Welp. It’s happening.
Two trades went down yesterday, both of which were unexpected. Meanwhile, the trade rumors are flying all over the place as teams are angling for position in the draft and getting themselves prepared for this upcoming free agency as well as those in the future. The craziness yesterday centered around three big names, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and, unexpectedly, Kristaps Porzingis.
But let’s first break down what actually happened.
Lakers are trading Tim Mozgov and D'Angelo Russell to Nets for Brook Lopez and 27th pick Thursday, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 20, 2017
The Lakers kicked off the madness by relieving themselves of the albatross contract of Timofey Mozgov to the Nets. However, they had to also move along from D’Angelo Russell, who has had an up-and-down start to his NBA career. In return, they received Brook Lopez, whose contract expires next year, and the 27th pick in the draft. The Lakers are certainly gearing up for the 2018 Free Agency as reports are indicating that they will be pursuing not only Paul George but also LeBron James. It’s been a wild few days.
For the Nets, this seems like a low-cost, well relatively low-cost, to try out Russell to see if his draft potential was real. It is really hard to be a point guard in the NBA and it certainly seems like two seasons in a less than ideal environment is the best way to ascertain if a player will be successful or not. Seems like a win-win for both teams in their selected, or in the Nets case, forced, path.
Charlotte - Atlanta Trade
Sources: Charlotte is sending Miles Plumlee, Marco Belenelli and 41st pick to Atlanta for Dwight Howard and 31st pick.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 21, 2017
Well this was odd. Atlanta barely saves any money in this trade and moves back 10 spots in the draft. Was getting rid of Dwight Howard worth this? It’s tough to believe that. It’s incredible how quickly the value of ground-bound Centers has plummeted across the NBA. I posed these questions among the other Canis writers, but how much value does someone like Bismack Biyombo have today? Does this show that the Wolves slightly overpaid for Gorgui Dieng?
Dwight is still a good basketball player, but it certainly seems like no one wants him on their team anymore. Charlotte is an interesting team though, as they are stuck in the Eastern Conference playoff bubble morass and they certainly needed to do something to shake things up. We shall have to see what they do next.
As for Atlanta, I have no idea what their plan is. Are they blowing things up? If so, Millsap will certainly leave.
The Lakers have decided it might be worth it to try to get Paul George now, rather than just waiting for next year’s free agency. David Aldridge reported one such possible trade.
Lakers, per sources, engaged Sacramento in talks that would have sent the 2nd pick to the Kings for Sac’s two 1st-rounders (5 and 10) (1/2)— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 21, 2017
Lakers would have then packaged one of the Kings’ picks w/27 & 28 along w/player in offer to Indy for Paul George. But Kings said no (2/2).— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 21, 2017
That would be probably not a great trade. #5, #27, and #28 plus someone like Julius Randle? Regardless, this is certainly more creative and shows that the Lakers are entering the fray into the Paul George sweepstakes this year.
Another unexpected rumor that came up, was the Suns and DeAndre Jordan, which was reported by Chris Haynes here. Supposedly the deal was Tyson Chandler and the #4 pick for Jordan. Perhaps the Clippers are prepared to blow things up? Jerry West is in town now, who knows what kind of decisions he is pushing for. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are both free agents with many suitors, so this could be a very different looking team at the end of the day.
Well, this is the morning thread. What do you think will happen today? Does Paul George or Jimmy Butler get moved? Does Kristaps?