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June 17, 2010

Transaction Analysis: Philadelphia-Sacramento Swap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Pelton @ 6:03 pm

The 2010 offseason semi-officially got under way Thursday, hours before Game Seven of the NBA Finals, when the Philadelphia 76ers traded center Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for forward Andres Nocioni and center Spencer Hawes.

This is our first trade since I introduced three-year projections, so we can use them to evaluate how much sense it makes for both teams. First, the projections for the players involved.

WARP         Yr1    Yr2    Yr3   Total

Hawes        2.7    3.3    3.6     9.6
Nocioni      0.7    0.6    0.5     1.8
76ers        3.5    3.8    4.1    11.4

Dalembert    3.4    2.3    1.7     7.3

But I’m sure you’ve already guessed that the deal, like all in the NBA in the salary-cap era, is a bit more complex than that. From ShamSports.com, here are the salary commitments for the players involved.


Salary       Yr1    Yr2    Yr3   Total

Hawes        3.0                   3.0
Nocioni      6.9    6.7           13.5
76ers        9.9    6.7           16.5

Dalembert   12.9*                 12.9
* Does not include trade kicker

When you consider that the Sixers were sure to be over the tax (they had $66 million committed to 10 players, with the No. 2 pick due $3.8 million; the tax level is projected to be in the neighborhood of $67 million), saving $3 million in salary next year is pretty considerable. It’s possible Philadelphia could now avoid the tax entirely with a minor move, sharing in the revenue distributed from tax payments. Taking on the last year of Nocioni’s contract isn’t a big deal, since the 76ers are capped out for the foreseeable future anyway.

So I would say in general a deal of this nature made sense for Philadelphia. The question is whether it made sense to use an asset (Dalembert’s expiring contract) on Hawes. Public perception might be a little harsh on Hawes, who just recently turned 22 and is skilled. Those kind of 7-footers are hardly abundant. However, Hawes doesn’t seem like a good fit for the 76ers unless they are planning to draft Derrick Favors to put a more athletic defensive force alongside him. Hawes simply doesn’t have strong defensive instincts, and he’s an odd choice for Doug Collins‘ first marquee addition. (Nocioni, on the other hand, looks very much like a Collins player, probably to the Sixers’ detriment.) A Hawes-Elton Brand frontline could prove porous defensively.

While the Kings been in pursuit of Dalembert for some time, looking for more of a defensive presence in their own frontcourt, he will probably prove most valuable as an expiring contract. From that standpoint, Sacramento clears Nocioni’s $6.6 million salary from their cap for next summer, when they will have somewhere around $26 million plus whatever a first-round pick will make in committed salary, almost all of it going to young players.

The extra cap space the Kings cleared should on average buy about 2.7 WARP–similar to what the team lost in Hawes, who would have been up for a new deal by that point anyway. Sacramento could even spend the money on a more reasonable deal for Dalembert, though SCHOENE is not exactly optimistic about his ability to retain his value as enters his 30s.

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