There were several components to yesterday's three-team deal between the Clippers, Nuggets and Wizards, but each team seems pleased with the centerpieces of the swap.
The Clippers are welcoming Nick Young with open arms as they plan to slide him into the starting shooting guard spot after last night's embarrassing loss to a Suns team that was without Steve Nash and Grant Hill. GM Neil Olshey had been working on the deal for 10 days but didn't expect it to happen, as he told Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld.
“I was actually surprised," Olshey said. "I didn’t think there was any way we would be able to acquire a player like Nick Young for a future second round pick.”
To be precise, the Clippers sent Brian Cook to Washington as well as a 2015 second-rounder.
One part of the deal amounted to an exchange of big men, with Nene going to Washington and JaVale McGee heading to Denver. Both sides were apparently glad to get rid of them, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix (All Twitter links).
Mannix says several Nuggets were upset about Nene's contract negotiations, which dragged on past the start of the truncated training camp this year, and felt they contributed to what's been an off year for him so far. Yesterday, Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post also cited Nene's lack of readiness for the season. After signing a five-year, $65MM deal, injuries limited Nene to playing in just 28 of Denver's 43 games prior to the trade. He averaged 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds, numbers that were fairly similar to last year's 14.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG, but his 16.8 PER was significantly lower than the 20.4 he posted in 2010/11. Mannix also heard that the move was in part prompted by the play of rookie Kenneth Faried, who has taken advantage of the absense of Nene and others and averaged 10.6 PPG and 8.1 RPG in March.
The Wizards, meanwhile, were "thrilled" to get rid of McGee, Mannix notes, before having to worry about re-signing the restricted free agent in the summer. McGee reportedly said he plans to ask for $14MM a year.