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In a series of moves, Nets dump Sekou Doumbouya, swap second rounders

In a series of moves that will ultimately save the organization $8 million in salary and luxury taxes, the Nets traded Sekou Doumbouya and a second round pick in 2004 to the Rockets, then agreed to deal the rights to long-time stash Juan Pablo Vaulet to the Pacers in return for Edmond Sumner and a 2025 Heat second rounder. The combination of the two deals also generated a $1.29 million trade exception for Brooklyn.

The Rockets will waive Doumbouya, who was acquired in the DeAndre Jordan salary dump, and the Nets will waive Sumner, who’s out for the year with an Achilles rupture. JPV, who the Nets once thought of as “the next Manu,” was the last remnant of the Billy King era, having been acquired in the 2015 Draft, the year before the Nets fired King and hired Sean Marks.

News of the trades was broken in a series of tweets from Shams Charania, Adrian Wojnarowski, Michael Scotto and Tim MacMahon. The Doumbouya trade was made official Wednesday morning. The Sumner trade will likely be completed later Wednesday.

Bobby Marks of ESPN and Yossi Gozlan of Hoopshype estimated that the Nets savings at $8 million in taxes and salary. They also added details on the trade-making innards.

In fact, the Nets after generating the larger TPE in the Doumbouya deal then used part of it to acquire Sumner, leaving them with a $1.29 million TPE.

Sumner’s salary — $2.3 million this year — could be stretched out over three years, further reducing the Nets tax burden. What’s the Pacers rationale? As the Indianapolis Star reported...

The Pacers are, effectively, trading a second-round pick — which they received from Miami — in order to free up $2.3 million under the salary cap. It gives the Pacers approximately $3 million under the tax threshold.

A Nets insider called the moves “a bunt to get to first base” in that it’s a long-term deal that helps with the luxury tax while at the same time doesn’t deplete their limited draft assets. They lose a 2024 second rounder but pick up a 2025 second rounder. In fact, said the insider, the Nets could have saved a lot more money if they did the Doumbouya trade alone. But the Sumner trade provided them with that second rounder.

The series of moves also seemed to secure a roster spot for DeAndre’ Bembry who Steve Nash started Sunday vs. the Lakers. Bembry is a 6’5” wing known for his defense. His contract is only partially guaranteed and many believed the Nets final roster spot would come down to him and Doumbouya. The Nets now have 15 players, the max, under contract. Kessler Edwards has one of the club’s two two-ways. The other will come down to either David Duke Jr. or Devontae Cacok who are playing on Exhibit 10 deals.

Vaulet was taken with the 39th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. His rights cost the Nets $880,000 in cash and two second rounders, one of which ultimately became Talen Horton-Tucker of the Lakers.