Hornets Trade Jamaal Magloire to Milwaukee for Desmond Mason
On Wednesday, the Oklahoma City Hornets traded C Jamaal Magloire to the Milwaukee Bucks for G/F Desmond Mason, a 2006 first-round pick, and cash.
Magloire (#19) and Mason (#17) were drafted two picks apart in the 2000 NBA draft.
The trade creates roster imbalances for both teams, and raises huge questions about playing time just before the NBA regular season begins on Halloween. Let's take a look at the implications for both sides.
Bucks Receive Magloire
In the NBA, it's always hard to argue with the acquisition of a legitimate center who has the ability to average a double-double right away. However, in the case of the 2005-06 Bucks, there may be good reason to argue.
In the words of Bucks GM Larry Harris: "In Jamaal Magloire, we were able to add a young, All-Star-caliber big man to our front court rotation." Um... Wasn't that what the Bucks were doing when they drafted Andrew Bogut with the #1 overall pick in the 2005 Draft?
Bogut's minutes will in all likelihood be severely impacted by the acquisition of Magloire. Although he was already slated to come off the bench behind Dan Gadzuric, this moves the Australian big man further down the depth chart, and may force him to play some minutes at PF, where his legit 7-0 frame might prove unwieldy. Bogut's fantasy value to start this year becomes virtually nil. Magloire may prove to be a good tutor for Bogut, but if I were the Bucks, I wouldn't want Bogut to turn out like Magloire.
Jamaal does score and rebound, but he turns the ball over at a fairly high rate, distributes the ball poorly, and contributes very little on defense. Expect Magloire to chip in around 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 block per game. These numbers aren't bad (although somebody on your fantasy squad has to get blocks): it's the 2.5 turnovers per game that really drag down Magloire's value in a standard roto league.
The departure of Desmond Mason is, however, good news for free agent acquisition Bobby Simmons. He probably won't play 37 minutes like he did last year, but 15, 5, and 2.5, fewer than 2 turnovers, and 45%/85% shooting makes him a good mid-to-late round fantasy target again this year. Congratulations to Simmons, who was slated to come off the bench but deserved to start over Mason.
Hornets Receive Mason
It's an unexpected homecoming of sorts for Desmond Mason, an Oklahoma State graduate and 2001 NBA slam dunk champion now moving on to his third team.
I'm a fan of Mason's offensive game. He does not turn the ball over too much, is a 45% career shooter, has a developing midrange game, and pushed his FT% over 80 last year. In 2004-05, Mason averaged 36 minutes per game and put up 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2.7 assists against 2.1 turnovers. He was a stiff on the defensive end, though, ripping only .7 balls per game to go iwth .2 blocks.
The problem is that Mason will be hard-pressed to duplicate any of these numbers on a New Orleans team that, believe it or not, now has too many talented swingmen. Young J.R. Smith is tabbed for a starting role at SG. Before the acquisition of Mason, Rasual Butler and Bostjan Nachbar were battling for SF, with Nachbar emerging as the late dark horse. Mason will now step into the starting role, with Butler and Nachbar backing him up.
None of the three will play much more than 30 minutes per game and none will play defense. Even J.R. Smith's PT might be slightly depressed by Mason's arrival, unless another trade is in the offing.
Byron Scott has his coaching cut out for him. The Hornets already created a glut at PG by drafting Chris Paul to fill a slot that was already admirably filled by Speedy Claxton and Dan Dickau... did they need to do it again at SF?
The most intriguing effect of this trade might be an increase in playing time for David West, who started at PF tonight in the Hornets' first post-trade preseason game and scored 13 points and grabbed 5 boards in 31 minutes.
Either he or Chris Andersen, who sat out tonight with an ankle injury, is going to have to start and play 30 minutes per. If it's West, he could develop into a pretty decent points and boards option. If it's Andersen, the Birdman could become a major source of blocks.
The real key to this deal for the Hornets is the inclusion of a first-round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. If they're lucky, maybe they'll be able to draft a legit 7 footer who can average a double-double.