Sacramento Kings – B-
Get: Greivis Vasquez
Give: Tyreke Evans
The Kings did a great job trading Evans, while obtaining equal compensation. The Kings did not want to be put into the same position as the Pelicans were in last season with Eric Gordon. Similar to Gordon, Evans did not want to return his team and he is inconsistent. They were smart to let Evans walk, unlike the Pelicans with Gordon. Although Vasquez does not have the talent or skill that Evans possesses, Vasquez is a competent point guard, who is great at distributing the basketball. The 26 year old point guard had a breakout season last year, averaging 14 points and 9 assists. With the money they were going to re-sign Evans, the Kings can now spend money on a small forward or power forward. However, the Kings should never have come to this point. They should have been able to let Tyreke improve and grow as player, but instead they surrounded him with bad players, who took his playing time. However, now the Kings have even more okay point guards and shooting guards that will not make a difference this season. Expect them to be in the running for Wiggins during next summer’s draft.
New Orleans Pelicans – B+
Get: Tyreke Evans and Jeff Withey
Give: Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez
After a great rookie season where he averaged 20.1 ppg, 6 apg, and 5 rpg, Tyreke’s play has greatly declined. However, a change of scenery may allow Tyreke to return to his rookie form, when he was a legitimate star in the league. Evans will be able to play with good players around him, which never happened while he was with the Kings. The Kings earn a B- in this trade because they added a guard when they desperately needed a forward or center. Trading Vasquez is not a horrible decision because his value was sky high after his solid season. Evans’ new contract is pretty hefty. If he can return to his past results, the deal could be a bargain, but if he plays like he did last season, it will be bad financially. If the Pelicans can trade Gordon for a small forward or center, this trade will be elevated to an A because Evans does not have the knee problems like Gordon. After the trade for Holiday, the loss of Vasquez will hurt. However, the loss of Lopez may force them to go to the free agent market to pick up a center. Davis is currently not a center because he is neither strong enough or tough enough to battle with the big boys down low.
Portland Trail Blazers – B
Get: Robin Lopez
Give: Jeff Withey and Cash
After losing double-double machine JJ Hickson, the Trail Blazers needed to find a replacement who could match Hickson’s success. The Blazers have found that man in Robin Lopez. Although Lopez is not a offensive dynamo like his brother, Brook, Lopez is a quality center in today’s terms. Lopez had a breakout year for the New Orleans Hornets last year, 11.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 1.6 blk. Lopez is a really good defensive player, who can help Aldridge score down low. Lopez is a cost effective option at center as well, $5 million per season. Tiago Splitter, a similar player, was given $9 million this offseason. The best part of the Blazers trade was that they gave very little for a starting center. Although it is not official, the Blazers gave Jeff Withey for Lopez, which is a great trade for a starting center. Although Withey has the skills to be a good defensive center, he does not have the offensive capability or build of Lopez. Portland is the only team that did not take any risk during this trade. If Evans succeeds, the Kings will look really bad. If Evans fails, the Pelicans would have traded a good starting point guard and a given a lot of money for an average player.
Stats from Baseballreference.com and pics from espn.com