I almost can’t keep up with these trades and such. All day yesterday, I kept refreshing all my basketball apps to see if someone had offered the Pacers enough for Paul George – Nothing. The last thing I did before I went to bed was to refresh ESPN’s NBA page – Nothing. Imagine my surprise when I find out this morning that 2 trades went down in the 6 hours I was asleep! I thought my main post for today would be about El Chapo (that one is coming later today by the way) but the NBA got in the way
Trade 1 – D’angelo Russel & Timofey Mozgov to the Nets in Exchange for Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez finally got dealt. I have been hearing about trades for Brook Lopez since 2013. In a way, I am happy he is out of his misery. The Nets are still paying the price for that horrific trade involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett a few years ago. If I am the Nets, a draft pick would have been nice because that Mozgov contract is heavy (3 years and almost $50 Million). At least they get a young player with upside (Russell). If I remember correctly though, they have a bunch of point guards (Lin, Hollis Jefferson, Randy Foye). I have never really been convinced by Russell. He talks a good game but he has never really performed consistently enough for me to be impressed plus he has lived under a cloud since he exposed Nick Young for cheating on Iggy Azalea. Maybe he benefits from a fresh start. There really isn’t much to say about Mozgov. Only Mitch Kupchak can explain why he gave a 7 foot plodder who can’t space the floor and isn’t really athletic a $64 Million 4 year contract in 2016. Don’t forget that Mozgov was a non factor when the Cavs won the championship last year. This contract is the price I guess the Nets have to pay for trading their flexibility.
I didn’t even know Brook Lopez’s contract was expiring. The Lakers are clearly trying to leave cap space for the summer of 2018 when they will have a front seat in the Lebron sweep stakes. This trade wasn’t really about basketball and I suspect the Lakers aren’t done yet. They still have to find a home for the almost $50 Million that Deng is owed over the next 3 years. Watch this space!
Trade 2: Dwight Howard to Charlotte in Exchange for Mason Plumlee and Marco Belinelli
The funniest thing about this trade is that it was announced 5 minutes after Dwight Howard announced a live twitter Q&A with fans about NBA trades. The Hawks have a mean sense of humour if they planned that.
Does this trade now officially mean Dwight Howard is now a journey man center? The writing was on the wall when he hardly played in the 4th quarters of the Hawks playoff run (only 16 out of 72 minutes and he was benched for 2 entire 4th quarters). Atlanta don’t even get the best Plumlee brother in return!
Remember when Dwight Howard was really good? He made 8 straight All Star teams, won him a few defensive player of the year awards (I remember reading something on NBA.com a few years ago where they suggested the Defensive Player of the year award be named after Dwight Howard because he keeps winning it – heh!). Now he is just a more fortunate Roy Hibbert. I heard he is working on his outside shot this summer (why didn’t he do that 5 years ago?).Goodluck with that.
This is another trade that is not about basketball. It seems like the Hawks are now in rebuild mode. They traded Kyle Korver for a bag of chips, they are moving Howard now and they probably won’t bring Paul Milsap back. Why Charlote think it is a good idea to pay Dwight Howard $50 Million over the next 3 years, I will never know. Why the Hawks also think they don’t mind paying Miles Plumlee $12 Million inn 2019, I will also never know.