NBA Roundtable

Mavs + Nets Trade

In Trade Talk on January 9, 2010 at 7:14 am

Dallas Mavericks receive: Eduardo Najera

New Jersey Nets receive: Kris Humphries + Shawne Williams


ESPN reports

The Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey Nets have reached a verbal agreement on a trade that will send reserve forward Kris Humphries and exiled swingman Shawne Williams to the Nets and bring forward Eduardo Najera back to Dallas for a second stint after the Mavericks acquired him in the 2000 draft.

NBA front-office sources told on Friday night that the Nets agreed to use a trade exception to absorb the $2.4 million expiring contract of Williams, which clinched the deal. Dallas sent Williams away from the team last season over concerns about his professionalism and did not let him return this season.

Sources said both teams have signed off on the swap but formal NBA approval is not expected before Monday when the league office reopens.

Also, the Nets plan to waive Sean Williams to create that needed extra roster spot (2 for 1 deal, Nets have full roster).

Sources said the Nets will waive Williams as soon as they get him and must also release another player — all signs as of Friday night pointed to former first-round pick Sean Williams — to create the required roster space to make the trade.

So, both Shawne Williams + Sean Williams are expected to be waived.

ESPN also breaks down the finances

The Mavericks have been trying to move Shawne Williams for months and shedding his contract along with Humphries’ deal will save Dallas nearly $2.5 million in 2009-10 salary, which computes to an overall savings of nearly $5 million when adding in the Mavericks’ luxury-tax obligations.

The Nets, by contrast, were willing to take on Humphries — and the extra $700,000 he’s guaranteed next season compared to Najera — because they’re looking for younger players who can supply more hustle and effort to help the team survive the second half of what is threatening to be a historically dismal season.

Thoughts On Trade

This is a bad trade for both teams.

Dallas Mavericks

Najera is no longer a serviceable player in the NBA. He’s a cheerleader that should be chained to the bench and inside the locker room. A useless entity.

The financial savings are nice but losing a quality rotation player like Kris Humphries when you’re trying to make a run at a title is a poor decision. Humphries was a very valuable big man option off the bench because he complemented Dirk Nowitzki in ways that Dallas’ other big men didn’t. Eric Dampier lacked the quickness and mobility that Humphries brought to the table and Drew Gooden lacked the defensive ability. Kris Humphries gave a solid defender, good rebounder, and good finisher offensively. Someone who can play physical basketball alongside Dirk while matching up with the more athletic + offensive minded big man opponents.

Unfortunately, Humphries wasn’t given enough of an opportunity in Dallas although that was not unexpected. He was playing behind two big men with large reputations (Damp, Gooden) and another extremely talented combo forward in Shawn Marion. Then competing with Tim Thomas for the remaining court time. Playing time was always going to be difficult to attain for Humphries which is a pity because he would have been very valuable alongside Dirk (somewhat similar to Bass last year).

Edit: Najera’s partially guaranteed contract is a superior trade asset than Kris Humphries. Dallas will be offering Josh Howard (team option) and Eric Dampier (incentive contract) in the trade market. Najera’s contract could be a more useful piece to throw into a prospective trade than Humphries’ talent.

New Jersey Nets

The Nets shouldn’t have taken on any extra money that stretches past 2010. The only acceptable time to do that is if they’re getting a star player who is comparable or superior to what they hope they could sign next summer.

So, it’s a bad deal for NJ too, but Humphries will help their team. The Nets have only one good big man and one variable (Yi) who is playing fairly well at the minute. The rest of their big men are not rotation worthy players. Their low quality bigs would be easier to hide if the Nets had more talent, but they don’t, and they aren’t. Humphries immediately becomes the Nets second or third best big man. He should be a key player in their plans for the remainder for the season.

Shawne Williams + Sean Williams

Sean Williams is the interesting player here. He is a decent defender with excellent defensive potential and a decent rebounder with very good rebounding potential. He’s also a bit of a headcase, wholly impatient in his development, poor work ethic, bad practice habits, looks for short cuts in everything he does, and hasn’t developed at all since he entered the league.

But for a minimum contract? You just don’t get potential like Williams has for that type of money. He’s a low risk, high reward, high likelihood of not panning out player. So there’s a good opportunity here for some opportunistic team.

As for Shawne Williams, he has all of Williams’ poor habits + serious off-the-court trouble/issues. He also has a far less developed game and a far smaller chance of fulfilling that unfulfilled potential. This is probably his last stop in the NBA.

At least for the next few years, he’ll have to prove himself elsewhere first. He simply hasn’t shown enough to warrant another job in this league at this point.


Bad trade that hurts both teams.

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