Here are the basic parameters of the reported trade for Kris Humphries and Shawne Williams. Like the Chris Quinn deal early in the week, this one is minor -- but complicated. One reason: The deal is the first requiring the approval of Mikhail Prokhorov.
The Nets receive:
--Kris Humphries, 6’9", a 24-year-old power forward/center with a contract extending through 2010-11 valued at $2.9 million this season and $3.2 million next season. According to various reports, Humphries holds a player option for next season, which he is expected to exercise.
--Shawne Williams, 6’9", a 23-year-old power forward on a rookie contract that expires June 30. The Mavs owe him $2.416 million and according to the Dallas Morning News, the Nets will pick up the costs of Williams contract, approximately $1.6 million for the rest of the season. Although initial reports had the Nets cutting Shawne Williams, Rod Thorn said late Monday the team wants to take a look at him.
The Mavericks receive:
--Eduardo Najera, 6’8", a 33-year-old power forward with a contract that extends through 2010-11 valued at $3 million this season and next.
--A $2.416 million trade exception, equal to Shawne Williams’ salary.
Since the deal is a 2-for-1 trade, the Nets waived Sean Williams this morning to free up a roster spot. Both Williams have had troubled careers. Sean Williams has been out of the Nets’ rotation for most of the season while Shawne Williams hasn’t played a minute for the Mavs and in fact the team has asked him to stay away. (The Nets acquired two trade exceptions in the Vince Carter trade. The first, a smaller $1.23 million exception, was used to facilitate the Quinn deal. The second, a $3.73 million exception, will be the one used in this deal. After the trade, the Nets will retain remainder of that exception worth approximately $1.31 million—the difference between $3.73 million and Shawne Williams’ $2.416 million salary.)
From a cash flow perspective, the combined deals with Miami and Dallas saved the Nets nearly $953,000. It also saves the Nets $1 million in cap space, bringing them under the cap by roughly that amount. Before the deals, they had been slightly over it.
Why did the Nets do the deal?
The team is interested in trading its older players for younger, more promising pieces. In the two deals this week, the Nets send two 33-year-olds to contending teams while receiving three younger players (assuming Shawne Williams sticks), ages 26, 24 and 23; and a 2012 second round pick plus some cash. The Nets were interested in acquiring Humphries from the Raptors last summer, before he was traded to the Mavs. In terms of cap space for 2010-11, the two deals are close to a wash. In addition, if Humphries exercises his player option (unlikely at this point), it will increase the Nets' cap space to around $28 million. Najera has guaranteed money coming in both the next two years. Thus, the trade will also increase the Nets' cap space in 2011-12...as well as this year.
Why did the Mavs do the deal?
It's easy: up to $4.7 in salary and luxury-tax savings for owner Mark Cuban, reports the Dallas Morning News, most of it in Shawne Williams' contract. Also, Najera, the league’s only Mexican-born player, remains popular in Dallas where he started his career. While Humphries is promising, there is a logjam at power forward in Dallas.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported early Saturday that "the Nets thus continue to explore their trade and buyout options with several players on their bench -- Josh Boone, Tony Battie, Keyon Dooling and Trenton Hassell are among those that have been shopped recently -- to open up roster spots for fresh blood from the D-League." The quality of D-League talent this season is reportedly the lowest in years, but a few have shown themselves to be worthy of NBA call-ups, particularly 10-day contracts which can begin this week. All four players mentioned by Stein have expiring contracts except for Dooling. He has a guarantee of $500,000 on a $3.82 million contract for next year.
Similarly, Fred Kerber reported Sunday "Team sources who confirmed the deal said the Nets also are looking to deal other veterans as they prep for the big free agent summer. They're shopping Josh Boone (interest, nothing close), Tony Battie (some interest) and Bobby Simmons (not much interest). Figure Boone goes next."
Dave D'Alessandro reported Monday that the Nets were interested in Dorell Wright, but the loss of the trade exception appears to eliminate that possibility.