The New Orleans Hornets and Oklahoma City Thunder finalized the Tyson Chandler trade Tuesday. Marc Stein had broke out with reports that the deal was close to being done just a few hours before the league finalized it, as I wrote about here.
The full details of the trade were that the Thunder would receive Chandler in exchange for the expiring contracts of Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox. Hornets also receive the draft rights to DeVon Hardin, the 50th overall selection in the 2008 draft.
This move was nothing but a salary dump from the Hornets' perspective, as you don't just deal a top-10 center in the league for expirings and an average prospect. At first glance, the return for the Hornets seems to be mediocre, but it isn't as bad as it seems. Smith is a quality veteran who can still play in limited minutes.
Wilcox is somewhat like Chandler, an athletic big guy that has no offensive post game. With Chris Paul on the team, he can make Wilcox seem like a much better player than he is. On top of that, Wilcox is on a contract year, so you can expect him to play hard and earn one more long contract.
Then you throw in the draft rights to Hardin. In his collegiate career, Hardin was a solid 9-ppg, 7.5-rpg guy. Hardin is currently playing for Egaleo ΒC in Greece.
Trade Grade for the Hornets: C
What a steal for the Thunder, trading two bench guys and the draft rights to an average prospect for a relatively young big guy who seems to fit their plans of being an athletic running team. Chandler, 26, is a perfect fit with his defensive blocking ability to go alongside Kevin Durant's offensive game.
On top of that, the Thunder still have all three of their first round picks to improve the team next season. Imagine James Harden or Blake Griffin to go along with Russell Westbrook, Durant, Jeff Green, and Chandler.
Trade Grade for the Thunder: A