NBA Roundtable

Hornets Acquire Songaila

In Trade Talk on September 10, 2009 at 1:27 am


New Orleans Hornets acquire: Darius Songaila + Bobby Brown

Minnesota Timberwolves acquire: Antonio Daniels + 2nd round pick


Yahoo Sports announces

The New Orleans Hornets have traded Antonio Daniels and a future second-round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Bobby Brown and Darius Songaila, a league source told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday afternoon.

The trade removes about $1.3 million off the Hornets’ payroll. Brown played well for New Orleans in the 2008 Las Vegas summer league.


New Orleans

How can the New Orleans Hornets be this stupid?!

Bloody hell. They’ve killed their team’s hopes of winning a title by over-spending on role players and just when they were about to get some financial wiggle room, next summer, they throw it all out the window for another overpaid poor role player in Darius Songaila.

It amazes me …

Darius Songaila

Songaila is a moderately sized power forward who lacks quickness.

He’s a good high post big offensively, possessing a nice jump shot and good passing skills.

Defensively, he’s a poor to very poor man-to-man defender but a decent team defender. On the boards, he’s very poor and posts a 10.7% rebounding rate for his career which is Andrea Bargnani territory.

Songaila is a guy who mostly goes unnoticed in games because he doesn’t have much of an impact, and when he does have an impact it’s regularly a negative one.

Songaila’s fit in the Hornets scheme

Darius Songaila’s jump shot makes him a good fit offensively and that’s about it.

Songaila’s contract

Darius Songaila is owed $4.5 million this season and has a player option, which is sure to opt into, next season for $4.8 million.

The Hornets already had $70 million tied up in salaries for 2010/11, this added $5 million puts them in exactly the same position next season as they were in at the start of this offseason.

They got off cheap this offseason with the Butler trade, they got lucky, and now they screwed the pooch by pushing their luck even further. This is going to cost them something valuable next summer, likely first round draft picks.

Alternative Option

The Hornets could have signed Joe Smith for a minimum contract and gotten exactly what Songaila will give them offensively, plus better defense + better rebounding …

Did I mention he’d sign for the minimum?

Hornets big man rotation

Songaila will now move into that first big off the bench slot with Marks/Armstrong/Diogu fighting it out for the second big off the bench role.

The Hornets big man rotation, bench wise, is one of the worst in the NBA. Especially amongst the playoff teams.

Bobby Brown

Bobby Brown made his name in the NBA while playing for the Hornets summer league team last offseason. The Hornets valued him highly and tried hold onto him, but the Kings came in and out-bid the Hornets.

Brown is not a throw in … he is someone who the Hornets have been trying to sign for the past 12 months and now they’ve finally got their man.

With Chris Paul and Darren Collison on the books, there’s no reason for Brown to play except in emergencies. He’s a third string point guard and a mediocre one at that, but Brown does have some potential to him and he could grow into a serviceable backup if given some time.

I think the Hornets will be a good place for Brown to gradually progress his career, although, the Hornets likely won’t be the team that benefits from his hard work. That’ll be the new team he joins after leaving the Hornets due to a lack of an opportunity.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Three rounds of applause for David Kahn — he spotted the fool and took him to the cleaners — getting rid of Songaila’s overpriced contract for an expiring contract is nothing short of brilliance.

Well done David Kahn.

Sota’s cap space in 2010

Minnesota can now lower their contract commitments down to around $35 million next offseason, leaving them $15-20 million to spend on free agents to build around Al Jefferson + Kevin Love + Ramon Sessions + Jonny Flynn + 2010 lottery pick.

This could turn out to be a very good situation for Minnesota. Wolves fans should have a lot of hope for their team’s fortunes turning around in the next 12-24 months.

Antonio Daniels

Antonio Daniels is at best a mediocre third string point guard at this point in his career. He is a very poor defender and he can’t hit a jump shot.

What Daniels does bring to the table is good veteran leadership, good floor general skills, and good passing ability.

Daniels is a good veteran teacher to have around to help young Jonny Flynn find his way in the NBA.

With Flynn + Sessions around, there’s no reason for Daniels to play except in emergency situations (injuries or fouls, that sort of thing).


I can’t get over how stupid this trade is for the Hornets. Terrible move.

Brilliant trade by Kahn and the Wolves, removing that terrible salary from their books was a masterstroke.

  1. Dave,

    My take on this move by Jeff Bower is very different than yours.

    When I look at Darius Songaila, I see a player who has been under-utilized to this point in his NBA career and might just have the skill-set to excel with New Orleans … playing with Chris Paul & Co. … in a specific role, coming off the bench, as a Combo Big [PF-SF].

    Although he is by no means a high end player, it just might be the case that Bower has upgraded the Hornets’ Big rotation in a cost-effective way which is going to keep them in the thick of the WC playoff race this season. Personally, I much prefer how their front-court actually looks after making this acquisition than it before:

    STARTERS: West/PF + Okafor/C
    KEY SUBS: Songaila/PF + Armstrong/C
    RESERVES: Diogu/PF
    EXTRAS: Sean Marks/PF-C

  2. Hey Khandor,

    I agree that Songaila has improved the Hornets. I just don’t think his benefits (talent + improving backup bigs) outweigh his costs (the second year on the contract).

  3. Dave,

    At that dollar value, his contract will still be very movable next summer, if need be.

  4. Khandor,

    The Hornets have about $76 million on the books for the 2010/11 season. If the cap falls as expected, the luxury tax threshold will likely be somewhere between $62-66 million. So they’ll be over the tax line by around $10 million or so.

    The Hornets were very lucky this offseason to get away with reducing their tax bill at a low cost. It just as easily could have gone the other way — like when the Suns were forced to give up two first round picks in order to move Kurt Thomas, or a team like the Bucks being forced to give up a Richard Jefferson and so on …

    The Hornets got away with their bad cap management once, they shouldn’t be trying their luck a second time.

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