Daryl Morey announced this morning that the Houston Rockets have signed rookie Chinanu Onuaku to a three-year deal and center Nene to a one year, $2.9M room exemption deal which officially caps out the Rockets for the 2016-17 season.
Details are not exactly known on the Onuaku deal at the moment, we’re suspecting that it could be in the same range as Montrezl Harrell received last year.
Morey broke the news over Twitter this morning, even telling us directly — yes, that’s right — that the deals were done.
Welcome to the Rockets @NeneHilario42 ! Some highlights from last season https://t.co/Rlj1x5ngZX— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) July 20, 2016
@DreamShakeSBN @lifeofnanu_32 also signed, yes— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) July 20, 2016
These were two of the last dominoes to fall in the Rockets’ offseason. Signing Onuaku, when factoring in Donatas Motiejunas’ nearly $6 million cap hold, brought the Rockets to the salary cap line. That allowed them to sign Nene to the room exception, only doable with a fully-capped team.
Donuts is, of course, the final piece to the puzzle, barring a trade. The Rockets can match any contract for him and go over the cap because he’s their free agent. It’s just a matter, now, of how high that will go if it’s another team’s offer sheet he signs first.
Considering Timofey Mozgov signed for almost $70 million, now that the Nene contract is official, we can say again: this dude is a steal. Assuming Donuts comes back, the Rockets big man depth goes from the sorry state it was in last year to a true team strength.
Clint Capela should be at least 90% as productive as Dwight Howard was — and some would argue he’ll probably be more than 100% as effective — Ryan Anderson brings semi-elite outside shooting, Donuts will be healthy and Montrezl Harrell has another year of experience. Adding Nene and Onuaku to that mix gives the Rockets tons of options to deal with any injuries, which we should expect, or to deal away depth in a trade for a point guard.