It’s all about the MLB trade deadline right now, but don’t look away—the NBA‘s trade market doesn’t just shut down.
In fact, the Association continues to churn at a dizzying pace, with recent deals such as the Cleveland Cavaliers shipping away Brendan Haywood and Mike Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, commanding the headlines.
If the latest batch of rumblings is any sign, it won’t be the last trade to go through the league office just yet, so keep an eye out, especially when it comes to the following items.
Miami’s Hunt for Cap Space
What, think the Miami Heat would just go away?
It’s expensive being a contender, and Pat Riley’s team is a repeat tax offender. The front office took a step in the right direction by shipping away young guard Shabazz Napier to the Orlando Magic, per Wojnarowski, but is not done yet.
In other words, Mario Chalmers isn’t clear of trade chatter. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein offered the latest:
Any cap space is good cap space at this point for the Heat, and Napier just wasn’t the knockout blow the team needed to get where it needs to be.
Chalmers, on the other hand, represents a $4.3 million hit this year, per Spotrac, and offers something to teams who want to wheel and deal.
Last year, Chalmers posted 10.2 points and 3.8 assists on average while shooting a 40 percent clip from the floor. He brings experience, but teams are not going to give up a ton to get him with the knowledge the Heat want to clear his contract.
While it’s unfortunate the Heat will never find proper value for Chalmers via trade, the team still has Goran Dragic to start and Tyler Johnson to play backup. Sooner or later something figures to get done.
It was all love for Nene in Washington until this past postseason. He brought on a strong culture change to help the Washington Wizards get over the edge, but then one Al Horford putback sort of ruined things for him.
Also ruining things is the league’s transition away from big lineups. At 6’11” and 260 pounds, Nene fits the bill after averaging 11.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season before losing his starting gig at the 4 at times to Paul Pierce (6’7″, 235 lbs).
With small ball on the mind, it sounds like the Wizards decided to test the trade waters with their veteran big man. J. Michael of CSNWashington.com shared the details:
CSNwashington.com reported earlier this offseason that Nene, who is entering the final year of a deal that pays him $13 million, didn‘t draw any interest in the trade market and isn’t likely to be moved before the start of the 2015-16 season. If he is eventually moved with that expiring deal, that’s more likely to happen near the February trade deadline but if they allow his size to leave they’ll want size in return.
It should go without saying, but here it is—Nene is too expensive in a league heading in the opposite direction. He’s a great role player and veteran to have, but at $13 million, per the excerpt above, he’s too much.
Then again, expiring contracts can be akin to gold in the NBA and even helps expensive guys like Haywood get moved. It’s something to watch, but it sounds like the Wizards will only pull the trigger if they get something nice in return. It isn’t going to be a straight salary dump.
The Jamal Crawford Saga
So much for all the drama surrounding the Los Angeles Clippers ending.
Getting DeAndre Jordan back was a big deal, no doubt about it. He’s the centerpiece they need, and a Clippers team without him can’t compete—not with the miserable trade and free-agent market this offseason boasted.
Losing sixth man Jamal Crawford would also hurt. The 35-year-old veteran was one of the most obvious names to hit the trade rumor mill earlier this offseason thanks to the presence of J.J. Redick and the additions of Lance Stephenson and Pierce.
Those rumors might hurt the team in the long run, per Dan Woike of the Orange County Register: “That extension didn’t materialize, and if another round of trade rumors linking him to Miami and Cleveland didn’t do it, Crawford probably got the sense he might not be a long-term solution for the team this July.”
Woike goes on to explain Crawford wanted an extension before last season, didn‘t get it and then had to wait around while the front office made moves instead of shoring him up for the long term.
The budding situation might be an opening for another team to swoop in and make a move. Not too long ago, Crawford shared an interesting response on his Twitter page:
Crawford posted a strong 15.8 points and 2.5 assists per game last year with the Clippers and would flourish in most locales in a similar role.
Los Angeles won’t let go of Crawford for nothing even if it does need the cap space. A team mired in months of controversy might not want to bring back an unhappy player, though, so if a shocker of a trade is yet to unfold, it might be here with the Clippers and Crawford.
All stats and info via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.
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