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Rockets waive P.J. Hairston, Gary Payton II

February 14 2015: Oregon State Beavers guard Gary Payton II during the regular NCAA men's basketball game between the USC Trojans and the Oregon State Beavers in Los Angeles, California
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The Houston Rockets reportedly made three cuts on Monday morning to trim their roster to 16 players in advance of the deadline to get down to 15. The team has waived guard Gary Payton II and swingmen P.J. Hairston and Le’Bryan Nash.

Hairston and Nash are likely to end up with the Rockets’ D-League affiliate in Rio Grande given that they joined the team on non-guaranteed contracts.

Hairston was a first-round pick of the Miami Heat in 2014 and has played three NBA seasons for the Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies, averaging six points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He started in 52 games combined for the Hornets and Grizzlies last season.

Nash played overseas in Japan last season after going undrafted out of Oklahoma State.

After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, Payton signed a guaranteed deal with the Rockets, meaning that he will have more flexibility to latch on with another NBA team.

With the three cuts, the Rockets roster stands at 16 players in advance of Monday evening’s deadline to get down to 15 men. The final cut for Houston figures to be between point guard Bobby Brown and big man Kyle Wiltjer. Neither player has a fully guaranteed deal with the team, however.

Wiltjer went undrafted after averaging 20.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for Gonzaga in 2015-2016. Coming out of high school, he was ranked as one of the top recruits in his class and committed to Kentucky. He transferred to Gonzaga after his sophomore season after starting only 10 games over two seasons with the Wildcats.

Brown was undrafted in 2007 out of Cal State Fullerton and played two seasons in the NBA before taking his career overseas. In two NBA seasons, he averaged 5.1 points per game.

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