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Rockets trade Michael Carter-Williams to Bulls, create open roster spot

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Another Rockets roster move.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets have traded Michael Carter-Williams and cash to the Bulls.

The former Rookie of the Year did not materialize into the bargain-signing the Rockets hoped he could be. He began the season in the team’s rotation but quickly fell out of it due to poor play. The 27 year-old averaged just 4.3 points per game in 16 games this season.

In return, the Rockets will receive a heavily-protected second-round pick from the Bulls, but this deal’s benefits are in what Houston keeps rather than what Houston gets.

MCW was the first free agent signing of the summer when the Rockets signed him to a partially-guaranteed one year, minimum deal. That partial guarantee would turn into a full guarantee if Carter-Williams remained on the roster today at 5 p.m. In the roster move, Houston saves roughly $2.6 million in the luxury tax.

The $1.5 million trade exception also becomes a potential trade chip the Rockets can utilize at any point before the trade deadline, which is now just 31 days away.

The Rockets also vacate an open roster spot with the trade and will likely convert Danuel House Jr.’s contract from a two-way to a regular contract. House Jr. has been tremendous in his Rockets tenure and has definitely found himself a route into the Rockets’ long-term plans.