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By the end of the night, Broussard discovered that the deal has progressed to the point where the Charlotte Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to it. The Brooklyn Nets are the last team that needs to sign off on the deal in order for it to be completed and given their eagerness to move Lopez, they should be on board soon.
USA Today Sports’ Sam Amick reported that Kendrick Perkins is going to be involved in the deal. He would presumably be headed to Brooklyn as cutting costs is a priority for them right now with the franchise on the market. Nobody is untouchable on their roster, but according to Marc Stein of ESPN they are stuck with Deron Williams, who they are unable to find a taker for because of his massive contract and declining play.
There are a couple of other important things to take away from this potential deal. The Thunder are clearly feeling pressured to make something happen and go all in to win now before Kevin Durant hits free agency next summer. They’ve been far too passive over the last couple of seasons since advancing to the Finals, banking far too heavily on the internal development of young players to keep pace in an ever-improving Western Conference, a strategy that was not working out. It’s going to be interesting to see if Reggie Jackson is moved next, as the Thunder are in grave danger of losing him for nothing this offseason and could get a very valuable asset or assets in return for him prior to the trade deadline.
The other thing to take away is that the Hornets really are dealing with buyer’s remorse with Stephenson. He was supposed to be the piece that pushed them over the hump into contention, but instead they have been significantly worse with him on the floor. Being able to exchange him for Jack and Lamb would be a real steal for them as Jack has been playing at a very high level as of late and Lamb still has a decent amount of untapped potential at just 22 years of age.
The major storyline being taken away from this trade is that Austin Rivers is going to become the first player to ever play for his father in the NBA. Coby Karl nearly became the first under George Karl in Denver, but was never actually active during a regular season game for the Nuggets.
Although he’s mainly an afterthought in this deal, keep an eye on Bullock in Phoenix. The Suns really wanted him and with his spot up shooting ability he could be a really nice fit alongside their trio of point guards who thrive at attacking off of the dribble. He never really got a chance in Los Angeles and should be able to prove whether he’s a certifiable NBA player with the Suns.
Randolph, meanwhile, shouldn’t feel overly comfortable about being in Boston for the rest of the season. There’s been no reports yet on what they plan to do with him, but just based on the recent trend of players they’ve acquired, he could be bought out or waived. Randolph does have a history in Boston, though, and has some fans in the front office. Because he’s cheap and on a short-term deal, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he lasts longer than the likes of Austin Rivers, Tayshaun Prince and Nate Robinson.
This is basically an early admittance from the Kings that they whiffed on yet another lottery pick. For all the hope that new ownership and management brought in, they sure are dealing with a lot of the same issues that made the previous regime so unpopular. This would be the second top 10 pick in three years that they’ve traded before the conclusion of their rookie season. They traded Thomas Robinson, who they drafted fifth overall in 2012, to the Houston Rockets after just 51 games. Stauskas has been even less underwhelming than Robinson was early in his rookie campaign. He’s helped the Kings the most by serving Ben McLemore, who is playing inspired basketball this season, a reality check that has motivated him to take the next step forward as a sophomore. McLemore has responded to the challenge, but Stauskas has failed to establish himself with the Kings. They’re hoping that he will be viewed as a sweetner in a deal with one of the contracts they’re hoping to rid themselves of, but likely won’t find teams overly eager to move him. Being willing to move a top 10 pick before the halfway point of the season is about as big of a red flag as you can put on a rookie.
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