In what started as a disappointing night for the Brooklyn Nets, general manager Sean Marks turned the NBA’s Eastern Conference on its ear. Last night, the Nets acquired small forward DeMarre Carroll from the Toronto Raptors along with two 2018 draft picks, according to ESPN.
Brooklyn Nets Acquire DeMarre Carroll From Toronto Raptors
Nets Off-Season Recap Thus Far
As free agency began, the NBA was still in shock from the Nets’ trade with the L.A. Lakers. However, Marks was still expected to further partake in some high-level wheeling and dealing. The Nets were pursuing restricted free agents (RFA), as they did in 2016. Last summer, Marks and the Nets were zero for three with RFA signings. Brooklyn’s plans were ultimately thwarted.
Nonetheless, the Nets pursued Washington Wizards small forward Otto Porter Jr. last week. Porter was the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. In the 2016 season, Porter posted career-high averages of 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. He did all of this while shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from three-point range. Porter finished fourth in voting for the Most Improved Player award.
On Tuesday, it was announced the Nets offered Porter a four-year contract worth $106.5 million. This was the maximum possible contract offer for Porter. Porter signed the offer sheet on Thursday at noon – as soon as the league’s free agency moratorium had ended. The Wizards had until Saturday to match the offer and retain Porter’s services, or to decide not to and lose Porter. Wizards management publicly stated that the team would match any offers made to Porter.
At 10 p.m. Saturday evening, Washington Post reporter Candace Buckner confirmed what the Wizards decided:
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) July 9, 2017
Losing out on Porter was another disappointment for the Nets. As Nets fans were still reeling from the Porter non-deal, many questioned how the team would improve. The Nets had over $30 million in salary cap space. Pundits, prognosticators, experts, and fans alike knew that Marks had a contingency. Speculation was rife that newly unrestricted free agent guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (formerly of the Detroit Pistons) was the fall-back option. The best was yet to come, though.
Reports of the Caroll Trade
Rumblings of the brewing trade started innocently enough on Twitter with the following message:
I just saw Sean Marks talking to Masai Ujiri, if any transaction happens in the next 12 months between Nets+Raptors, kindly credit my report
— Daman Rangoola (@damanr) July 9, 2017
At the Las Vegas Summer League, Damien Rangoola of SB Nation spotted a conversation between Marks and Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri. This conversation led to the above Rangoola tweet. ESPN’s Ohm Youungmisuk later tweeted, “After the Lakers game, I saw Sean Marks and some of his staff members walking with a quick purposeful stride out of the building.”
Less than two hours after Rangoola’s tweet, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the deal on Twitter:
Toronto has traded DeMarre Carroll, a future first-round and second-round pick to Brooklyn for Justin Hamilton, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 9, 2017
Closer Look at the Trade
Wojnarowski reports, “For the Nets to take on the two years and $30 million left on Carroll’s contract, the Raptors will attach a 2018 lottery protected first-round and a second-round pick to the deal. The Nets will send center Justin Hamilton to Toronto in the trade, sources say.”
As per Wojnarowski, this trade was a salary dump by the Raptors. From their perspective, Carroll’s performance wasn’t on par with his salary. Also, clearing Carroll’s salary protects the Raptors from a massive luxury tax bill that they could’ve had, due to the huge salaries of All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
For the Nets, this deal helps repair the criminal damage done by former GM Billy King. This trade gives Brooklyn a first-round pick (the Nets’ 2018 pick goes to the Boston Celtics) and a second-round pick in the 2018 draft. The Nets acquire a consummate professional in Carroll. Carroll provides needed frontcourt assistance and veteran leadership to a young, developing Nets locker room. Carroll reunites with head coach Kenny Atkinson, as well. Atkinson was an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks during Carroll’s tenure there.
The nuances of this trade are interesting. As it currently stands, the Nets do not have the cap space to complete this trade until the Wizards officially match the Porter offer sheet. NBA rules compel Porter to report to the Wizards within 48 hours to have his physical done. The Wizards then have a window of 48 hours (after the Porter physical) to file and process the information. What does it all mean? The Wizards intends to leave it until the deadline, which is Wednesday. Wojnarowski has confirmed that much, writing “the Wizards plan to extend the hold on Brooklyn’s cap space by slow-playing the results of the physical exam Porter needs to pass. Toronto is held up, too, in free agency, based on the wait for Brooklyn.”
Initial Reactions: As Expected
Good deal for both teams. Wiz matching Porter offer sheet allows Nets to absorb Carroll $, add good vet + 2 picks. Raps get under tax
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) July 9, 2017
Terrific trade for the Nets, and a good move by Toronto to shed Carroll's salary after expensive summer & Norman Powell up next summer. https://t.co/oQxCVt1p9k
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) July 9, 2017
The obligatory New York Knicks zing:
— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) July 9, 2017
Carroll has already changed his Twitter account information and took the time to thank Raptor fans with a tweet:
— DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) July 9, 2017
Finally, all eyes peer towards the nation’s capital, as the Wizards continue their free agency shenanigans. Some consider Washington’s action as “bush league,” but their front office is led by a former Knick, Ernie Grunfeld. There’s the urban legend: “Once a Knick, always a Knick.” While Grunfeld seeks betterment for his franchise, personnel from both the Raptors and the Nets must hope that Wednesday arrives quickly and without incident, thus sealing this deal.