The NBA season of free agency is in full swing. Rather than hyperventilating about every signing or rumored signing, I prefer to watch the whole process to see where all of the players realign before investing any analytical energy. However, the trade earlier this week between the Sacramento Kings and the Philadelphia 76ers stands out as so bizarre that it deserves comment.
For the record, neither team is any good; this exchange will not make either team any good; whatever passes for the “balance of power” in the NBA is unaffected. While all of that is true, the exchange of assets here is stunning.
The Sixers get:
Nik Stauskas: He was the 8th pick in last year’s draft but his rookie year was disappointing to say the least. He averaged 4.4 points per game in only 15 minutes per game. Perhaps, he will benefit from the Sixers’ “up-tempo” style – – or not. He fits the Sixers’ mold of young player with potential.
Carl Landry: He is a 31-year old power forward whose career averages are middling at best and whose contract runs through 2017 at $6.75M per year. He will lead no one to the Promised Land.
Jason Thompson: He is a 28-year old power forward who does not score as much as Landry but who gets a couple more rebounds than Landry. He too has two more years left on his contract and his total salary for the next two years will be $13.25M. Ho-hum.
They also get a future first round pick from the Kings (GM Sam Hinkie loves those draft picks) plus the Sixers have the right to swap two future first round picks with the Kings.
The Kings get:
The rights to two foreign players the Sixers took in the second round of this year’s draft – Luka Mitrovic and Arturas Gudaitis.
A future second round pick.
To summarize, the Sixers get two mediocre journeyman power forwards and a guy who did not come close to living up to his lofty draft status as a rookie plus draft picks in the future that they can use on players that do not fit into a team. The Kings dumped a little more than $30M worth of salaries over the next two years and got two players who are not going to play in the NBA any time in the next two years. Oh, and they also got a second round pick they can use on some other player who will not play for them.
The key question to ask about this trade is:
What’s the point?
It sure looks to me as if neither team got much of anything out of this – unless you count the Kings’ added cap room as “something”. I do not think that is a big deal because I doubt that the Kings are going to get a couple of top-shelf players to sign on in Sacramento and there is a truism in the NBA that is irrefutable. “Cap room” does not win games. Nonetheless, some analysts are saying the Sixers made out like bandits here. If you say so…
CBSSports.com has a report this morning involving Rush Limbaugh and the NFL. As soon as you see those two entities linked in a report, you have to check it out to see just how off-the-wall the story is. Here is the gist:
Limbaugh said that the reason the media has been so harsh with regard to RG3 and his struggles at QB after a very successful rookie season – despite the fact that RG3 is an African American QB which Limbaugh has said the media pines after – is that “it’s suspected that RG3 is a Republican”.
Seriously, that is the report. You can read it here if you think I am making it up…
Personally, I think RG3 is struggling because I suspect he is actually a Jupiterian sent to Earth to check out the environment here just in case Jupiter’s Great Red Spot blows its cork and the inhabitants there have to evacuate quickly. Since Jupiter’s gravity is much greater than the Earth’s and the atmospheric pressure here is so much lower, RG3 is having trouble adjusting his metabolism to these new conditions. Makes sense to me…
If you are looking to grill hot dogs for the Fourth of July, let me suggest that you do not attempt to emulate one of the “augmented” hot dog offerings on the Chicago Cubs’ menu at Wrigley Field. This concoction is a hot dog – beloved in Chicago – topped with mac-and-cheese and garnished with Cheetos. That is a culinary and chemical concoction that even a Jupiterian would find hard to digest.
Finally, here is a baseball note from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:
“Here is another example of the change in Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. His players have a new private team jet that includes a massage table. They used to have to make their own bats on a wood lathe.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………
2 thoughts on “Nothing For Nothing…”
The math for NBA trades is confusing enough, but the rules about flexibility with caps, plus the potential for higher caps next year, makes all this truly baffling. It looks like Philly bought the Kings first round pick next year by taking Landry’s and Thompson’s contracts and freeing up cap space. The real key will be what the Kings do with that found money.
Something happened to Stauskas’ shooting touch when he left Michigan. He was a Stephen Curry class 3-point shooter in college and became a very pedestrian shooter in the NBA. Could it be the lack of zone defense in the pro league, or could it be the NBA defenders are simply better than we thought? I saw a video of him hitting 46 3-point range shots in a row. I don’t care that there was no defender, that’s unreal shooting.
It does not look like Philly bought the Kings’ first round pick; that is exactly and explicitly what they did.
Agree with your assessment of Stauskas’ disappointing rookie season in the NBA. If he has another like the first one, his career will be over. Other than shoot 3’s, he does not do much on the court.
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