Wolves, Hawks, Rockets, Nuggets Complete Four-Team Trade

FEBRUARY 5: The trade is now official, with Twitter announcements from the RocketsTimberwolves and Nuggets confirming the deal. Atlanta also formally waived Chandler Parsons to accommodate the trade, as detailed earlier.

FEBRUARY 4: The Timberwolves, Hawks, Rockets, and Nuggets are in agreement on a massive four-team trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that the four clubs were close to reaching a deal, while Woj says (via Twitter) the players involved are now being informed.

According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), Charania (Twitter links), Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), and Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link), the trade looks like this:

There have been rumors for the last several days suggesting that a trade like this one could be in play. An earlier variation had the Warriors in Denver’s place, with the Wolves pursuing D’Angelo Russell, but Golden State backed off those talks earlier on Tuesday, leaving Minnesota, Houston, and Atlanta to work out a new agreement.

Let’s break down how the deal will impact each team…

Houston Rockets:

Daryl Morey‘s group has long been on the lookout for an upgrade on the wing, and they’ll get their man in Covington, a three-and-D specialist who is on a team-friendly contract that’s worth $11.3MM this season and runs through 2021/22.

The Rockets gave up two valuable assets in Capela and their 2020 first-round pick to bring in Covington, Bell, and a second-round pick. By moving Nene and Green in the deal, the team will also move well below the luxury-tax line, which would be a favorable outcome for ownership — while Tilman Fertitta has claimed to have signed off on the club being a taxpayer, it looks like this could be the second straight season that the Rockets sneak out of the tax at the deadline.

On the other hand, as Wojnarowski points out (via Twitter), the structure of the deal would allow Houston to take back up to another $12MM in salary. So until the trade is made official, there’s a window for the Rockets to potentially expand it even further to include another team and player, assuming they find a suitable target, agree on compensation, and are willing to go back into the tax. That won’t be easy, however.

While Bell could play some minutes at the five, the Rockets will remain on the lookout for a more reliable replacement for Capela, either via a trade or on the buyout market, tweets Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Houston’s go-to lineup will feature P.J. Tucker at center, but the team still wants a more traditional big to match up with star bigs in the playoffs, notes Tim MacMahon of ESPN (via Twitter).

MacMahon also adds (via Twitter) that Green, who is likely out for the season with a broken foot, had the ability to veto his inclusion in this trade, but won’t do so.

The move will reduce the Rockets’ roster count to 13 players on standard contracts, so the team will have two weeks to get back up to the NBA’s required minimum of 14 players.

Denver Nuggets:

The Nuggets were said to be seeking a first-round pick for Beasley and a second-round pick for Hernangomez, their two restricted-free-agents-to-be. They won’t quite meet that asking price, but they’ll at least get the first-rounder they were looking for, acquiring Houston’s 2020 pick in the deal.

In addition to sending out Beasley and Hernangomez, Denver also moved Vanderbilt and will bring back four players: Green, Bates-Diop, Napier, and Vonleh. The team had an open spot on its 15-man roster, so no one will have to be waived, though MacMahon reports (via Twitter) that Green is expected to be cut after the trade is official, once again opening up that last roster spot.

As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski observes (via Twitter), Napier and Vonleh are capable of playing rotation minutes and providing depth off the bench for the Nuggets. Bates-Diop will probably be further down on the depth chart. Napier and Vonleh will be unrestricted free agents at season’s end, while KBD has a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2020/21.

Having previously traded away their own 2020 first-round selection for Jerami Grant, the Nuggets can get back into this year’s draft with Houston’s first-rounder. Of course, with Wojnarowski suggesting Denver will continue to be active before Thursday’s deadline, that pick could theoretically be flipped in another move.

Atlanta Hawks:

The Hawks have been linked to several centers over the course of the season, reportedly expressing interest in Andre Drummond, Steven Adams, and Dewayne Dedmon, among others. In recent days, the club appeared to be zeroing in on Capela, a big man whose rim-running ability will complement Trae Young on offense and whose rim-protecting ability could help bail out Young on defense.

Atlanta will surrender Turner’s expiring contract, Brooklyn’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick, and an extra future second-round pick in order to lock up Capela. The move will give the Hawks some cost certainty in the middle — Capela, who has a $14.9MM cap hit in 2019/20, has three more years and about $51.3MM left on his contract after this season. He won’t be eligible for free agency until the summer of 2023.

Acquiring a center now rather than waiting until the summer and trying to land one in free agency will give the Hawks the opportunity to evaluate how Capela looks next to big man John Collins. A heel injury is currently nagging Capela, but it’s not believed to be an issue that jeopardizes the rest of his season.

A 2017 first-round pick, Collins will be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2020 offseason. If he meshes with Capela down the stretch, Atlanta would likely be more willing to invest heavily long-term in Collins, who is expected to seek the max or something close to it.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, the Hawks are currently carrying 15 players, so they’ll have to waive or trade someone in order to take back both Capela and Nene for Turner, even if they intend to eventually release Nene.

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Although the Timberwolves probably would have preferred to get the Warriors involved in this deal to acquire Russell, they’ll get a handful of intriguing assets in exchange for Covington and several low-cost role players (Bell, Bates-Diop, Napier, and Vonleh).

Beasley and Hernangomez will both be eligible for restricted free agency this summer, which will give the Wolves the chance to match any offer sheet they sign. Neither player had been great this season in Denver, as a crowded depth chart pushed them out of the rotation at times, but they both had solid seasons in 2018/19.

Beasley averaged 11.3 PPG with a .474/.402/.848 shooting line in 81 games (23.2 MPG) a year ago, while Hernangomez averaged 5.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG on .439/.365/.767 shooting in 70 games (19.4 MPG). The Nuggets explored contract extensions last fall with both players, reportedly offering Beasley $30MM over three years, but they didn’t reach a deal with either one. Now the Wolves will have the opportunity to evaluate them during the season’s final two months and decide whether they’re part of the franchise’s long-term plans.

In addition to acquiring those two Denver players – and a little-used project in Vanderbilt – the Timberwolves take on Turner’s $18.6MM expiring contract, generating some extra cap flexibility for the 2020 offseason by moving off Covington’s guaranteed money. They also secured Brooklyn’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick, which could end up at No. 15 or 16 if the Nets hang onto a playoff spot this spring.

This move doesn’t necessarily affect the Wolves’ plans to revisit a Russell trade with the Warriors, though like Allen Crabbe, Turner can’t be aggregated with another player in a deadline deal to match D-Lo’s salary. That Brooklyn first-round pick figures to be one of the assets Minnesota dangles in any offer for Russell.

Like Houston, Minnesota will have two openings on its 15-man roster once this trade is finalized, and will have up to two weeks to get back up to 14 players, the league’s required minimum.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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80 thoughts on “Wolves, Hawks, Rockets, Nuggets Complete Four-Team Trade

  1. padam

    Not sure why the Rockets did this one, but Minny and the Hawks did well.

    • SheaGoodbye

      “Not sure why the Rockets did this one”

      Reminds me of the summer when a certain player was acquired…

      • afsooner02

        Yeah the thunder improved on that one and you can’t say the same about houston.

        • the dude

          Thunder and Rockets have pulled multiple doozys yet where are the rings?

      • fishy 9 dogs

        You think so? I don’t know much about Beasley. Only a little about Hernangomez.

        • david

          You cleared some cap, got a first and evan turner. Evan turned is key as he will be flipped for Dlo is minny bites the bullet and sends out their 2021 drsft pick. Along with this years pick

            • greg1

              He can as long as it is now before the trade is made 100% official, and is not dealt with another player. Numbers won’t work on a 1 for 1 flip, nor would the Warriors accept him as the only player coming back in the deal though.

            • JamesW26

              Turner can be traded, he just can’t be aggregated with any other salaries in a trade.

          • ThePeople'sElbow

            the GSW don’t want the scrub that is Evan Turner, we already have 3 of those guys in GR3, Damion Lee and Alec Burks

            • x%sure

              Nobody wants scrubs, yet the worm turns.
              Technically contracts are traded not players.

        • SheaGoodbye

          I’d be happy. Beasley has a good bit of promise as a shooter and someone with enough athleticism to get to the hoop and dunk. Lack of opportunity has been his main issue this season.

          Vanderbilt is a crazy rebounder. He fell in the draft due to injury concerns but has been healthy since.

          Juancho has a bit of potential.

          Definitely a good haul in addition to the first (FYI, Beasley and Juancho will enter RFA this offseason)

            • SheaGoodbye

              Also a distinct possibility.

              Either way, good for the Wolves imo.

            • ThePeople'sElbow

              yeah because DLo and Kat will take Minny to the 8th seed

              damn Minnesota is going to have had 2 of the best 4’s/PFs to play the game and have nothing to show for it.

        • BartoloHRball

          Beasley was drafted injured, but he has sinced busted his butt to rehab and be a contributor. The Nuggets were very patient with him and with increased minutes he demonstrated a really nice upside this year. The problem from the Nuggets’ perspective was a lack of minutes for him bc they are the deepest team in the league; they regularly play 10 guys for real minutes.

          Beasley will be a RFA and he already turned down a 3/$30m, which was likely on the limits of what the Nuggets could reasonably offer w/o impacting other off-season moves. The goal was to a get a 1st round pick for him. Having to include Hernangomez was not ideal, but he can be a roll player. Half of the team is injured, which is why those guys got more minutes in the past 2-3 weeks.

          Bottom line…the Wolves got an above average shooter (when he is hot his shot is effortless) in Beasley and the Nuggets got a late 1st round pick to replace the one they traded away for Grant.

          I don’t know MIN too well, but I believe they have a ton of cap space and can afford to hang onto Beasley, which is likely the plan. He is a serviceable starter with offensive upside. The only reason he dropped in the draft (#19 in 2016) was because he had a serious leg injury, which scared some teams away. The Nuggets rehabbed him and the Wolves are better now with him. He is a hard worker, is well liked by his teammates, and he has a sweet jumper that will stretch the defense.

        • BartoloHRball

          Vanderbilt is also a nice role player. He isn’t going to shoot the lights out, but he has a knack for rebounding and he is a hardworking hustle guy. He has been buried on the Nugget’s bench for the past 2 (more?) seasons. He is super cheap and controllable IIRC, so a nice throw in for MIN. The Wolves definitely benefited from the Nuggets moving duplicate pieces bc I think all 3 guys can contribute something this season and maybe more.

    • x%sure

      Monte Morris was not a problem at pure PG that I know of. Murray is a bit disppointing but Shabazz is not at that level.
      Diop will improve gradually, already is.

      • x%sure

        Denver likely improved their bench mix in terms of getting players that try to support the team instead of themselves. They should get tighter if not more talented. The FO likely figures that it’s time to consolidate their gains. Not exciting but no surprise loss.

    • SheaGoodbye

      They were going to lose Beasley and Juancho to FA this offseason in all likelihood. Still don’t love it, but I can get the rationale from that perspective.

      Unless there’s another move in the works, and Woj thinks there may be. Perhaps Jrue?

    • rexington12

      it opens up more minutes for MPJ. addition by subtraction might be what Denver is thinking

  2. rxbrgr

    The trade works as stand, since Minnesota was able to use Graham trade exception to make the incoming salaries work.

  3. amk3510

    Houston is going to get manhandled inside by bigger teams on the boards… Both LAs, Denver and Utah. 2nd round exit at best

  4. SocraticGadfly

    As a semi-fan of the Nuggets, I’m semi-perplexed. Nothing here is horrible, and it increased depth at SF. But, there’s nothing to talk about, unless this gets flipped, in part for something else. The Rockets draft choice might be worth something.

    • JamesW26

      The Nuggets are light on draft picks to grease the palms on any future trades.

      That pick may move in the next couple of days, or be an asset to use next summer when Millsap and Plumlee expire and potentially open some room to make a move.

    • BartoloHRball

      The Nuggets lost their first to acquire Grant, a somewhat steep price for a guy who has been inconsistent this year, but I digress. The Nuggets need more picks because they are pretty good at finding late round value guys. I hope they hang onto the pick and get more, but they are in “Win Now” mode.

  5. hiflew

    I don’t think I really like this deal for any team except Atlanta. I think they made out like bandits.

    I am indifferent to Houston, could be good could be bad. Giving up Capela and the 1st seems like a lot for what they got.

    Minnesota traded a bunch of stuff for a bunch of stuff. Throw it against the wall and see what sticks I guess.

    I really don’t understand why Denver got in this or what they gain other than a low 1st in a weak draft.

  6. I guess something are yet to come.

    Houston give Capela and a 1st for only Covington, Bell and a 2nd? I guess another player, maybe a big from Atlanta or Vonleh

  7. Dxit90a

    Atlanta are clear winners in this trade. Wolves come out second best because I believe Beasley will shine as a starter if The wolves give him a chance. No idea what Houston is doing are they going to play small ball? Pick up another center through a trade? Time will tell.

  8. x%sure

    Atlanta GM Schlenk and star Trae Young are the immediate winners IMO. Young wanted something significant done and Schlenk did it with gain, not desperation.
    If it helps with deciding on Collins, bonus. Two macho attitudes inside; maybe Collins will feel free to diversify. Maybe.

    Fertita beat the tax, hooray. Buyout 5 coming.

    • Steve

      Good trade for my Hawks! As I said yesterday Teddish and Collins where never going to be included to bring in Capela. Capela will give Atl the freedom to pick the most talented player with their top pick ( still hopefully Weismann) as they now have a young player that can start at all five spots. Capela along with the improving defense of Collins and the surprising defense of two rookies ( Reddish and Hunter), could make us a very good defensive team.

      No we will not make the playoffs this year and we will still be in the bottom of the standings. However we should see improved play in the second half and make the playoffs in 2021!

  9. the dude

    Remember when Houston made like 9 trades to make that Chris Paul trade work? Knowing how much they wanted Cov, this looks like an intricate move set up by Houston lol.

    I mean, Hawks get Capela, and wanted Capela, but beyond that (and also, they have John Collins)

    Rockets get Jordan Bell and don’t have to pretend Hatrnstein and Chandler are starter material, even if they start them and play Bell off the bench.

    Hawks get that sweet Nene cap relief that everyone was supposedly after til the league caught on to the carefully worded contract detail attempt.

    Minny gets Beasley, whom is probs gonna be ok, Turner, who would prob be good for extra scoring off the bench in the playoffs IF Minny makes the playoffs, and juancho/Vanderbilt….im pretty sure at least one will never play a game for the wolves.

    Denver…wtf. KBD has potential but basically is Beasley without the adjustment. Bazz was great for Minny, but that could be the environment, he’s been traded a lot. Could throw him off. Green is a write off cuz he’s hurt and Vonleh more so cuz he’s terrible.

    Ok let’s be honest, I was only hoping Capela would end up in Boston. Now I can only hope the C’s can pry away Steven Adams haha

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Hartenstein and Chandler aren’t even in the Rockets rotation, they won’t be starting. They could still add another center, but right now it will be PJ Tucker and Bell getting the minutes at the five for Houston.

    • ChapmansVacuum

      The Thunder are simply to good to dump players. They cant justify it since they would still have a short window to make deals after the finals on expiring contracts if someone wants to give themselves the rights on Adams et all.

      So yeah they were supposed to be sellers, but with them in the running for a 4-5 seeding in the playoffs they have to hold pat I would think. I would be shocked if they deal away any talent if it isnt a lateral move that helps for this year.

      It would be a kinda bigger FU to the fanbase if they dealt away both the teams stars, were good in spite of it while adding tons of future and current assets, and then tore it down on all the non-longterm pieces when they were solidly a playoff team. Also they may want to build around this core and resign some of the players like Adams themselves with his rights, since the team has a good foundation and lots of future assets to build it out.

  10. Theone23

    So if I understand this correctly, Houston gives up the best player in this deal in Clint Capela PLUS yet another 1st round pick, and get back Jordan Bell, Robert Covington, and a 2nd round pick!? Either the Rockets are in love with the RoCo a little too much, or they overpaid and gave up a great young center on a long term deal and basically the last 1st round pick they have to trade, to get under the luxury tax. Tilman wants to straddle the fence between saving good old money and contending, and it’s clearly not working.

    • SheaGoodbye

      Nothing breeds desperate trades like desperate teams.

      I kinda figured something like this would happen once the season started to be honest.

  11. x%sure

    Minnesota’s defense will be worse, but that is not a goal in a losing year like keeping Towns or getting D’Lo will be.
    Maybe Evan Turner can make sense of what will be on-court… a possible coach one day. Culver needs more work on his game still but could use a tall PG like that as a role model.

    The new guys will impress Towns with talent more than the guys they lost did. It is possible Beasley or Juancho could develop into a scorer that GSW might want for D’Lo, Minny’s main goal. D’Lo probably was not available yet but Minny did what they could.

  12. BigGarg

    Denver fan here. Nuggets offered Beasley a 3 year, $30 mill contract but he turned it down. Hernangomez has been passed by Porter so he was on his way out. Made sense to get a first rounder for two guys who were going to move on. They are still two deep at every position and now have a first in this draft. Just more forward thinking (like the MPJ and Bol picks) by a great front office.

    • ZacharyH

      Atlanta gave up brooklyns lottery protected, and a second for capela. Clear winner

      • UGA_Steve

        Especially given where that pick is likely going to land (teens). Over the last 20 years you get about one quality starter in the NBA per season from all the picks from 10 through the end of the first round. So the chances of a useful player there now that high school gambles are no longer involved is slim.

        Love this trade from a Hawks perspective.

  13. Rockets didn’t do that bad. Got the best asset (in terms of trade value) in the deal in RoCo, and got rid of some dead money (Green and Nene) to jump well under the tax line. Maybe use a TPE. Minn’s 2nd right now is about 12-14 spots behind their 1st. Going naked at C, but they have in Capela’s absence pretty much. At least they now have some real length on the wing. Maybe they think Bell can work in their system. Still, that component of the deal is disappointing.

    Denver did well. Traded 2 former 1st rounders that fell out of the rotation and were likely to be lost this summer, and got a 1st and some PG insurance with Murray out.

    Minn got the Bklyn 1st that allows them to keep the Wiggins-DiLo swap option alive if they can agree on their own pick, and – honestly – got some real talent, but they’ll have to pay it to keep it beyond this year.

    Atlanta fans have to be the happiest. Capela isn’t Bill Russell, but relative to what Hawks have been doing on defense, he might as well be. Hawks might win some games.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Obviously they really wanted RoCo after they let him go 5 1/2 years ago. And they opened up two roster spots by trading Green and Nene so they can fill them with another trade or in the buyout market once the trade deadline passes on Thursday.

    • Dodgethis

      Warriors don’t want more picks. Minnesota has nothing to offer it’s a pipe dream, that should of been obvious when even adding two teams to the mix couldn’t get it done.

      • I have no idea what the Warriors wanted, but they asked only for picks (two firsts, no players other than for matching) – Wiggins was Minny’s idea and took the fun out of those picks.

  14. Tazza

    Houston don’t make it out of the second round if they make it there which I also doubt happens
    Yes they now have a Russ Harden Gordon Covington and Tucker but what happens against the Lakers with AD and Howard. Covington will take LeBron leaving Tucker to take AD and Eric Gordon on Dwight Howard???

    Imagine if they have to take on the Mavericks in the first round with Porzingod having almost a whole 1 foot average…. plus they have Bobi and Kleber and WCS ….

    Who cares if they can shoot the 3, protect the perimeter with 3 guys have 1 man float and have a big down low to block any drives to the rim…

    Rockets going backwards.
    As for the other teams, Nuggets do alright I guess… Wolves do pretty good…. Hawks do great…
    Would’ve loved to have seen Malik Beasley join the Hawks tho

    • SocraticGadfly

      AD and Dwight are on the floor together how many minutes a game? Get a bit of a grip there.

      • Dodgethis

        He’s not wrong tho. Doesn’t matter how many 3s you make when one of Davis or Howard just stand under the rim and score constantly. I’m not a Lakers fan at all, but no way can the rockets match up.

      • Tazza

        Considering AD prefers to play the 4 he will spend a lot of minutes with either Howard or McGee….
        two 7 footers or close to versus two guys 6’7 and 3 other dudes all shorter sounds like a cake walk for AD

        • SocraticGadfly

          Goes the other way around, though, too. AD, Dwight or both are either chasing 6-6 guys around picks all night or else standing back on uncontested 3s.

          • El Don

            3s are overrated, anyway.
            But the point is now Houston better get Joakim Noah… as he is the only chance for a ring Rockets has left this year… & believe me if Noah is that to you, probably start breaking the team, I doubted that Houston would make it out of the R1WC, now without Capela it would be the greatest miracle in the NBA in many years if they win a series with this team.

  15. phillyballers

    Houston got worse. Atlanta hot better. Minnesota got worse LT. Nuggets did okay.

    Minnesota got yet another expiring contract they can’t use to get DLo.

  16. Brad

    Atlanta had to be holding their breath during that phone call until they hung up and lost it. They made out head and shoulders above the other teams.

  17. Skip, Tampa

    Nicely packaged deal by 4 quality GM’s.
    Nuggets get a flippable 1st.
    Wolves, Rockets and Hawks are not done yet.
    Hawks are now free to move Collins and Wolves can go after Russell.
    Wouldn’t be surprised to see that as part 2 of this deal by adding Culver to the mix.
    Wolves: Russell
    Hawks: Culver
    Warriors: Collins
    Would certainly work well.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      Ha. DLo for John Collins? Um, no.

      GSW is aiming for bigger targets think Embiid or Simmons when Philly can’t advance past the 2nd round.

      • fishy 9 dogs

        Bro Collins been balling out, and I don’t even like the Hawks

  18. formerlyz

    Denver gets a backup 5 in Vonleh that can defend pick and roll, and can also space the floor, which they needed in certain matchups. Bates Diop is a more defensive swap for Hernangomez’s offense, and honestly I thought he should have played more for Minnesota. Napier gives them more of a true PG as a backup, if he sees minutes, while Monte Morris is a defensive minded combo guard. All of their guards can mostly play together in some combination at times. They also get the pick, so its decent value for Beasley, but Beasley also gives them a lot in their multiple guard lineups, and I may have considered keeping him over Gary Harris, so it will be interesting to see how this impacts them defensively. Part of me wonders why they didnt simply trade for Covington themselves, as he would have been a good fit for them on the wing.

    I like this deal for Minnesota if Hernangomez gives them offense at the 4 next to KAT, although I would have liked to see what Bates Diop may have done in a bigger role, and I think Beasley is a good fit there

    Dont get the deal from Atlanta’s side

    Houston pretty much gives up a useless pick, saves money, gets better, and can still add with Eric Gordon’s contract, or just look to buyout market or add one of the several bigs easily attainable in today’s game. This is why I thought they’d let Capela walk or sign and trade him when he was a FA previously. Jordan Bell is also a potentially very good fit, although you might still want to add a bit more size to him and Tyson Chandler.

    • I pretty much agree with this. Though, I think Vonleh was mostly filler in this deal. I would have thought Houston might have pushed for the Vonleh of early last season, but he hasn’t been that guy.

      Denver didn’t have the Bklyn 1st (or equivalent) to send to Minny (along with Beasley and JH) to get RoCo. Minny asked for 2 firsts, was told by half the board they’d never get it, and then (pretty easily) did get it – although the lesser of the two went to Denver for Beasley and JH – they could have taken that as well.

      • formerlyz

        Fair point about the draft pick. Vonleh didnt get many minutes for Minnesota, but when he did, he played well. Still think the Knicks should have kept him over signing Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson, but it probably doesnt matter at this point

  19. Weird trade for the Nuggets. Now i think they’ll make a move to bolster their frontcourt depth even more. Maybe Morris+Craig for Zizic+pick.

  20. nentwigs

    Timber-rockets are seemingly not going anywhere and are doing so without a plan in place. KAT will soon be demanding a trade to get away from this insanity.
    Franchise has been cursed from day #1. GIVE UP !!

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