Posted by: Kingsguru21 | June 18, 2010

Samuel Dalembert traded to the Kings for Spencer Hawes/Andres Nocioni

As by now you already know, Dalembert has been “traded” to the Kings. Why the quotation marks? I’ll explain in a bit. As far as my original reaction it was like: “why now?” I don’t really have a problem with the trade or the Kings making it. But, I would have waited until draft day to do so after the Sixers determined the 2nd pick was off limits. Or some such.

Now, here comes the rest of the analysis.

Do the Kings get the better end of this deal, and, if so, why?

Absolutely the Kings are getting the best player out of Sammy Dalembert/Andres Nocioni/Spencer Hawes. In fact, and I’ll venture I’m not the first to remark on the trade this way, this is the best possible deal the Kings could have gotten in moving Noc/Shawes at this time.

Dalembert is an excellent defensive rebounder, and has a career 25.2 DRB% to show for that. (That’s very good in case you’re wondering. By far better than anyone on the Kings last year.) He’s also a quality shot blocker who can play decent low post defense. (He’s not great IMO, but he is decent to good. He isn’t going to stop Dwight Howard any time soon for instance.) On the flip side, however, he will be good enough to start right away for the Kings next year, and will end up making the Kings better defensively.

In of itself, I like this trade because Dalembert helps the team with some of it’s weaknesses.

I’ve already noted my feelings about Noc & Hawes here. I’m not going to bother again. Let’s just say thanks to both and have fun in Philly. If Noc ends up on Real Madrid, good luck to him over there as well. (In case you’re wondering about the Hawes age question, that’s my answer.)

Financially, how does this impact both teams?

As TZ noted earlier today, this will likely take the Kings under max cap room for a Free Agent (which was unlikely to be used).

On the flip side, Dalembert only has a season left on his deal at 12.91 million (plus a 15% trade kicker which I’ll discuss in a moment), Nocioni has 2 seasons left (plus a team option that wasn’t likely to be exercised) at 13.5 million and Hawes is slated to make 2.97 million on the last year of his rookie deal (also a Qualifying Offer but that’s standard with all rookies).

This deal, financially, saves money for the Sixers who are slated to be over the projected luxury tax (roughly at 68 million until thought of otherwise), and this deal likely (without any buyout of Nocioni) get the Sixers under the tax for the 2010-11 season. What this deal does, in all likelihood, make it an almost guarantee the Sixers won’t trade the 2nd pick because of financial concerns for the upcoming season and beyond. (A point I’ll discuss in depth further down.)

So what about Dalembert’s trade kicker now?

Basically, regardless of when this deal is done (and you can bet the deal is technically been agreed to and it’s only a matter of when the NBA “signs” off on it), what I wonder is Dalembert can be traded at this point?

The rules of a trade kicker stipulate (read 85 & 86 for all the rules) that a player’s salary increases the first time a player is traded during the contract (and not on an option year–which Dalembert doesn’t have), and thus that’s where the conundrum comes in. By money, Dalembert’s salary goes up if you apply to the kicker to the number and thus doing the trade now, on June 17th, doesn’t work with the Salary Cap rules for a team trading a player while over the salary cap.

However, my question: Is it possible that Dalembert still has his trade kicker applied for next season without it being applied to this season’s salary for trade purposes? (If that’s the case, Dalembert has been traded.)

Or, it’s very possible Dalembert waived his trade kicker to be traded yesterday. (This is unlikely. Why waive it when it makes no difference to the player if you’re traded on June or July?)

So, while I think the 1st paragraph is possible, it’s quite the conundrum I got. (I’m probably the only one. I’ll ask Larry Coon on twitter later.)

UPDATE: Basically here’s the deal with the trade kicker. Dalembert waived part of his kicker to make the trade work (you can’t waive a kicker outright). So that’s the answer to that question for those that care (and for those who had not received the answer).

So why did Philly do this?

I mentioned that Philly was under the luxury tax for next season. This deal (without any mention of a buyout) will likely put the Sixers under the tax without needing to make any other maneuvers to get under the tax.

However, it’s likely, IMO, that the Sixers wanted Noc in part because they feel they can negotiate a favorable buyout that will save them more money over the next 2 seasons. Even though the deal becomes a salary dump (which Sixer fans no doubt are unhappy about), that’s what happens when you have few options and most of them are lousy. You have to give up something to get something, and giving up a quality player for financial flexibility is just one piece of this puzzle for the Sixers. If you’re Ed Stefanski (and I’m not a fan of his given he put the Sixers in the position), you either picking dumping Dalembert (and an unhappy player who wanted out of Philly) for a far less ideal situation, OR, you choose to take the 2nd overall pick to take Brand out of the equation and save even more money in the short/long term. For the Sixers, and Stefanski (who might have saved his job), this was the lesser of 2 evils. In the long run, no team can justify trading a top 3 pick to get out of a bad contract. There is simply no way to justify such. If I were a Sixer fan, I’d be happy my GM found a way to keep the 2nd pick than a guy who was likely to leave the team (if not traded before then) at some point.

Most fans, in my experience, ignore the financial side of losing money and keeping a competitive product on the court. However, they do so at their own peril and many Sixer fans are doing just that. Right now it’s a guaranteed lock that the Sixers would take Derrick Favors or Evan Turner and proceed with building their franchise with whatever player they get with their pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Even though it was a longshot, it tells me that Stefanski and the Sixers believe they can get a high quality or potential franchise player with that 2nd pick. Which is, of course, the only way the Kings had a chance to even trade up in the first place. It would have taken a couple of picks (including this year’s 5th pick) plus Brand and maybe a player like JT to move up to that 2nd pick. But a franchise player you can count on for the next 10 years is far more valuable than my last sentence and I doubt Ed Stefanski didn’t see the opportunity to pick a franchise altering player at that 2nd pick.

So, while this trade for the Kings is about getting athleticism/rebounding/defense in the middle, it’s also about the realization (probably because Philly never had any real intention of giving that 2nd pick up) that the Kings never had a shot at getting that 2nd pick anyway. Given those limitations, there weren’t many players out there that could help the Kings and upgrade the team while simultaneously moving 2 of the far lesser assets the Kings had in Nocioni/Hawes. Thus, this trade will be seen as a negative for the Sixers however you slice it.

In my opinion, and as I’ve said, this is simply the lesser of 2 evils for Philly. Stefanski took the lesser route and has a great chance to alter the Sixers franchise with a franchise level player at that 2nd pick.

So how does this effect whom the Kings will draft?

Good question. I’ll have more on this in the upcoming days. That’s a long piece in of itself. As it was, there was already questions of whom the Kings might want. Now this only fuels that speculation further. (It certainly makes DeMarcus Cousins potentially more attractive. Although, I’m not fond of him.)

I will note that I think Geoff Petrie will take whomever he deems the best player for the Kings. And this is how he responded to that very question:

I don’t think it affects it at all really, to the extent we’re looking at adding a big in this Draft. You would have been looking at that if Spencer was still a part of the group. I don’t think to the extent you are looking at other positions, obviously, it wouldn’t affect that at all. I think in general we like where we’re at with the pick. There are six or seven players there, one of which obviously we’ll take, so we’ll see what happens.

Is this a good trade for the Kings?

From a roster and financial perspective, it’s an excellent trade. Dalembert gives you an upgrade at a short term cost. You move two media headaches in Noc/Hawes for Dalembert who will get all the time he wants in Sacramento next year. It also allows for flexibility in whomever you draft with the 5th pick in 6 days. Although, on this front, I don’t think it changes whom the Kings will ultimately pick.

This isn’t a home run type trade (although some will likely view it as such), but it’s definitely a solid gap double. As such, I like the deal from the Kings perspective and given the constraints to making a deal to move up in the draft, it was the best available the Kings had. I can’t ask more for Geoff Petrie than to deal players who have less value now than ever and trade them for a player who could be valuable in a deal at the trade deadline. (Something to not be overlooked.)

Frankly, short of acquiring Favors, this is probably the next best thing the Kings could have done this off-season. I’m all for it.

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Responses

  1. yup, yup….we get a strong defensive re-bounder, & I would agree with you that it makes the acquisition of Cousins more likely as well ( not necessarily the player I wanted, but it it what it is).

    • I don’t know if it will effect how the Kings look at Cousins. After all, when you’re picking at 5 teams usually take whom they will think end up being the best player. The Kings have enough holes that it’s reasonable they take a wing too. Who knows though?

      Should be interesting is what I know.


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