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Instant Trade Analysis

Instant Trade Analysis: Marcin Gortat to the Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards get: C Marcin Gortat, PG Kendall Marshall, SG Shannon Brown, G/F Malcolm Lee
 
Phoenix Suns get: C Emeka Okafor, 2014 conditional first round pick
 
You know how you know the NBA season is back in full swing? When two teams likely to finish in the league’s bottom half are in the top of the news cycle for a trade in which just one of the five players will suit up come opening night.
 
The Washington Wizards continued to build towards their first playoff berth in over a half decade, while the Phoenix Suns continued to tear their team down in the hopes that a playoff berth is less than a half decade away. … Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Antawn Jamison to the Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers get: F Antawn Jamison on one-year, minimum salary deal

In the 36 year-old Jamison, an already ancient Los Angeles Lakers team has just gotten a little bit older, but how damning is this usually negative concept?

In case you haven’t been paying much attention, Jamison has quietly molded for himself a remarkable NBA career, one that could eventually lead to the Hall of Fame (after former Lakers great Jamaal Wilkes made it, Antawn’s career numbers certainly can stack up next to Silk’s). Believe it or not, Antawn Jamison has amassed the following statistics throughout his almost 15 year major league career:

19,246 points (43rd all-time)
7,383 field goals made (44th all-time)
35,754 minutes (53 all-time)
7,740 rebounds (65th all-time)
1,071 3-pointers made (56th all-time)

Wow. Though the numbers are generally impressive, he owes a lot of his success to an incredibly stable bill of health and a willingness to tough out injuries every single night.

On the surface, this signing is too good to be true. Former two-time All-Star Antawn Jamison is coming to the Lakers on a cut-rate deal to play off the bench behind Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum? It’s easy to see why Jamison chose the Los Angeles Lakers, despite a near 15 million dollar pay cut from last year. For one, Jamison has rarely been on a winning team; in his 14 seasons in the NBA, ‘Tawn has been to the playoffs a sparing six times, never advancing past the second round. The chance to play alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Andrew Bynum will give him the greatest set of collective teammates he’s ever had, all due respect to the dysfunctional, but highly entertaining Washington Wizards teams of half a decade ago.
More importantly, he’ll have a key role on this Lakers team. Though primarily known for his distance shooting for the past couple seasons in Cleveland (putting up a five three-pointers a game with the Cavs, as opposed to four in DC), Jamison won’t be just another catch and shoot 3-point tool for Steve Nash to make look like an All-Star. Antawn generally moves fairly well without the ball, and in a pinch, is still mobile enough to drive to the hoop. With the second unit, I imagine that he’ll get plenty of time on the floor with either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol, giving the Lakers the type of floor spacing from a source that is best utilized shooting (as opposed to the Spainard, whose sublime post game was laid to waste last year using him as primarily a floor spacing big in the high post). This way, Pau can move closer to the basket and LA will lose little of their aggressively pounding paint offense at any time.

While he’s been particularly noted for his shooting (which isn’t all about accuracy – he’s only shot 34% for his career from the arc, though he’s lethal enough that he has to be respected at the line), Jamison also carries with him three other helpful basketball qualities:

1) Rebounding: Antwan is only 6’8″, but has career numbers of 7.8 rebounds per 36 minutes. He’s certainly not the type of boarding savant that Reggie Evans or other similarly sized forward are, but Jamison certainly has the aptitude, and more importantly, willingness to go after loose balls. Last year’s 6.4 rpg tied a career low, but considering he did that type of damage playing alongside Anderson Verajao and Tristan Thompson and in only 33 minutes, he certainly believe that he’ll be able to give the Lakers five or six boards off the bench.

2) Bench play: Jamison w… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors

(Another ITA from El Miz, this time on now-Raptors PG Kyle Lowry. An excerpt from this post appears on “Toronto Raptors Morning Coffee July 6,” located at http://raptorsrepublic.com/2012/07/06/toronto-raptors-morning-coffee-july-6-3/)

Toronto Raptors get: PG Kyle Lowry

Houston Rockets get: A future-first round pick and some guy named Gary Forbes


What is your plan, Daryl Morey?  Morey claims to be engaged in a seemingly infinite practice of “asset accumulation.”  The idea, as the story goes, is to continue to accumulate “assets,” which in basketball parlance means young, cheap players and the rights to future draft picks so that when the next Disgruntled Superstar – be it Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, or currently, Dwight Howard – demands a trade, the Rockets can exchange a heaping scoop of assets for the Disgruntled Superstar. 


To the casual observer, it feels like Houston has made lateral move after lateral move since the retirement of Yao and the decline of former basketball demigod Tracy McGrady, constantly exchanging good players for other good players, assembling a roster of good but not great talent, and finishing on the outside looking in come playoff time.


Last offseason, in the now-infamous “Basketball Reasons” trade which was nullified by Commissioner David Stern, Morey attempted to trade SG Kevin Martin, PF Luis Scola, PG Goran Dragic as well as a first round pick to get C Pau Gasol.  The rumor at the time was that Morey would then turn around and sign PF Marc Gasol, Pau’s younger brother, as well. Basketball Reasons prevailed, and Stern wound up vetoing the trade which would have also sent PG Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the weeks preceding the draft, there were the usual Twitter grumblings that Morey would once again accumulate assets, this time to get  child-man Dwight Howard. Kyle Lowry’s name was mentioned as possible trade bait, because after all, Lowry was so good through the first three months of last season that there was a “Kyle Lowry: All Star?” sentiment bouncing around the NBA Twittersphere. Not only was he just entering his prime and signed to an incredibly team-friendly contract through 2013-14, but he was putting up poor man’s Jason Kidd numbers – and I’m talking Nets Jason Kidd merged with the latest iteration who happens to shoot 3’s.  Through three months Lowry averaged 16 points, 7 assists, almost 5 rebounds, and 2 steals in over 35 minutes per game, plus a 40% 3-point stroke.  Lowry was filling it up, going for 18 assists on December 31st, 33/9/8 on January 14th, and his first triple-double on January 23rdin a head-to-head battle with Ricky Rubio (16/10/10).  Lowry played defense like a pitbull, and fought in the paint for rebounds like a forward.  He could push the fast-break, set people up, and hit the 3 when the ball came back to him.  He would presumably be a very nice asset.


At the night’s conclusion, however, Morey and the Rockets were left with a very nice haul out of the first round: SG Jeremy Lamb, F Royce White, and F Terrence Jones.  But still no Howard, still no superstar to build around, and still, Kyle Lowry was a rocket.
The Lowry made sense, to a degree, after Lowry’s backup, Slovenian Goran Dragic, had emerged as more than capable after Lowry went down late in the season with a slew of injuries (a bacterial infection and a sports hernia, among others).  Lowry remained a Rocket after the draft, and soon after free agency started on July 1 it was announced that Dragic had agreed to a deal with the Phoeni
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Instant Trade Analysis: Steve Nash to YOUR…Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers get: PG Steve Nash, 3 years, $27 million (absorbed through their $9 million dollar trade exception from the Lamar Odom deal)

Phoenix Suns get: 2013 & 2015 first round draft picks, 2013 & 2014 second round draft picks

In a completely shocking turn of events, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Steve Nash from Phoenix tonight for a bevy of draft picks. For months Nash had been saying not only that it would be difficult to play for his playoff rival Lakers, but made serious overtures towards playing for the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets. In fact, I wrote off an acquisition of Nash as a pipe dream in a free agency column for Silver Screen & Roll. However, after a phone call with Kobe Bryant, Phoenix’s ex-point guard changed his tune, coming to LA in search of his first ring in a city where his addition would mean they won a chip. And indeed it would.

As for the trade itself…the Lakers just got Steve F’n Nash. Even at age 38, he’s in peak physical condition, showing zero signs of wear and tear considering the minutes and intense playoff battles he’s waged over the past eight years in the desert. For years, the Lakers have lacked a pass-first point guard who was able to make the other players around him better. The triangle offense was the most efficient distributor for open shots. With Phil Jackson and that system gone, we’ve all seen the results of how the lack of a passer affects the Lakers offense – despite the speedy Ramon Sessions, Kobe Bryant and one of the best passing bigs in the league in Pau Gasol, the Show very rarely was able to get an easy shot and ranked amongst the worst in the league in transition buckets. Mike Brown’s bread and butter was throwing the ball to Kobe, Pau or Bynum in the post, and hoping that their immense skills could simply overwhelm an opposing defense, rather than use ball movement to get open looks.


With Nash in the fold, this all changes. The Lakers get arguably their second-best point guard ever, next to the irrespressible Magic Johnson. Fast-break baskets, once at a premium, will now be available in gobs. LA will finally be able to run the floor with a team general whose execution is one of the greatest ever. Players like Josh McRoberts, Matt Barnes (Nash’s teammate in 2008), Steve Blake and Andrew Bynum should see their statistic spike up like Kobe rising to the rack in 2004, while Pau Gasol could average a nightly triple-double with a passing savant like Nash on his side.

Perhaps more importantly, the team will be completely reinvigorated with this movement. Along with Kobe, Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett, there are only a few players in the league that when the game is on the line in the fourth, an intensity washes over their faces; one that screams “we are NOT losing this effing game”. Steve Nash is one of them. The Lakers have looked lazy and listless after their liberating win over the Celtics in 2010, and needed a severe jolt of energy. This might just be it. I’ve said time and time again that LA certainly has the pieces for another title, but needed someone – a coaching staff, a player, something – to bring it out of them. Nash is more than just that. He might be the key to #17.

Now, for the downside. Unfortunately, they’re plentiful.

Despite the trade for a Hall of Fame point guard, those are a lot of future draft picks. Yes, they’ll probably be in the late-twenties, but as we’ve seen with a much more judicious luxury tax, assets like draft selectio… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Jason Terry to the Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics get: G Jason Terry, 3 years, $15 million

The already ancient Boston Celtics just got even older, but that might not even be a bad thing.

As the Boston media likes to say, the Celtics are approaching year six of a three-year plan. When a 31 year-old Kevin Garnett and a 32 year-old Ray Allen were traded to Boston in that week-long stretch in 2007, writers and talking heads alike proclaimed no more than  two or three year window for the new “Big Three” to win a title in New England. Here we are, not in 2009 or 2010, but rather in 2012 asking ourselves how much longer can they keep the panes of opportunity from closing shut.

Miraculously, the Celtics have remained relevant amidst massive changes in the East, from the Knicks resurgence to the formation of the eventual 2012 NBA Champion Miami Heat and the upstart Bulls from Chicago. At the ages of 36, 37 and 34 respectively, KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the Celtics forced themselves to a Game 7 with LeBron, Wade and Bosh, narrowly missing another chance to play for their second title. While Rajon Rondo is undoubtedly the most talented of anyone in Beantown these days, there’s no doubt that it’s Garnett’s leadership and intensity, Piece’s four quarter bravado and Ray’s steadiness that keeps this team competing for titles.

Strangely, one of the oldest rosters in the league wasn’t slayed by the younger Sixers, Hawks or Heat with athleticism or toughness. To be frank, the Celtics just didn’t have enough bodies. Doc Rivers’ squad managed to lose rotation players G Avery Bradley, F Jeff Green, F Chris Wilcox and C Jermaine O’Neal to injury before the deciding Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. More importantly, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were both playing with injuries that would have kept them on the sidelines if it weren’t the postseason. Even when equipped with personnel whose myriad of disabilities became comical, the C’s still played their trademark defense and managed to put up enough points on the board behind Garnett’s resurgent play and Rondo’s otherwordly productiveness.
With Ray Allen possibly going to the Clippers, Thunder or Heat in free agency, the Celtics needed someone with three different qualifications: long-range shooting, health and offensive production. Since the beginning of free agency, the C’s had coveted ex-Memphis guard OJ Mayo. He’d be able to provide all of the above criteria, and as a bonus, the former 2nd overall draft pick was a full decade younger than his prospective teammates. However, his asking price was over what the capped-out Celtics had to offer. Enter Jason Terry.

JET, now 35, may be exactly what Boston GM Danny Ainge is looking for. Terry is coming of a eight-year stint with the Mavericks that involved two NBA Finals and one championship.  He amazingly ranks fourth on the all-time three-point buckets made, shooting no worse than 36% in any of his seasons in Dallas. Terry has been reliably averaged over 16 points per season as a Maverick, mostly off the bench, winning the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2009. Perhaps most importantly, Jason Terry has missed 28 games…in his career. Unbelievable. JET has been the paragon of good health, which is incredibly important for a team that’s had a rash of injuries the past few years, and isn’t getting any easier with the progressing seasons under their belts and on their knees.

There’s not really a much more perfect match for the Celtics – he’
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Instant Trade Analysis: Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets get: SG Joe Johnson

Atlanta Hawks get: SF Anthony Morrow, G Jordan Farmar, G DeShawn Stevenson, F Jordan Williams, PF Johan Petro, 2013 First-Round draft pick (via Houston)

The casual NBA fan might not know who Joe Johnson is, but (and I hope I’m not overstating this) this trade changes the face of the NBA as we’ve predicted it.

Too much? I don’t think so.

Looking first at the two teams involved, this has to be considered a win-win situation. The Nets now get another multi-time All-Star to pair potentially with Deron Williams, in addition to a newly re-signed Gerald Wallace. Joe Johnson is hilariously overpaid ($90 million over the next 4 seasons), but regardless of the unintentional comedy of his deal, there’s no denying he’s a great talent, especially when put aside one of the top three point guards in the league in a second-option role. JJ hasn’t played with a legitimate point since he was traded by the Suns in 2005, so it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts seven seasons after being with such imposters such as Jeff Teague and Mike Bibby. Brooklyn badly needed more talent to surround Deron Williams with, and after a doomsday scenario of watching their one All-Star walk away to Dallas after essentially using three lottery picks to acquire him in the first place, the Nets could be keeping three All-Stars. Teaming Johnson, Deron and Wallace with Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks and perhaps a capable power forward like Kris Humphries, the Nets might have just turned themselves into a four-seed. Miraculous.

For the Hawks, this is a pure salary dump, plain and simple. Farmar, Stevenson and Morrow are all solid rotation players, but truly nothing more than that. New GM Danny Ferry is doing what we here at MAMBINO have criticized the wayward Hawks have always implored them to do; choose a direction. The Hawks have come back with the same exact squad that’s gotten bounced in the second round for four seasons now, with minimal changes or improvements. In short, they’ve gone nowhere for several seasons. Their inability to garner a legitimate point guard or center for the past four years has been maddening as an objective observer. What Ferry has done is escape the AWFUL contract that former GM Rick Sund penned Joe Johnson to, and will now be able to make moves towards building a more complete, competitive and deep team. The Hawks could either stick with some of the pieces they have and build around them, seeing as they’ve now have the ability to extend Josh Smith to keep him with Al Horford and Jeff Teague for the near future, and then bring in another piece that makes this into an actual contender. Conversely, they could trade Josh Smith, blow up their core, keeping Horford and start over while the Heat, Celtics and Knicks get older. They weren’t going to be able to do either with with Joe Johnson’s cap-murdering deal on the docket.

Moving past the actual teams in the deal, this trade sends shockwaves throughout the league. Here they are:

Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard had “one team on his list”. And now that’s no longer a reality. With Gerald Wallace’s new deal, as well as Joe Johnson’s and presumably a Brook Lopez extension, the Nets no longer have room for a salary of Dwight Howard’s magnitude.

Some critics might point to the fact that Dwight wanted to go to the Nets, and that had they waited it out, he’d eventually be on the Brooklyn roster. However, a couple mitigating factors complicated that approach.

1). With Der… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Odom Comes Home

Utah Jazz get: Mo Williams, draft rights to Shan Foster

YOUR Los Angeles Clippers get: Lamar Odom

Houston Rockets get: draft rights to Furkan Aldemir

Dallas Mavericks get: draft rights to Tadija Dragicevic, cash from Houston, and a relief from the pain and suffering brought by The Kardashian Curse

Odom’s 2.4 million dollar salary would have become a hefty 8.2 by tomorrow if Dallas couldn’t pull off a miracle. Enter the Utah Jazz and their Mormon kindness, willing to take disgruntled backup combo guard Mo Williams from the Clippers, to facilitate a four-way deal.

By unleashing the much-maligned but uber-talented Odom, Dallas puts the finishing touches on what has to go down as one of the most abysmal title defenses in recent history. Mark Cuban, in only one calendar year, did the following:

  • Lowballed Tyson Chandler, the man who allowed Dirk Nowitzki to hide on defense, which allowed Chandler to leave for New York
  • Signed Half-Man, Half-Woman Vince Carter
  • Traded Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez to Denver for a future second-round pick (!)
  • Traded a first-round pick and an 8.9 million dollar trade exception for to the Lakers for Lamar Odom and a second-round pick
Now, of the four, the Odom deal was universally described as brilliant. Odom was fresh off becoming an unsuspecting victim of David Stern’s “basketball reasons” veto, and couldn’t muster the testicles to play for a franchise that didn’t want him. (Of course, “didn’t want him” = “we were on the verge of getting Chris bleeping Paul, you idiot.”) We laughed at Los Angeles, as Dallas seemed to luckily pounce on Showtime’s misfortune.
But Odom endured the worst year of his personal and professional life. While basketball Twitter was focused on the rumblings of the lockout, Odom spent his summer in pain over two deaths. One was the murder of his cousin, the other was a teenage pedestrian killed when a car, in which Odom was a passenger, collided with a motorcycle. As a result, the former University of Rhode Island standout arrived in Big D looking as doughy as ever, his conditioning probably suffering from having to eat Khloe’s leftovers whenever the behemoth felt pressured by her breathtakingly beautiful sisters (meaning, everyday). Okay, his conditioning actually suffered from not playing any basketball at all during the offseason, as opposed to the previous year, where he made a valuable contribution to the Kevin Durant-led Team USA that won the World Championships in Turkey.
But everything was supposed to be water on the bridge once the first jumpball was thrown up. After all, this was the reigning Sixth Man of the Year (although I guess the award has lost some luster in the past few weeks. You know who you are.). This was the guy who was versatile enough to play all three frontcourt positions, handle the ball, create, pass, and shoot. This was the guy who was traded to a team that was coming off a Larry O’Brien trophy, dismantling the team that made the trade, via sweep.
Not so fast, my friends. Odom sauntered through the 2011-2012 NBA season, producing career per game lows in minutes played (20.5), points (6.6), rebounds (4.1), and shot a frightening 35% from the floor. He spent some time away from the team to figure his ish out, and even had a short stint in the D-League (although he did not play an actual game there).
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Even yours truly was guilty of poking fun at Lamar Odom. But with today’s news, Odom has an opportunity to reclaim his place as a contributing member o
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Instant Trade Analysis: Ben Gordon to the Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats get: G Ben Gordon, 2013 Lottery protected first round pick

Detroit Pistons get: G/F Corey Maggette

On the surface, this looks like the classic “I’ll take your problem if you take my problem” bad contract swap. How could it not be? Corey Maggette has been a cap-killing, ball-stopping, shoot-first offensive threat and defensive succubus for years. Ben Gordon is newer to that label, but has fallen into disgrace after dropping 20 points a game off the bench for the Chicago Bulls before signing a massive five-year, $50 million dollar pact with the Detroit Pistons three years ago.

Both started off as significantly different types of players: Maggette as an athletic swingman whose combination of strength, size and shooting ability were supposed to turn him into the prototypical All-Star small forward of the future, while Gordon a offensive spark plug off the bench – think like a faster JJ Barea with a better stroke and athleticism. However, as I just mentioned, both men have morphed into the same type of garbagey cap ballast every GM has come to resent.


With a swap of the two, Maggette will fight for minutes on a Detroit team largely going nowhere. Aside from Greg Monroe and supposedly Brandon Knight, the rather unimpressive Pistons’ core will keep them languishing in basketball purgatory – not good enough to contend for a playoff spot, but not bad enough to effectively rebuild. Detroit seemingly can no longer do anything right, including the legendary defense that brought them a title, but haven’t gone back to since Chauncey Billups left town. Even going to Ben Wallace’s tomb, exhuming his body and letting the Lawrence Frank operate inside of it like some sort of creepy organic exo-skeleton hasn’t helped any. Maggette’s complete allergy to defense, passing and any other semblance of basketball fundamentals will fit in well with a Pistons team that has shown no effort to do the same. The upside to the trade for Detroit is that Maggette’s $11 million deal will expire after this season, while they would have owed Gordon over $25 for two seasons.

Ben Gordon, even in going to the team that just settled on the worst winning percentage of all-time, might be in a slightly better situation. Quite simply, the Bobcats need someone to put the ball in the hoop. Young players like Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo are still learning how to acclimate to the NBA game, and as underrated as SG Gerald Henderson is, he’s not the type of player to carry a team. Charlotte now has a scorer who may not be dependable in Gordon, but surely has a lot more rounds in the chamber than Corey Maggette; last season, Gordon went for 20 points seven times, including a 45-point outburst in March.  In that sense, the trade is a bit of a win for the Bobcats, in that they acquired a player that, while overpaid, can still produce at times.

For the Pistons, who will start their fifth season of rebuilding in November, giving up a first-rounder, no matter how lottery protected, might be a mistake. Next year the selection won’t go to the Bobcats if it’s in the top 14, top 8 after that, top 1 after that and then in 2015, unprotected. At this point with Joe Dumars still at the helm of the Pistons, I’d expect nothing better than a bottom 14 finish in 2014. Optimistically, the Pistons will make the playoffs on the development of their young players, and losing an upcoming pick won’t matter as much. Pessimistically, and perhaps more realistically, they essentially will h… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves get: SF Chase Budinger

Houston Rockets get: 18th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft

In the first major pre-draft trade involving picks, the Houston Rockets have sent their sharp-shooting small forward Chase Budinger to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 18th selection.

On the surface, the main ramification of this trade is pretty clear; the Rockets and their GM Daryl Morey are stockpiling picks for a run at an All-Star caliber player. Houston now owns the 14th, 16th, and 18th picks in the draft, with other trade assets such as guards Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin and Courtney Lee, as well as big men Marcus Morris, Luis Scola, Samuel Dalembert and Patrick Patterson. Rumors are circulating that the Rockets are going to use some combination of players and picks to eventually make a big play for Dwight Howard (even without the assurance that he’d sign an extension), with Pau Gasol and Josh Smith as back-up options.

Obviously the other shoe has yet to drop, so we’re just left to spectulate for now. On the immediate impact side, Chase Budinger looks like a solid pickup for the Wolves. Minnesota is likely to lose Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph to free agency this summer, as it’s quite obvious that SG Wesley Johnson isn’t who they thought they were when they drafted the swingman out of the ‘Cuse with the number 3 pick two years ago. With GM David Kahn likely to take a shooter or small forward with the 18th pick, trading for a proven gunner like Budinger could prove a shrewd move. The former Wildcat shot a career-high 40% from the arc in 2012 and along with his 10 point per game career average and better than expected rebounding from a swingman (4 per game).

The Timberwolves, who’ve been out of the playoffs for nearly a decade (their last appearance was with the Garnett-Cassell-Sprewell crew in 2003-2004), are poised to make a run next year with the emergence of Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, JJ Barea and the aforementioned Williams. While the number 18 pick would likely bring them another young, talented and cheap player, coach Rick Adelman needs some NBA-ready bodies in there if they hope to compete in 2012-2013. Budinger is that guy.

What this also shows is that the team still might not see Derrick Williams as a small forward in the NBA. Last year’s number 2 overall pick certainly has the build and three-point acumen similar to a big 3-man, but the acquisition of a starting-caliber forward like Budinger certainly puts this into doubt.… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Lewis for Okafor and Ariza

Washington Wizards get:
Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza

New Orleans Hornets get:
The document that legalizes the robbery by Rashard Lewis of 23.7 million dollars from any NBA franchise, Washington’s 2nd round pick (46th overall)

We’ve got LeBron James’ PR team in the final planning stages of his Finals MVP acceptance speech and the Anthony Davis Experience ready to begin next week. So it’s the perfect time to post about a trade that nobody cares about:

What this means for the Wizards:

Emeka Okafor is an above-average post defender and can protect the rim when fully healthy. The Zardos took an interesting buy-low approach on him, because Okafor’s season ended prematurely due to various injuries. Word around town is that New Orleans didn’t like his attitude and that he took his time getting back on the court. He is owed approximately $28 million over the next two years, but when you trade $23.7 million, you have to take some salary back. Okafor isn’t the ideal asset to acquire via trade, but at least he can give you some good minutes, which is something we can’t say for Rashard Lewis. However, Okafor (and Ariza) will be joining a crowded frontcourt in D.C. It will be interesting to see how the minutes are distributed among the bigs, with Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely, and Andray Blatche’s corpse all vying for minutes.

Trevor Ariza had a short-lived stay on the relevance chart when he started at small forward for YOUR Los Angeles Lakers during the 2009 Finals run. Miffed when the Show didn’t offer a long-term deal worth more than the mid-level exception, Ariza signed the same deal that was on the table with LA, but with the Houston Rockets. And so started his path to nothingness. He will always be a bit of a defensive stopper due to his length and athleticism, but the other areas of his game have not moved. Additionally, Ariza will make a little more than $7M next year, with a player option for 2013. A change of scenery might help, however, as the former UCLA Bruin could start right away. There may be a ton of alley-oops from John Wall in his future.

Washington holds the #3 pick in next week’s Draft, and this trade likely signals the arrival of Florida standout shooting guard Bradley Beal (pictured left) in the nation’s capital. Small forwards like Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes are still in the mix, but with the aforementioned crowded frontcourt, Beal is probably the best fit. I guess MKG can play the 2, but for the sanity of Wall and friend of the blog AO, let’s hope that Barnes has been crossed off the list.

What this means for the Hornets:

New Orleans will have the option of buying out Lewis for $13.7 million. Jesus.

The real value for new owner Tom Benson, is not in the value contained within this deal, but what the franchise can do because of this deal. If Lewis is bought out, coupled with the shedding of the contracts of Okafor and Ariza, the team will have the requisite salary cap space to re-sign Eric Gordon. Gordon would shoulder the scoring load, allowing Anthony Davis to be free from the burden of being a two-way player before he is fully ready.

Who wins?

I like this deal for both teams. The Wizards continue the reshaping of their roster, and can neutralize the added salary by amnesty-ing Blatche. The Hornets, already with Davis and the 10th overall selection, now have the ability to match any offer for Gordon.… Read more...