Here are the basics of what is a relatively minor deal, in terms of players, salaries exchanged and what it could mean for the next deal...if there is a next deal.
The Nets receive:
--Chris Quinn, 6'2", a 26-year-old point guard from Notre Dame with a veteran's minimum contract through June 30.
--The Heat's second round draft choice in 2012...unprotected.
--$640,000 in cash, the equivalent of what Quinn is owed for the rest of this season.
After the trade, the Nets are at $57,770,597 (about $70,000 above the cap). Rafer Alston was bought out for $4.29 million and Quinn was added for $1.05 million. From a cash flow perspective, the Nets saved $953,000.
The Heat receive:
--The Nets' second round draft choice in 2010, protected 31 through 50. In other words, the Nets retain their own pick unless they finish in the top 10 in the league. The protected pick had to be included because the Nets needed to send the Heat something in addition to a trade exception.
--a $1.1 million trade exception acquired by the Nets in the Vince Carter deal, which will expire a year from Tuesday.
--the ability to sign Rafer Alston after he was waived Wednesday morning by the Nets. The Nets bought out Alston's contract, saving nearly $1 million in salary this season.
--Approximately $600,000 in luxury taxes, the difference between Quinn's $1.07 million contract and what Alston receives, a pro-rated veteran's minimum contract.
This could be seen as an extension of last June's trade of Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson for Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee. The Nets couldn't find a taker for Alston's $5.25 million contract, say reports, so they did the next best thing: construct two simultaenous deals that didn't require them to match salaries and which provided them with a serviceable if unspectacular player; yet another draft choice, giving them ten in the next three years; and cash, the equivalent of what is owed Quinn for this season, or about $600,000.
So the Carter trade now looks like this: Carter and Anderson for Battie, Lee, Quinn, a second round pick in 2012 and $640,000. Considering that Alston will be 35 when the last piece of the trade is used, it's probably an improvement over the original.
Bottom line: The Nets were able to use one of the two trade exceptions from the Carter deal to gain a player, $600,000 in cash and a second round pick. Normally, teams let those smaller trade exceptions expire. The Nets also get to keep the larger exception they gained in the Carter deal.