Last night clearly showed the beginning of trade season, and the big names of the league were certainly involved.
The Bulls have been rumored to be shopping Jimmy Butler, Paul George could be set for a one year rental before signing with the Lakers, Deandre Jordan is being shopped by the Clippers, and even Phil Jackson can’t resist trade season and is listening to offers for Porzingis.
But it was the Charlotte Hornets who made the first move yesterday evening. They have made a trade for Dwight Howard and the 31st pick, sending Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick the other way.
Howard, 31, signed a 3 year, $70 million deal with his hometown Atlanta Hawks last summer. It seems Atlanta are looking for a new approach, and offloading Howard’s contract could give them enough cap space to re-sign Paul Millsap, or another big name in free agency.
The so called ‘Spurs of the East’ received former Spurs veteran Marco Belinelli, who will no doubt boost that statement about the Hawks.
Charlotte now have an exciting combination of Kemba Walker, Nic Batum and Dwight Howard. It isn’t the best ‘big three’ in the league, but if head coach Steve Clifford can create a good system with this group, they could be looking at a playoff return in the not too distant future.
The Lakers were bound to make a trade as Lonzo Ball seems to be on the cards with the second pick in the upcoming draft. Magic Johnson clearly made his mind up of which young point guard he wants to run his offence.
The trade also sees Mozgov head to Brooklyn, which clears $54 million of cap space from the Lakers, and are picking up Lopez’s inspiring contract in return.
Could the room have been made to make a run at Paul George? The Pacers star announced last week that he intends to sign with the Lakers in the 2018 free agency.
The Pacers are shopping him hoping to get something in return before he leaves next summer for nothing.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers could be set to make an offer of the 27th and 28th pick, and either Julius Randle or Jordan Clarkson for George. It doesn’t seem like much, but it will certainly be more valuable than what they would be getting next season.
The trades are flying thick and fast, and with the draft tomorrow night, who knows what other moves will be made during the next 48 hours.