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ESPN gives Brooklyn Nets A+ for trade

Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Pelton, who hands out trade grades for ESPN Insider, gives the Nets an A+ for the Andrei Kirilenko trade ... and writes the 76ers deserve no better than a B-.  It's all about money.

Pelton says the Nets got two financial benefits from the trade: they save $12.2 million in salary and taxes and they drop out of a top tier in luxury tax calculations, which requires a payment of $3.25 for every dollar spent. Now, that they're less than $15 million over the luxury tax threshold, they pay $2.50 for every dollar spent. He also calls the two picks -- the Nets second rounder in 2020 and a swap of picks in 2018 -- a small price to pay.

That kind of savings is impressive return on a distant second-round pick and the right to swap second-rounders in 2018. Obviously, this isn't the way Brooklyn hoped Kirilenko's contract would go. But given the way things have transpired, this move was a no-brainer for the Nets that doesn't figure to affect the team's on-court prospects significantly, if at all.

NetsDaily has also learned the sent 76ers $1 million in cash to sweeten the AK47 deal. That leaves them $2.3 million to buy picks in June.

Moreover, it's uncertain when Kirilenko will return to action for any NBA team.  He told Sport-Express Russia Thursday that with the trade, "I can fully concentrate on his family. When the family situation will be resolved, I think about the future. Not later than mid-February, it will all be exactly clear."

Pelton gave the 76ers a B-, saying this deal was not as good for them as the last salary dump they enabled for the Nets, the trade of Marquis Teague.