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Shamorie Ponds earns one-year contract with Houston Rockets (contract update)

What is the contract/ roster situation for the former St. John’s guard?

2019 Las Vegas Summer League - Day 3 - Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

Shamorie Ponds path to his NBA dream continues with a chance in training camp with the Houston Rockets - likely in the G-League, but with better money.

Here’s what happened:

Ponds had his training camp NBA deal converted to a “Two-Way” deal, meaning he would count toward the Rockets’ roster cap of 13 active players, two inactive players, and two two-way players who can be called up in case of injury.

But then the Rockets converted his two-way deal to a one year, minimum salary contract, with the ability to designate him to go to the Houston G-League affiliate.

His deal includes Exhibit 9, which is a stipulation that if he is injured before the first regular season game, Ponds will be paid $6,000 (instead of a guaranteed salary until he is healthy again/ or the end of the season).

Why the shift in contracts? The Rockets could not sign the Exhibit 9 (think of it as liability protection for the team) until they had 14 players on the roster.

Bobby Marks on ESPN adds:

For example, Houston would have owed $898K to Ponds if he suffered a season ending injury. The team would have been charged the cap hit plus a $700K+ tax variance.

According to Marks, Ponds will receive a bonus (assuming he stays with the G-League Rio Grande team for at least 60 days) and a higher salary than he would have as a two-way player.

Ponds could choose to play overseas, but would be giving up the bonus if he doesn’t stay in the G-League for 60 days.

The Rockets have also signed diminutive high-scoring guard Campbell guard Chris Clemons and Australian William McDowell-White to similar deals. Each has a chance to make the Rockets, and each has a chance to play in the G-League with a higher salary.

In 100 minutes of NBA Summer League play in Las Vegas, Shamorie Ponds scored seven points per game, but shot 23% from beyond the arc and 38% inside the arc, while handing out assists on 13% of his teammates’ made shots and grabbing steals on 3.4% of opponent possessions (seven steals in five games).

[Two-way contract and Exhibit 9 and Exhibit 10 information from Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ.]