June 20, 2017, 9:15 pm
Welcome to the new-look NBA, the league that never sleeps. Seriously, it’s a new age and it seems as though no player is untouchable these days. The day began innocent as always, but the arms race continued as teams are trying to catch the Warriors. First, let’s start with two NBA trades that came out of thin air.
Lakers Get: Brook Lopez and the No. 27 pick on Thursday
Nets Get: D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov
The first order of business for new Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka to “Make the Lakers Great Again!” was to dump Timofey Mozgov‘s awful $54 million contract. The Nets obliged, as they were one of the few teams who could afford it. The Lakers were rewarded with 29 year-old Brook Lopez and some cap space, hoping to land another big fish. They now have the No. 2 pick, No. 27 and No. 28 picks in Thursday’s draft.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that the Lakers are head-over-heels for Paul George (the feeling is mutual). You can bet that Celtics legend Larry Bird isn’t going to let George go to his former rival so easy. The Lakers even spoke to the Kings about giving up their No. 2 pick in exchange for No. 5 and No. 10 in Thursday’s draft, just to have more assets to take a swing at the Pacers. The Kings thoughtfully declined.
As for the lowly Nets, their current roster is as awful as it gets, but it’s not the worst time to rebuild. D’Angelo Russell is only 21 years-old and still has plenty of time to bloom. After all, it usually takes point guards a few years to come in to their own. A few more years of tanking and acquiring assets while LeBron James gets old/heads West isn’t the worst idea.
What a day right? Then this happened.
Hornets Get: Dwight Howard and the No. 31 pick on Thursday
Hawks Get: Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the No. 41 pick on Thursday
Dwight Howard gets shipped to his third team in three years (or his 5th team in seven years, depending on how you slice it) and his price keeps getting lower. We should have known that after all these years, Dwight and BroLo get traded on the same day after all! Howard has left a stink behind him as he has left each team over the years. This time, he actually had a decent season and yet the price was still that of a depreciating asset. Perhaps the Hawks took Howard’s joke of “I will shoot more threes this year” a little too seriously?
The Hornets made an easy call on this one. Their borderline playoff roster can now afford to move Cody Zeller back to power forward, a position he plays very effective. Miles Plumlee still has $37.5 million left on his contract, showing just how bad the Hawks wanted to move Dwight.
The Hawks are left with just $59.6 million in guaranteed salaries, but if they resign free agents Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr., then they will be maxed out. All eyes are on Millsap to see what direction this franchise is about to go.
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AROUND THE ASSOCIATION
After a crazy Tuesday stocked full of news, other headlines that would have been top stories were absolutely buried due to the volume of seismic NBA action. Here is a controlled list of the top storylines from Super Tuesday.
- ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that Jimmy Butler prefers to stay with the Bulls and would be hesitant to stay with the Cavs long-term if he was dealt. Butler wouldn’t be able to get a max deal in Cleveland, so it makes sense to stay put. He is under contract for two more seasons.
- The Clippers reportedly engaged in talks with the Suns about sending DeAndre Jordan over in exchange for Tyson Chandler and the No. 4 pick. The Suns declined, as Jordan has two years, $48 million remaining on his contract at the age of 28. The Clippers were the oldest team in the NBA last season.
- News broke on Tuesday morning that Phil Jackson isn’t ruling out the possibility of trading away Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis. Many famous fans took to social media to give their two cents about the rumor. Michael Rapaport hilariously pulled over his car to tell Twitter how he feels about a possible deal.
- Dwyane Wade will reportedly pick up his player option of $24 million and stick it out with the Bulls next season. Amid the Butler rumors, Wade’s committal complicates the matter a little bit.
- Spurs big man Pau Gasol declined a $16.2 million player option, a move that would be dominating headlines a few years ago. He intends on returning to the team on a lesser salary. Gasol’s counterpart David Lee is also expected to decline his player option, worth $2.3 million.
- It’s probably nothing, but Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley followed the Pacers on Twitter and then took to Twitter to say it’s not nothing. Beverley has been the subject of several trade rumors this offseason. It’s nothing, right?
- Amar’e Stoudemire told the New York Post that he could see a return to the NBA next season as a veteran to provide some leadership in the locker room. He spoke fond of the Knicks, however he did pose the alternative of retiring. Stoudemire won a championship with Hapoel Jersusalem in the Israeli Premier League last week in a sixth man role.
That’ll do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish, offseason edition! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. Happy Hump Day Hoop-Ballers!