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$19.5 Million in Cash Swapped in 2015-16

Eric Pincus looks at how NBA teams have used cash in trades over the last two years.

Eric Pincus

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Prior to the NBA’s 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams could send up to $3 million in cash out in trade multiple times a season.

To level the playing field, limiting higher-budget franchises, teams are separately capped in the amount of money they can both send out and receive over the course of a season (from July 1 to June 30).  Last year’s limit was $3.4 million; the maximum for the 2016-17 season is $3.5 million.

Teams include cash in trades for a variety of reasons, including purchasing draft picks, avoiding luxury taxes (by moving off unwanted contracts) or facilitating a deal that simply needs a little extra push.

Collectively, teams swapped $19,489,635 through the 2015-16 season (July 1 through June 30).  That’s a $2 million increase over the $17,428,653 traded during the 2014-15 season.

Four franchises (the Miami HEAT, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder) spent the maximum of $3.4 million. The Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz were all close to the other end of the spectrum, receiving at least $3 million apiece.

Miami used their cash (in just a few of their many transactions to get under the luxury tax threshold) to pay the Celtics $1.6 million to take Zoran Dragic, $1.1 million to the Magic with Shabazz Napier and $721,300 to deal Jarnell Stokes to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The HEAT actually received $75,000 in a deal to send Brian Roberts’ salary on the Portland Trail Blazers.  Portland paid the minimum in cash allowed, in lieu of trading a player or future pick.

The Blazers also paid out $75,000 in a similar transaction with the Cavaliers, to help Cleveland move Brendan Haywood into Portland’s cap space.

Cleveland sent $934,614 with Joe Harris to the Magic, helping to reduce their luxury tax bill.  In June, the Cavaliers spent $2.5 million to acquire the 54th pick from the Atlanta Hawks, drafting Kay Felder – who has since signed a three-year, $2.5 million deal (with $1 million guaranteed over the next two seasons).

Portland paid just under half that amount, sending $1.2 million to the Magic, for the 47th pick in order to select Jake Layman (who signed for three years at $2.6 million, with $1.5 million guaranteed).

The Blazers seemingly got a steal at that price, given the Nets sent $3 million and the 55th pick (Marcus Paige) to the Utah Jazz for the 42nd pick (Isiah Whitehead).  Whitehead signed for four years at $4.6 million – his first two seasons at $2.2 million are fully guaranteed.

Golden State sent out $2.4 million to the Milwaukee Bucks to buy the 38th pick, drafting Patrick McCaw, whose two-year, $1.4 million contract is fully guaranteed.  The Warriors also paid $1 million to the Philadelphia 76ers to take on Jason Thompson’s contract.

The Thunder spent $730,441 to buy the 56th pick from the Denver Nuggets to draft Daniel Hamilton, who has yet to sign a contract.  The Thunder also paid the Nuggets $1.2 million at the trade deadline in the deal that brought Randy Foye to Oklahoma City.  The Thunder also sent $1.5 million to the Celtics to dump the contract of Perry Jones III.

Netting $16,921, the Houston Rockets were paid $456,921 by the Los Angeles Clippers to take on Josh Smith, while Houston sent $440,000 to the Nuggets for Ty Lawson.

Last summer, the Knicks paid the Magic $100,000 to help facilitate the sign and trade of Kyle O’Quinn to New York.

Finally, the Memphis Grizzlies sent $542,714 to the Charlotte Hornets in their Courtney Lee deal.

The following details the final tally in cash transactions for the 2015-16 season:

Team Spent Received
Cleveland Cavaliers $3,400,000 $75,000
Miami HEAT $3,400,000 $75,000
Golden State Warriors $3,400,000 $0
Oklahoma City Thunder $3,400,000 $0
Brooklyn Nets $3,000,000 $0
Portland Trail Blazers $1,350,000 $0
Memphis Grizzlies $542,714 $0
Los Angeles Clippers $456,921 $0
Houston Rockets $440,000 $456,921
New York Knicks $100,000 $0
Chicago Bulls $0 $0
Dallas Mavericks $0 $0
Detroit Pistons $0 $0
Indiana Pacers $0 $0
Los Angeles Lakers $0 $0
Minnesota Timberwolves $0 $0
Phoenix Suns $0 $0
Sacramento Kings $0 $0
San Antonio Spurs $0 $0
Toronto Raptors $0 $0
Washington Wizards $0 $0
Charlotte Hornets $0 $542,714
New Orleans Pelicans $0 $721,300
Philadelphia 76ers $0 $1,000,000
Denver Nuggets $0 $2,340,000
Milwaukee Bucks $0 $2,400,000
Atlanta Hawks $0 $2,465,386
Utah Jazz $0 $3,000,000
Boston Celtics $0 $3,100,000
Orlando Magic $0 $3,313,314

Miami was also a big spender through the 2014-15 season, as were the Rockets, Nets and Thunder. The Pelicans, 76ers, Jazz and Suns each received at least $2.1 million, as previously detailed by Basketball Insiders.

The Jazz have been the biggest beneficiary of cash trades over the past couple of seasons, taking in $5.8 million.

The following is a two-year view of cash transactions, including the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons:

Team Spent Received
Miami HEAT $5,939,424 $75,000
Oklahoma City Thunder $5,101,000 $0
Brooklyn Nets $4,880,000 $0
Cleveland Cavaliers $4,700,000 $75,000
Golden State Warriors $3,400,000 $0
Houston Rockets $2,940,000 $456,921
Portland Trail Blazers $2,850,000 $0
Memphis Grizzlies $1,861,950 $0
New York Knicks $1,600,000 $0
Los Angeles Clippers $1,386,921 $0
Chicago Bulls $1,000,000 $0
Washington Wizards $839,431 $0
Minnesota Timberwolves $344,562 $1,000,000
New Orleans Pelicans $75,000 $4,021,259
Dallas Mavericks $0 $0
Detroit Pistons $0 $0
Indian Pacers $0 $0
Los Angeles Lakers $0 $0
San Antonio Spurs $0 $0
Toronto Raptors $0 $250,000
Sacramento Kings $0 $839,341
Charlotte Hornets $0 $1,842,276
Phoenix Suns $0 $2,170,465
Denver Nuggets $0 $2,340,000
Milwaukee Bucks $0 $2,400,000
Atlanta Hawks $0 $3,015,386
Philadelphia 76ers $0 $3,900,000
Orlando Magic $0 $4,313,314
Boston Celtics $0 $4,419,236
Utah Jazz $0 $5,800,000

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2018 NBA Draft Diary

#28 – Jacob Evans – Golden State Warriors

Jesse Blancarte

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With the 28th overall pick, the Golden State Warriors selected Cincinnati Junior Jacob Evans.

Evans represents a solid pick for nearly any NBA team. Evans fits in the mold of a potential 3-and-D role player. Evans improved in his time at Cincinnati, culminating in his junior year, where he scored 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Evans spent three seasons at Cincinnati and rounded himself into a versatile two-way player who can bring a lot of value at the NBA level.

Evans is a very cognitive player, especially on the defensive end. He has a better grasp of his limitations than most players at this stage of their respective careers and is able to maximize his individual defensive ability within a team concept. Evans generally makes the right rotations, double-teams at the right times and funnels his opponents to where his teammates are when he cannot contain the ball-handler on his own. With the right coaching, he could become a valuable defensive wing in an NBA rotation sooner than some anticipate.

Additionally, Evans is more than just a shooter. He led his team in assists last season and has some skill as a playmaker. Evans will be more of a shooter and finisher in the NBA, but the ability to make the right pass, swing the ball when he isn’t open and take the ball off the dribble when necessary make him an intriguing prospect. This is especially true when you consider how valuable a player like Khris Middleton has become over the years, adding layers to his 3-and-D skill set each season.

The Warriors aren’t in need of an influx of talent but are happy to add Evans regardless.

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2018 NBA Draft Diary

#27 – Robert Williams III – Boston Celtics

With the 27th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics have selected Robert Williams III.

Ben Nadeau

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With the 27th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics have selected Robert Williams III.

Although there were early week rumors that the Celtics might try to trade up, they’ve ultimately elected to find a difference-maker at the end of the first round instead. For a team that nearly reached the NBA Finals despite debilitating injuries to Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, Boston’s roster didn’t need a wholesale change on draft night. But at No. 27, they’ll be more than happy to leave with the mysterious-but-talented Williams.

Last year, Williams was viewed as a potential first-rounder before he returned to Texas A&M for his sophomore year. In 2017-18, Williams averaged 10.4 points and 9.2 rebounds on 63.2 percent from the field, fueling the Aggies to a 22-13 record. During this current pre-draft process, Williams looked poised to become a mid-first-round selection once again — but his stock faded as the big night got closer. In fact, Williams even decided to watch the draft with his family, even though he was a green room invitee.

His stock has undoubtedly dropped as of late, but this may end up being the steal of the draft — naturally, he dropped right into general manager Danny Ainge’s lap. Williams, 6-foot-10, is a freak athlete that’ll bring a new look to an already fearsome defensive unit in Boston. At A&M, Williams won back-to-back SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors and averaged 2.5 blocks per game. Of course, he’ll get the opportunity to learn from the hard-nosed Al Horford, a five-time All-Star and the defensive linchpin for Boston — a win-win situation for all.

Williams, 20, joins an extremely young core in Boston that also includes Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum, among others.

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2018 NBA Draft Diary

#26 – Landry Shamet – Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers select Landry Shamet with the 26th overall pick.

Dennis Chambers

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With the 26th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select guard Landry Shamet of Wichita State.

Shamet, if he is able to fulfill his potential, should provide the Sixers with some much-needed shooting, as their rotation was noticeably starved for another deadeye sniper.

A career 43.7 percent three-point shooter, Shamet sank 44.2 percent of his shots from downtown last season, and he did so while firing nearly six attempts from deep a game. Sliding Shamet at the guard position alongside franchise point guard Ben Simmons allows for another weapon at Simmons’ disposal.

Standing at 6-foot-5 and 21 years old, Shamet has the size to play either guard spot in the NBA (especially given Philadelphia’s lengthy and versatile lineup). Along with his shooting ability, Shamet also led the American Athletic Conference with 166 assists last season. With Markelle Fultz still a question mark for Philadelphia, Shamet provides a secondary ball-handler and playmaker, whether in the starting lineup or in the reserve unit.

The first round of the 2018 NBA Draft was a whirlwind for the Sixers, and they ultimately land two guards of very separate varieties: an upside-laden athlete in Zhaire Smith, and a skillful “veteran” rookie whose skillset is established.

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