Three teams have gotten together and decided to swap problems and bad contracts. That should solve everything.
In a trade that borders somewhere between sad and inconsequential, the Bulls, Hornets, and Magic have agreed to a three-team trade, which was broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This is a salary clearing move for the Bulls, they are not sending out Grant for Stone to play. Chicago can waive Stone so they can absorb a massive contract in a trade, one that would have a lot of other sweeteners for their rebuild. There are plenty of teams looking to dump salary, just something to watch. However, the clock is ticking on that kind of move — they matched the salary offer from the Kings for Zach LaVine, once that becomes official the Bulls’ cap space drops down to $17 million. Don’t be shocked if they make an aggressive move Sunday.
The Magic and Hornets are just swapping bad contracts. Mozgov and Biyambo are two of the poster children for the “bad contracts of 2016” NBA story that has left teams without cap space this summer.
Biyambo played 18 minutes a night for the Magic last season, giving them 5.7 points and 5.7 rebounds a game for his $17 million salary. He’s also well liked in the locker room and in the community everywhere he’s played. It’s the money that’s the biggest issue, he’s an okay reserve big man but he’s making four times what most teams want to pay someone in that role — and he makes that same $17 million this coming season and has a player option (that he will pick up) for 2019-20. However, for the Hornets, he’s an upgrade on the court at the backup center spot.
Mozgov makes $16 million a year but missed much of last season due to injury. He also is a backup center at this point in his career who gave the Nets 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds a night last season. He also is on the books for two more seasons (he gets $16.7 million in the final season).
No player involved in this trade moves the needle on wins in any meaningful way. It’s all about the money.