January 17, 2023, 10:43 pm
GM: Corban Ford, @corbannba
Salary Cap: $184,803,162
Luxury Tax: -$34,536,162
GOAL: Keep KD happy, get more defensive minded players
• Turn Joe Harris, Patty Mills, or Seth Curry into a more well-rounded player that won’t get eaten alive defensively (especially the latter two)
• Push in whatever chips you have left for a championship run
• Do you consider moving Kyrie with his expiring contract? Probably not
• Do they want to get a true starting center in town, or are they ok with Nic Claxton?
Players to Dangle
Kyrie Irving (1/$36.9)
o Salary: $37,934,550
o Highly unlikely that he’s moved, but a lot can happen between now and the trade deadline
Joe Harris (2/$38.5)
o He’s the highest salary you can move to salary match. Would they attach an asset to him for a John Collins type?
o Salary: $18,642,858
o $23,403,572 salary matching capabilities if tax isn’t an issue
Seth Curry (1/$8.5)
o Expiring deal + edge of rotation = highly likely to be moved
o Salary: $8,496,653
o $10,720,816 in salary matching capabilities
Patty Mills (2/$13.3)
o Do you want to move him or keep him to mentor Ben Simmons? – Australian connection
o $6,479,000 in salary this year
o $8,198,750 in salary matching capabilities
o He has $6.8 million on books next year too, so may want to shed his money towards next year
Cameron Thomas (3/$8.4)
o This is the one real asset the Nets have other than those Sixers 1sts from the Harden trade…
o $2,138,160 in salary this year
• Atlanta Hawks: John Collins & Bogdan Bogdanovic
• Charlotte Hornets: Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, PJ Washington, & Mason Plumlee
• Chicago Bulls: Alex Caruso, Nikola Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan, Derrick Jones Jr.
• Detroit Pistons: Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel
• Houston Rockets: Eric Gordon
• Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner & Buddy Hield
• Los Angeles Clippers: Robert Covington
• Los Angeles Lakers: Patrick Beverely
• New Orleans Pelicans: Jonas Valanciunas & Larry Nance Jr.
• New York Knicks: Evan Fournier
• OKC Thunder: Mike Muscala
• Orlando Magic: Terrence Ross, Gary Harris, & Mo Bamba
• Philadelphia 76ers: Matisse Thybulle
• Phoenix Suns: Jae Crowder
• Sacramento Kings: Richaun Holmes
• San Antonio Spurs: Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson, Jakob Poeltl, & Zach Collins
• Utah Jazz: Malik Beasley, Rudy Gay, Kelly Olynyk
• Washington Wizards: Will Barton & Kyle Kuzma
• TPE: $2,506,904
• TPE: $1,669,178
• 2023 1st (more favorable of a) less favorable of own & HOU and b) PHI)
• 2025 1st (less favorable of own & HOU 1-10 protected or least favorable of BKN, HOU, and OKC)
• 2027 1st (HOU has swap rights)
• 2027 PHI 1st (protected 1-8 if Sixers 2025 1st conveyed to OKC, if not conveyed then 2028 1st protected 1-8 if Sixers 2026 1st to OKC conveyed then 2028 2nd)
• 2028 1st
• 2029 1st
• 2023 2nd (least favorable of BKN, ATL, & CHA)
• 2025 MIA 2nd (protected 31-37)
• 2026 2nd
• 2028 2nd
• 2029 2nd
Mock Trades to Date (Feb 2 Deadline)
Jazz add shooting
TRADE: Utah Jazz trade Rudy Gay, Talen Horton-Tucker, Collin Sexton, and a 2025 second round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Patty Mills, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and a 2027 1st (via Sixers top 8 protected)
In my mock trade deadline primer, I told the Nets GM to try to trade some of their shooting for athleticism and defense. When I said to trade some of their shooting, I didn’t mean trade all three shooting specialists on the roster together. But that’s the route the Nets went. The Nets viewed Collin Sexton as an elite sixth-man coming off the bench behind Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell (see next trade) and as an insurance because both of those two are about to hit unrestricted free agency. I don’t personally believe that the Nets should’ve given up a 2027 1st-round pick that’s only top-eight protected for a package around Sexton, but clearly Corban, the Nets GM, did. Corban was also high on Talen Horton-Tucker in this deal, but I think THT is most effective with the ball in his hands, which he won’t have between Kyrie, KD, Sexton, and Russell. Rudy Gay is in the deal to make the salaries work and as a veteran presence for the Nets.
For the Jazz, they acquired plenty of shooting with this deal. Sexton has seemed to be very repetitive with what the Jazz have in Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gay is on a negative contract, and Talen Horton-Tucker has shown little flashes since being traded from the Lakers. Excellent job by Utah to acquire a potentially pretty good first-round pick for very little while adding a premiere skill in shooting to their roster.
Timberwolves and Nets swap former All-Stars
TRADE: Brooklyn Nets send Ben Simmons, Cam Thomas, 2028 top-four protected Nets 1st, and a 2026 2nd to the Minnesota Timberwolves for D’Angelo Russell, Bryn Forbes, and Wendell Moore
The Nets made this trade with the desire to get off of Ben Simmons’ contract. As noted earlier, D’Angelo Russell is on an expiring deal, as is Kyrie Irving. As a result, if the Nets decided to not retain either, they could be a player with cap space in free agency this summer. However, at this point, letting Kyrie walk seems highly unlikely. The Nets gave up another first, a top-four protected first in 2028 as well as Cam Thomas, just to get off the Simmons contract. My biggest qualm with the Nets moves, as I noted on the Bird Rights podcast recently, is that the Nets no longer have any premiere defenders on their roster. Nic Claxton has done an excellent job protecting the rim this season, and Kevin Durant has more than held his own on that end of the floor, but with three small guards in the backcourt that’ll demand major moves, and they don’t have much else. Corban justified these moves by saying the Nets will have such an elite offense, the defensive side of the ball won’t matter.
For the Timberwolves, they desired to get off D’Angelo Russell, but couldn’t get any takers. Minnesota now has Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Ben Simmons all on the roster, which seems like a roster that doesn’t make much sense. However, they acquired that 2028 top-four protected Nets pick to add a pick to the cupboard because they can’t trade any first-round pick until next year’s 2030 selection. This was a way to acquire a lightly protected first and hopefully further solidify the defense alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. At their best, the Wolves can sell themselves on having the two best defenders in the NBA. It seems like that time has passed, though.
Crowder finally on the move
Nets receive: Boban Marjanovic, 2026 2nd (least favorable of DAL, OKC, and PHI) via Miami, and cash considerations from Phoenix
Heat receive: Kessler Edwards and Jae Crowder
Suns receive: Bojan Bogdanovic, Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith, Detroit 2023 2nd, Miami 2029 2nd, and Day’Ron Sharpe
Pistons receive: Landry Shamet, Dario Saric, Josh Okogie, Suns 2023 1st (top-4 protected each year through 2028, then becomes PHX 28 and 29 2nds), Phoenix 2023 2nd, and MIA 2028 2nd
This is a big one to process. After the Heat had already got off Duncan Robinson’s contract by giving up a 2023 first and acquiring Eric Gordon in the process, the Heat further solidified a position of need by adding Jae Crowder to the fold. Crowder is also on an expiring contract but given his previous ties to Miami, there’s a strong likelihood that he would re-sign for around mid-level exception money this summer. Miami essentially flipped Caleb Martin, Dedmon, Highsmith, three seconds, and their 2023 1st-round pick in order to acquire Gordon, Crowder, and get off Duncan Robinson’s money. All of this occurred while they were just $150,000 under the tax and found a way to remain under the tax. Impressive cap gymnastics by the Heat.
For the Nets, Boban is a veteran presence and a great culture guy that’ll add leadership to a locker room who needs it. Brooklyn took on a second-round pick for losing Sharpe and Kessler Edwards but on this veteran-laden team, neither guy was going to provide much. For the Suns, they finally got off Crowder for a contributor but it came at the expense of their 2023 1st. But with Devin Booker expected back this week, Phoenix adds Bojan Bogdanovic to the mix and can bring Cam Johnson off the bench again. Caleb Martin also provides the Suns with some wing depth and Day’Ron Sharpe may automatically be the best backup big man behind Deandre Ayton on this team.
For Detroit, they were hesitant to move Bogdanovic. With him signing an extension earlier in the season, they weren’t in a rush to move him as they viewed him as a real member of their core. But Phoenix has struggled this year, and quite frankly can fall out of the playoff picture if they don’t right the ship soon, so that first-round pick along with a couple seconds was valuable to them. It was reported Bogdanovic won’t be moved unless an unprotected pick was involved but here, a top-four protected Phoenix first is what got it done. Also, with Dario Saric’s contract expiring, Detroit opens up additional cap space this summer.