Hakim Warrick

And-Ones: BIG3, Francis, Coaching Candidates

The BIG3 basketball league, which will make its debut in less than three months, continues to add notable former NBA players to its ranks. According to a press release from the league, former star guard Steve Francis headlines the latest round of additions to the draft pool, along with Kendall Gill, DeShawn Stevenson, Joe Smith, Hakim Warrick, and others.

Meanwhile, one of Francis’ teammates from their Rockets days will be a co-captain on a new team called Power, per a press release. According to the announcement, Cuttino Mobley is joining forces with Corey Maggette on the club, which is one of seven to be confirmed so far. When BIG3 games get underway this June, the league will feature eight teams.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In a piece for ESPN.com, Kevin Arnovitz identifies five head coaching prospects to watch, including Raptors 905 coach Jerry Stackhouse, Hawks assistant Darvin Ham, and TNT analyst Brent Barry.
  • Speaking of future head coaches, commissioner Adam Silver believes a woman will coach an NBA team at some point, and wouldn’t mind seeing it happen sooner rather than later, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com outlines. Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is currently viewed as the top candidate to break that barrier.
  • Silver got involved last week in the league-wide debate over resting healthy players, calling it a “significant issue” and suggesting that there will be penalties for teams who don’t provide sufficient notice when resting stars. In the view of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, Silver’s involvement in the issue could create a “slippery slope” that contributes to undermining relationships around the NBA. Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com has the details, including the quotes from Popovich.
  • An ESPN.com panel is ranking each of the NBA’s front offices, assigning grades to each club’s coach, GM, and owner. The full list can be found right here, from the Spurs at No. 1 to the Knicks at No. 30.

Spurs To Audition Hakim Warrick

Hakim Warrick will work out for the Spurs on September 1st, reports Mike Waters of The Post-Standard. The eight-year NBA veteran tells Waters that he expects other free agents to take part in the workout, too, as they all attempt to secure spots on San Antonio’s roster in advance of training camp.

This past season was the first Warrick spent outside the NBA after the Grizzlies drafted him 19th overall out of Syracuse in 2005. Warrick signed last December with the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters in China and put up 21.3 points and 9.1 rebounds in 33.8 minutes per game across 22 appearances. NBA interest has nonetheless seemingly been scarce ever since the Magic waived him shortly after acquiring him at the deadline in 2013.

The Spurs have 14 guaranteed deals to go along with their partially guaranteed arrangements with Bryce Cotton and JaMychal Green. The lack of full guarantees for Cotton and Green helped prompt Warrick to accept San Antonio’s invitation to work out, as Warrick tells Waters, since that would ostensibly give Warrick a better chance of making the opening-night roster were the Spurs to bring him to training camp.

Trade Retrospective: Dwight Howard To Lakers

It’s an enormous gamble for franchises to trade away their superstars because there’s almost no way to get back equal value in return. Teams usually have to settle for quantity over quality, and have to bank on the returns panning out down the line, or being able to in turn, flip the acquired assets for another team’s star player in another deal. It’s a gamble either way you look at it, and might help in explaining the turnover rate of NBA GM’s.

The current Kevin Love situation playing out in Minnesota is a great example of this. Team president and coach Flip Saunders is still trying to decide whether or not to pull the trigger on the deal, and if he does, which package provides the best return? There’s no way to get equal value for a player of Love’s caliber, at least not for the coming season. If Saunders lands the right package it will benefit the Timberwolves more in the seasons to come, rather than during the 2014/15 campaign. This is true even if they do in fact land Andrew Wiggins, as most of the current rumors suggest.

Minnesota’s quandary made me want to take a look back at some other blockbuster trades where superstars changed hands, and to examine how the trades worked out for both sides. Since we’re discussing a big man, I decided to begin this series with a look back at the August 2012 deal that sent Dwight Howard from the Magic to the Lakers.

First let’s recap the trade, and all the assets and teams involved:

  1. The Lakers received Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, and Earl Clark from the Magic.
  2. The Nuggets received Andre Iguodala from the Sixers.
  3. The Sixers received Andrew Bynum from the Lakers, and Jason Richardson from the Magic.
  4. The Magic received Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, a 2014 first rounder from Denver via the Knicks (traded to Sixers for the rights to Elfrid Payton) and a 2013 second-round pick (Romero Osby) from the Nuggets; Maurice Harkless and Nikola Vucevic from the Sixers; Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga, a top-five protected first rounder in 2017, and a conditional second-rounder in 2015 from the Lakers (protected for picks 31-40).

Looking back at the trade from the Lakers’ perspective, it’s not as bad a deal as one would have thought, considering Howard ended up being a one-year rental. During Howard’s lone season in Los Angeles, he averaged 17.1 PPG, 12.4 RPG, and 2.4 BPG in 76 appearances. His time was most notable for his displeasure with then coach Mike D’Antoni‘s offensive system, and the perception that Howard wasn’t satisfied with being the second biggest star on the team after Kobe Bryant.

Los Angeles went 45-37 in Howard’s only season, earning the seventh seed in the playoffs, where they were swept in the first round by the Spurs. Howard then left the Lakers to sign a four-year, $87.59MM contract with the Rockets.

In retrospect, the Lakers didn’t surrender all that much for their one season of Howard. At the time giving up Andrew Bynum, who was coming off of a season where he averaged 18.7 PPG, 11.8 RPG, and 1.9 BPG, seemed like a gamble, considering re-signing Howard wasn’t guaranteed, but Bynum ended up missing the entire 2012/13 season, and he’s only appeared in a total of 26 games since then.

Josh McRoberts has turned out to be a valuable bench contributor, but he’s not a player who would have significantly changed the fortunes of the purple-and-gold. McRoberts was subsequently traded by Orlando to the Hornets for Hakim Warrick midway through the 2012/13 season, and most recently signed a four-year, $22.65MM deal with the Heat.

The biggest loss from the trade could turn out to be the 2017 first-rounder that went to Orlando. It’s top-five protected, which gives Los Angeles some margin for error. But unless the Lakers make a splash in free agency the next two summers, the loss of the pick will cost them a much needed cog in the rebuilding process, and will negatively impact the franchise. I would say that setback wouldn’t be worth the single season of Howard they received. The record the Lakers have compiled since the trade is 72-92, hardly the result they intended when making the deal.

The Nuggets received a big boost from Iguodala in his one season with the team. He averaged 13.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 5.4 APG while appearing in 80 contests. Denver went 57-25 that year, securing the third seed in the playoffs, before getting ousted by the Warriors in the first round.

Iguodala then left the Nuggets in a sign-and-trade deal with the Warriors that netted them Randy Foye. The Nuggets also swapped 2018 second-rounders with Golden State as part of that trade.

Foye had a decent season last year, averaging 13.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 3.5 APG in Denver. He actually outperformed Iguodala’s totals in Golden State, thanks to Iguodala being slowed by injuries for much of the year. Still, in the long term, Iguodala is a much more valuable player, especially on the defensive end.

From Denver’s perspective this trade wasn’t a great success. The one season of Iguodala cost them two excellent years from Afflalo, who averaged 16.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 3.2 APG in 2012/13, and 18.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and 3.4 APG during the 2013/14 season, numbers that surpassed anything that Iguodala has provided in Denver or Golden State. Afflalo was re-acquired by Denver this summer in a trade with Orlando which sent Evan Fournier and the No. 56 pick (Devyn Marble) to the Magic. Since the 2012 trade, the Nuggets record is 93-71.

From the Sixers’ perspective, this trade wasn’t a great deal–unless you are on board with their perceived tanking, and the assets they are gathering as a result. The acquisition of Bynum, which at the time was looked at as a win, turned out to be a disaster. Iguodala was a team leader, extremely popular in Philadelphia, and arguably the team’s best player at the time. Bynum had injury and motivation issues, and he ended up being far more trouble than he was worth during his brief stay in Philadelphia.

The loss of Harkless and Vucevic also doesn’t help the trade look any better from Philadelphia’s perspective. Harkless hasn’t set the league on fire, but he averaged 8.2 PPG and 4.4 RPG during the 2012/13 campaign, and 7.4 PPG and 3.3 RPG in 2013/14. He’s still only 21 years old and could develop into a valuable rotation piece down the line.

Vucevic, still only 23 years old, has turned out to be a very productive big man for Orlando. He put up 13.1 PPG and 11.9 RPG in 2012/13, and then 14.2 PPG and 11.0 RPG last season, far better numbers than anything from either Bynum or Richardson, who averaged 10.5 PPG and 3.8 RPG during his one healthy season in Philly.

The Sixers have gone 53-111 since the trade, a ghastly mark that stands in stark contrast to what they were envisioning when making the deal. They couldn’t have anticipated the injuries to Bynum, but that’s the risk a franchise takes with any transaction.

Finally, we come to the Magic. They were in a similar position to the one that Minnesota now finds itself in. They had a disgruntled superstar who wanted out, and they didn’t want to risk losing Howard for nothing if he left as a free agent. So, they made the difficult decision to deal away their franchise player.

After running through what the other teams received, and the minimal returns those assets provided, this might be one of the rare cases where the team trading away the best player actually came out on top.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Afflalo gave them two solid seasons, and Orlando probably should have retained him for another year, considering his talent level and affordable contract. Harkless has given Orlando decent production, and he hasn’t reached his full potential yet.

But the big prize was Vucevic. Productive big men are at a premium in the league, and he is still improving as a player. The problem will come after this season. Vucevic is eligible to sign an extension this summer, or he’ll become a restricted free agent in 2015. He won’t come cheap, and the Magic will have to decide if he’s worth the $10-15MM per season he will most likely seek in his new contract.

The final piece to this trade is Payton. If he can develop into a reliable starter, this trade will look better from Orlando’s perspective. Payton’s presence will allow Victor Oladipo to return to his natural position at shooting guard and reduce his ball-handling duties. The knock on Payton is his lack of a reliable jump shot, and with his questionable mechanics, it might not be a part of his game that will ever stand out. But if he can improve his defense, stay away from turnovers, and facilitate the offense effectively, he’ll be a valuable piece of the puzzle going forward.

Despite “winning” this trade, it hasn’t been reflected in the standings. Orlando has gone 43-121 since dealing away Howard. So, despite acquiring some intriguing building blocks, it also proves that one star player is far more valuable than a roster of good ones. Minnesota, take heed. You might have no choice but to trade Love, but no matter the return, your ranking in the Western Conference most likely won’t improve over the next few seasons.

Hakim Warrick Signs In China

Hakim Warrick has signed with Chinese team Liaoning Jiebao for the rest of the season and hopes to return to NBA afterward, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  Warrick last appeared in the NBA with the Bobcats last season.

The Syracuse product spent the first four seasons of his career with the Grizzlies before a series of moves took him on a tour of the Association.  Warrick signed with the Bucks in July 2009 and was traded to the Bulls in February 2010 before being sent to the Suns later that year for a second rounder.  The traveling didn’t stop there: Warrick was shipped to the Hornets in a three-team deal in July 2012, traded to the Bobcats for Matt Carroll in November 2012, and shipped to the Magic, who promptly cut him, in February 2012.

Last month it was reported that Warrick was in China, working out for the Sichuan Blue Whales, who were looking to replace former Rutgers big man Herve Lamizana.  For his career, Warrick owns averages of 9.4 PPG and 4.0 RPG, though those totals are buoyed mostly by his best years in Memphis.

Odds & Ends: Odom, Clippers, Kidd, Warrick

While there have been conflicting reports on how close the Clippers and Lamar Odom are to reuniting, it sounds like Clippers players are expecting the two sides to get something done. Asked by Sam Amick of USA Today whether he foresees Odom joining the Clips, Jared Dudley replied, “Oh, 100%.”

While Odom continues to work his way back into playing shape and the Clippers prepare for tomorrow night’s game in Minnesota, let’s check out a few odds and ends from around the Association….

  • The Nets are still trying to get healthy and to get all their offseason additions working together, but one offseason addition – coach Jason Kidd – hasn’t been impressive so far, a veteran scout tells Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. “He doesn’t do anything,” said the scout. “John Welch does all the offense. Lawrence [Frank] does all the defense…. I don’t know what Kidd does. I don’t think you can grade him and say he’s bad. You can give him an incomplete.”
  • In free agency, players typically like to secure longer-term deals, but that’s not beneficial when later seasons are non-guaranteed, writes Mark Deeks at The Score. As Deeks observes, a player like Omri Casspi could be stuck in no-man’s land next summer, since the Rockets will have until August to decide whether or not to guarantee the second year of his contract.
  • Deeks also reports (via Twitter) that free agent forward Hakim Warrick is in China, working out for the Sichuan Blue Whales. If the audition goes well, Warrick is expected to replace former Rutgers big man Herve Lamizana, according to Deeks.
  • Emiliano Carchia of Sportando passes along an Italian report suggesting that Justin Holiday, Jrue Holiday‘s brother, has turned down an offer from Italy’s VL Pesaro. Holiday was in camp with the Jazz after spending last season with the Sixers, and still appears to be searching for an NBA deal.

Magic Waive Hakim Warrick

The Magic have officially released Hakim Warrick, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Warrick came over in a deadline deal from the Bobcats, and USA Today's Sam Amick reported at the time that Orlando was expected to waive Warrick. The move leaves 14 players on the Magic roster, one less than the maximum, freeing the team to either bring in players on 10-day contracts or sign someone for the rest of the season.

The Magic will be on the hook for Warrick's full $4MM salary unless another team claims him off waivers, though Orlando could recoup some of that money through the set-off provision if he signs another professional contract this year. The 30-year-old power forward also has a $4MM team option on his contract for next season, but that will disappear unless he's claimed.

Warrick has been traded or released four times within the last seven months. He went from the Suns to the Hornets in July's Robin Lopez deal, and New Orleans shipped him to the Bobcats for Matt Carroll in November. Warrick and New Orleans were reportedly working on a buyout prior to that trade, but it doesn't appear as though the Magic were able to convince Warrick to take less money this time around.

Eastern Notes: Bucks, Warrick, Ohlbrecht

The calm after the deadline storm has teams reconfiguring lineups and making minor moves to fill out open roster spots for the remainder of the season or simply the next 10 days. Let's catch up around the Eastern Conference for the latest news and stories making headlines.

  • The Bucks made the move to acquire J.J. Redick with the mindset of winning this season, according to ESPN.com (courtesy of the Associated Press). With a deep backcourt, Milwaukee will look to secure the seventh or eighth seed and shoot its way beyond the first round of the playoffs.
  • Don't expect Hakim Warrick to be out of work long if the Magic decide to release the former Syracuse star, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Bonnell points to the Celtics as a possible landing spot to help provide depth off the bench. 
  • D-League big man Tim Ohlbrecht reportedly turned down a 10-day contract from the Celtics, says Sportando. The German center has spent the season with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers where he has averaged 13.3 PPG and 7.3 PPG.
  • Nets GM Billy King denies having had any interest in signing the newest member of the Knicks, Kenyon Martin, as the team already has enough frontcourt players at this point in the season, says Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Recap Of Deadline Trades

A complete recap of trades that were completed before Thursday's trade deadline:

Magic, Bobcats To Swap McRoberts, Warrick

The Magic and Bobcats have agreed to a trade that will send Josh McRoberts to Charlotte and Hakim Warrick to Orlando, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). The Magic are expected to waive Warrick after the deal becomes official, according to Sam Amick of SI.com (Twitter link). It's the second time Warrick has been dealt this season, as the Hornets traded him for Matt Carroll in November.

The Hornets and Warrick had been working on a buyout before the early-season trade, and it appears that's what the Magic will pursue as well. Warrick making $4MM this season, with a team option for $4MM that's likely to disappear unless another club claims him off waivers. McRoberts is making $3.135MM this season in the final year of an expiring deal, so the deal lines up well for salary-matching purposes.

Warrick was averaging 7.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 17.9 minutes per game with the Bobcats this season, and made 14 starts, but has appeared in only one game this month, as a reserve. McRoberts has put up 3.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG in 16.7 MPG this year for Orlando after coming over in the Dwight Howard blockbuster. The 6'10" power forward has shown versatility this season, guarding multiple positions, but he has seen his minutes cut recently as well, getting 14.8 MPG this month after seeing 21.4 MPG in January.

Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors contributed to this post.

Hakim Warrick, Hornets Were Working On Buyout

Soon after the Hornets traded Hakim Warrick to the Bobcats for Matt Carroll this week, Carroll and New Orleans began talks about a buyout for the swingman, who's making $3.5MM in the final season of his deal. Lang Greene of HoopsWorld reports the Hornets had been engaged in buyout discussions for Warrick, too.

Warrick, who's making $4MM this year on a contract with a team option for another $4MM next season, had trouble fitting into Hornets coach Monty Williams' style of play, according to Greene. He played in only one regular season game for New Orleans after averaging 14.4 minutes per game in 35 contests for the Suns last year. Warrick came to the Hornets as part of the Robin Lopez trade this summer. 

It's not entirely clear why New Orleans seems so intent on engineering a buyout. The Hornets have about $63.941MM in salary commitments this season, so a buyout for Warrick wouldn't have gotten them under the $58.044MM salary cap, just as a buyout for Carroll wouldn't. The team has 14 players on the roster, 12 of whom have fully guaranteed deals.