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Vujacic Trade 101 (Official)

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Here are the final details of the  trade that brings Sasha Vujacic and two first round picks to the Nets and send Terrence Williams to the Rockets and Joe Smith to the Lakers. At this point, it appears it's all about Carmelo Anthony.

With the trade becoming official late Wednesday morning, we find out that both the Laker and Rocket picks are protected through teh 2016 draft, the Laker pick protected 1-18 and that the Rockets' pick is lottery protected. Also, the Nets are sending two second round picks, in 2011 and 2012, to the Lakers. That would reduce the number of picks the Nets have stockpiled to 10 over the next three years: six first rounders and four second rounders.

The Nets receive:

--Sasha Vujacic, 6'7", a 26-year-old shooting guard with some experience at the point.  His contract is expiring and is worth $5.47 million this season.  Vujacic, a Slovenian, has played with the Lakers since entering the league as a first round pick in 2004. Vujacic won NBA championships with the Lakers in 2008-09 and 2009-10. He holds the Laker team record for best three-point shooting percentage in a season, 43.7%.

--The Lakers' first round draft pick in 2011, which as of today would be the 27th pick.  The pick is protected 1-18, meaning the Nets are likely to get it barring a Laker collapse.  If the draft were held today and the Nets don't trade any of their picks, they would have the #3 (their own); #27 (Lakers); and #33 (their own) ...but the 2011 draft is seen as weak.  Should the protection on the pick prevent it from being used in 2011, it will roll over through the 2016 draft with the same protection, then become unprotected in the 2017 draft

--The Rockets' first round pick in 2012. The pick is lottery protected, meaning if the Rockets wind up in the lottery, they retain the pick. Similar to the Laker pick, it will remain lottery protected til 2017 when, if not exercised, it will become a second round pick in 2017.  The Nets now have five picks in the 2012 draft: their own first and second rounders; the Warriors' first round pick, protected 1-7; the Rockets first round pick, lottery-protected; their own second round pick as well as the Heat's second round pick.

The Rockets receive:

--Terrence Williams, 6'6", a 23-year-old guard who can play all three perimeter positions. He remains on his rookie contract and is owed $2.21 million this season and $2.37 million next. Williams clashed with both Kiki Vandeweghe last season and Avery Johnson this season. He recently returned from Springfield in the D-League where he averaged a 28-11-10 triple double.

The Lakers receive:

--Joe Smith, a 6'11, a 35-year-old power forward who will make the world champions his 12th NBA team, which ties him for the record of most teams played in career.  He is owed $1.35 million this year, a veterans minimum contract. He started the first two games for the Nets, but has played in only two games since.

--The Warriors' 2011 second rounder, acquired in the Marcus Williams trade and the Bulls' 2012 second rounder, acquired in the Chris Douglas-Roberts trade.

--a $5.47 million trade exception which can be used up until at least June 30.

--The draft rights to Sergie Lishouk, a 6'11", 28-year-old Ukrainian forward.  Lishouk was drafted by the Grizzlies with the 50th pick in the 2004, then traded to the Rockets. He does not appear to be active this year.

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The Nets will take on about $1.9 million in extra contractual obligations this season, but reduce next season's by $2.37 million, T-Will's salary.  There may also be cash considerations in the trade. 

Why did the Nets do the deal?

Primarily, the Nets' motivation was to gain more assets for a trade with the Nuggets.  Several reporters wrote on Tuesday that the Nets were seeking additional picks to trade to Denver for Carmelo Anthony.  With a near record number of picks, they seemed to have accomplished that.  Also, the Nets new management had tired of Williams who had been fined repeatedly both last season and this for being late for practice, team meetings, a team bus and even a plane. 

Why did the Rockets do the deal?

The Rockets have been perhaps the NBA's most disappointing team and are looking for backcourt assets, having seen their starting point guard Aaron Brooks go down to injury and both their GM and coach under fire. Williams will join a talented but injury-prone corps of perimeter players which includes Brooks, Kevin Martin, Kevin Lowry, Chase Budinger, Courtney Lee and Ish Smith. He is likely to be used as point forward in the Rockets' offense.

Why did the Lakers do the deal?

The Lakers save $$8,687,079 in salary and luxury taxes and receive a significant TE.  In effect, this was a salary dump for the World Champs since they received little in return and had to give up a draft pick.  After a solid year in 2007-08, Vujacic fell out of favor with Phil Jackson and the Lakers have been looking to trade him since the summer.

What's next?

Expect fast-moving developments as the Nets seek to acquire 'Melo by dangling multiple picks and Derrick Favors. The Nets reportedly will not deal Favors without an agreement by Anthony to sign a three-year $65 million contract extension.  Although he reportedly wants to play for the Knicks, the Knicks cannot match the Nets' offer. The Nuggets reportedly want a deal heavy in draft picks.  That could leave him in a quandary: either extend with the Nets and gain long-term security or wait to see what happens after the Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated, a risk that cost him millions. 

Separately, Jermaine Taylor was traded from Rockets along with cash considerations to the Sacramento Kings for a future second round pick.