NBA Roundtable

Another Salary Dump To Memphis

In Trade Talk on August 7, 2009 at 9:44 pm

RealGM has the press release

The Memphis Grizzlies received a protected 2010 first round draft pick, along with center Steven Hunter and cash considerations from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a future conditional second round draft pick, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

The future protected first round draft pick from Denver could potentially give the Grizzlies three first round selections in next year’s NBA Draft. In addition to its own pick, Memphis is owed the Lakers’ 2010 first round draft pick to complete the Pau Gasol trade with the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 1, 2008. “

This trade provides us with a probable 2010 first round pick that will bring our total to three first round picks in hand for the next draft,” Wallace said. “We are a team which emphasizes the draft and next year’s draft is projected to be strong. This draft pick from Denver provides us with increased options for the future.”

Hunter’s Contract

Steven Hunter has an expiring contract that will pay him $3.7 million this coming season. The Nuggets are over the luxury tax by $6.18 million, so they’ll save that $3.7 million twice over, saving Denver $7.4 million.

Considering the most the Nuggets can get for selling their draft pick is $3 million, and how this is almost 250% that amount, this is good financial compensation for the Nuggets.

Grizzlies First Round Picks

The Nuggets look like a 50+ win team so their first round pick will likely be in the early to mid 20’s.

The Lakers should have one of the top four records, so that pick will be in the high 20’s.

The Grizzlies own pick will be high-to-mid lottery.

Are the cash savings worth the cost of a first round pick for Denver?

Probably not.

The pick could have gotten them a rotation caliber talent on a very cheap contract, worth around $1.5 million or less. Replacing that talent with a veteran in free agency will very likely prove far more costly than that figure.

The Nuggets luxury tax concerns will continue for at least another season beyond 2009-10, so that cheap talent would have come in real handy in the 2010-11 season.

Furthermore, the Nuggets also have minimal young talent on their roster outside of Carmelo Anthony + JR Smith … reducing their capacity to add more youth, when rebuilding/retooling is a real and serious prospect over the next few years (considering Billups’ age), could prove damaging in the long run.

Conclusion

I think this is a smart trade from Memphis. They basically bought a first round pick at a good price ($3.7mil). Great business.

I don’t like this move for Denver. It’s short sighted and will likely do more harm than good, similar to the Phoenix Suns’ decisions to sell their first round draft picks.

Update: Denver also sent $3 million the Grizzlies way, so this is even better for Memphis.

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