Yesterday’s flurry of moves was a more exciting day than any NBA playoff game. A borderline blockbuster trade was completed between the Brooklyn Nets and the LA Lakers and less than two hours later, the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets signed off on a massive deal themselves.
Every trade has a winner but usually people can only tell down the road. These two deals, however, had a rare obvious winner. So today folks, that’s the name of the game for this article. Who made the right move and who screwed up beyond belief?
Los Angeles Lakers:PG D’Angelo Russell, C Timofey Mozgov
Brooklyn Nets:C Brook Lopez, No. 27 overall pick
This is probably the most excited Nets fans have been since the three game win streak they had in April. Russell has a ton of potential and now Brooklyn has a little hope for the future. He could possibly an elite point guard one day, someone who can single-handedly lead the Nets to the playoffs and that’s something for the Nets to cling onto. But most of all, they have their centerpiece to work around.
The Lakers, however, get injury prone center Brook Lopez. Is he a bad center? No, not at all. After averaging 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks, he is near All-Star levels of production. But the last time he played a full season was when the Nets were still in New Jersey. The Lakers had an exciting young core, especially with the second overall pick in this years draft. But this deal was a desperate cap dump and the overwhelming hope for LA is now all but gone.
Atlanta Hawks:Dwight Howard, No. 31 overall
Charlotte Hornets:Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli, No.41 overall
Atlanta only wins this deal if Dwight Howard equals his play as a Hawk. He is by far one of the laziest people in the NBA when it comes to play and it is clear he doesn’t give a crap about basketball anymore. Don’t let the 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds fool you, the Shaquille O’Neal wannabe simply doesn’t care anymore. It is smart to move on from 23.5 million per season for the next two years on a player who cares so little. Especially when you bring in productive role player Miles Plumlee and three point specialist Marco Belinelli.
Charlotte finally got their “star” in the big name of Dwight Howard, but he is far from the defensive stud he was in Orlando. He can contribute on the stat sheet and help in the paint the Hornets have desired since the days of Al Jefferson. But in all reality the 31st overall pick is near the value that Howard can provide these days.