The NBA was turned upside down by a blockbuster trade on Wednesday afternoon, with Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul sent on his way to the Houston Rockets. Not wanting to be left out of the circus in Houston, Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo has reportedly executed a deal to send one of their bench bigs to Texas.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the man with the scoop.
Philadelphia has traded Shawn Long to Houston for cash and a 2018 second-round pick, league source tells @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 28, 2017
The Sixers confirmed the move through an official press release distributed by email.
With Houston moving heaven and earth to make salaries legal and matchable in the Paul trade, Long’s move to Houston is likely part of the larger machination for the Paul trade. As SB’s Mike Prada explains, Houston is looking for players with the sort of small, non-guaranteed deals like the one Long is on.
Houston needs to add more outgoing money to complete the deal. They could do this by attaching another big salary, but they actually want to keep those players around. So, the Rockets have adopted a different approach: aggregate as many tiny salaries as possible, preferably ones that are non-guaranteed so the Clippers could simply waive the player upon arrival with no cap hit.
On the Sixers end of things, they got something for nothing here. Long was going to be hard pressed to make the team with the roster crunch looming, and picking up some cash in addition to a pick next year—heavily protected though it might be—is a solid transaction for Colangelo.
Because Long’s deal was so small, it doesn’t make a material difference for Philadelphia’s summer plans in free agency, but it is one less person to think about for the team. Long exceeded (minuscule) expectations when he got some burn at the end of the 2016-17 season, but he will be best known to fans as the guy who Ben Simmons landed on, leading to his broken foot and missed rookie season.
Happy trails, Mr. Long. Try to stay out your teammates’ landing zone wherever you end up next.