. ESPN reported two of the picks will be in this year's draft and the other one in 2025.

Adams was hurt last season and had surgery on his right knee just before the start of this season. He's expected to miss the entire season, but should be ready to play next season.

Adams, the 12th overall pick in the 2013 draft out of Pittsburgh, played two years with the Grizzlies before the knee injury and averaged 8.6 points and 11.5 rebounds, including a 5.1 average in offensive rebounds. He played seven seasons with Oklahoma City and one with the New Orleans Pelicans before coming to Memphis.

Oladipo, who also has dealt with injuries, has a career average of 16.9 points a game since he was selected out of Indiana with the second overall pick in 2013. But his scoring average has decreased over the last three years.

Oladipo's best season came in 2017-18 when he averaged 23.1 points with Indiana, along with 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game.

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Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

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