2011 NBA Draft Day Trade Analysis

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raymond felton blazers

Compared to year’s past, it was a relatively quiet draft night in terms of veteran players being dealt.  We can probably thank the pending NBA lockout for that.  Still, there were a few deals made during the 2011 NBA Draft including point guards Andre Miller, Raymond Felton, George Hill, and Jonny Flynn.  Here is my breakdown of the trades.

By: David Kay
Denver Nuggets Get: PG-Andre Miller, G/F Jordan Hamilton (26th pick), future Portland 2nd round pick
Portland Blazers Get: PG-Raymond Felton, 57th pick
Dallas Mavericks Get: G-Rudy Fernandez, Rights to G-Petteri Koponen

Why this makes sense for Denver:
I am not sure what the thought was in swapping Felton with Miller.  Both guys are in the final years of their contract but I actually think Felton is a better fit in Denver’s offense.  The attraction for Denver must have been adding Jordan Hamilton who perhaps took the most surprising nose-dive of the evening.  Hamilton gives them insurance on the wing since J.R. Smith is a free agent and Wilson Chandler and Aaron Afflalo are both restricted free agents.

Why this makes sense for Portland:
They get a younger point guard in Felton who brings more offensive firepower to the floor than Miller.  Giving up Miller and Fernandez is a little expensive for my taste, especially if Portland does not re-sign Felton after this season.  The Blazers did draft Nolan Smith in the first round though and he should be able to replace Fernandez’s minutes.

Why this makes sense for Dallas:
Rather than adding two younger players who likely would have never cracked the Mavs’ veteran rotation, they add an experience, versatile guard in Fernandez who provides insurance on the wing since Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, and Peja Stojakovic are all free agents.  This was really a smart move on the Mavs’ part.

george hill pacers

Indiana Pacers Get: PG-George Hill, Rights to PF-Erazem Lorbek
San Antonio Spurs Get: SF-Kawhi Leonard (15th pick), SF-Davis Bertans (42nd pick)

Why this makes sense for Indiana:
The Spurs were rumored to be shopping Tony Parker or George Hill in hopes of moving up in the draft and found a partner in the Pacers.  Indy adds one of the top back-up point guards in the league to play behind and possibly at times alongside Darren Collison.  Larry Bird tends to play it safe on draft night and did so here by bringing in a proven young player who can step in right away and be part of the rotation.  Plus, it eliminates the need to find a back-up point guard in free agency since T.J. Ford was a free agent and A.J. Price not the best option as the number two point guard.

Why this makes sense for San Antonio:
With Parker, Hill, and Gary Neal, the Spurs had a plethora of talent at the point.  Trading Hill comes as a bit of a surprise, but the Spurs add a versatile, defensive minded small forward in Leonard who should serve as a back-up and potential replacement for Richard Jefferson.  Bertans was a guy many thought San Antonio was targeting with the 29th pick, and instead were able to get at 42.  While he will not come to the NBA for a couple of years, he could the next in line of foreign players to succeed down the line in San Antonio.  Add in Cory Joseph who was a major reach at 29 and the Spurs added some needed youth to an aging team.

Jonny Flynn Rockets

Houston Rockets Get: PG-Jonny Flynn, PF-Donatas Motiejunas (20th pick)
Minnesota Timberwolves Get: C-Brad Miller, 23rd pick, 2013 first round pick

Why this makes sense for Houston:
Rockets GM Daryl Morey has a recent fascination with acquiring young players who have fizzled in their first couple years in the league.  First it was Terrence Williams, then Hasheem Thabeet, and now Jonny Flynn.  Flynn gives Houston insurance behind Kyle Lowry at the point since Goran Dragic is a restricted free agent.  The Rockets were looking for size in this draft and while Motiejunas is a seven-footer, he is more of a strech four than a true big man.  Kudos to Morey though for dumping the remaining two-years $9.8 million on Miller’s contract (even though it did cost them a future first rounder.)

Why this makes sense for Minnesota:
This was the first of six trades that the Timberwolves pulled off on draft night that kept moving them down and eventually out of the first round.  We knew Flynn was likely going to be dealt once Ricky Rubio was officially brought in so dealing him is no surprise though it shows just how disappointing he has been considering he was the sixth overall pick just two years ago.  I am not sure how Miller fits in Minnesota but reportedly less than $1 million of the final year is guaranteed if Miller is waived before June 30, 2012. So I guess that is always an option.  If not, he competes for minutes at the five with Darko and Nikola Pekovic and also brings some experience to a young team.  The big asset in this deal is the 2013 first round pick.  We know David Kahn loves assets; unfortunately he rarely makes the right decisions in what to do with those assets.

CLICK HERE FOR MY THOUGHTS ON THE BUCKS, KINGS, BOBCATS 3-WAY TRADE

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David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a fomer contributor at The Washington Times Communities.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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