There's nothing like a convoluted NBA trade.
General managers deserve some sort of medal for the way in which they're able to work around the salary cap. Whether it's taking on expiring contracts or including a third team, each season you're completely dumbfounded by the amount of work that has to go into trades in the NBA.
It's not as simple as trading Player X for Player Y. In order to get that trade, you've got to throw in the expiring deals of three other players—one of which probably has a no-trade clause—and possibly throw some cash in as well.
In that spirit, here's updates on some of the bigger deals that could happen this offseason, and one player who is only left hoping his team works him into a trade.
Brandon Jennings for Jeff Teague
One of the more surprising rumors came from ESPN.com's Marc Stein. He reported the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks were discussing a deal that would swap Brandon Jennings with Jeff Teague:
An alternate scenario began to make the rounds as Sunday bled into Monday suggesting that a far wilder set of moves could soon follow and involve Atlanta as well as Milwaukee, Sacramento and possibly Cleveland.
Sources briefed on the situation told ESPN.com that the Hawks and Bucks have in recent days discussed a sign-and-trade deal to land Brandon Jennings in Atlanta and send fellow restricted free agent Jeff Teague to Milwaukee to reunite with former Hawks coach Larry Drew. ESPN.com reported early in free agency that the Bucks, at Drew's behest, had interest.
This sounds like a pretty good deal for all parties involved.
Jennings hasn't been happy in Milwaukee and wants to play for a big-market team. The Hawks should be a big enough team for him and are about the best he's gonna get at this stage of free agency.
By getting Teague, the Bucks are ensuring that they aren't going to lose a top young point guard. Part of the fear in losing Jennings is that you're letting such a good player walk out the door. However, it's no guarantee what kind of attitude Jennings would have should he remain in Milwaukee next season.
Instead of letting the player go for nothing, Milwaukee would instead be getting back a 25-year-old point guard who averaged 14.6 points and 7.2 assists last year. Teague would also benefit from moving into a situation where he'd be one of the key pieces offensively.
Golden State Works Sign-and-Trade with Denver and Utah for Andre Iguodala
Although Andre Iguodala is on his way to the Golden State Warriors, he may need to take a bit of a circuitous route to get there. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Warriors would work a three-way trade with the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets that would ultimately end with Iguodala's arrival to the Bay Area:
The Golden State Warriors are in advanced discussions on a three-way, sign-and-trade scenario centered on delivering a trade exception and Utah Jazz free agent Randy Foye to the Denver Nuggets, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Andre Iguodala
In the deal, which could be finalized on Monday, Denver would sign-and-trade forward Andre Iguodala to Golden State for the four-year, $48 million contract he had agreed to sign with the Warriors. This would create a $12 million trade exception that the Nuggets would have a full year to use before it expires.
Utah would sign-and-trade Foye to Denver on a three-year, $9 million deal, with a team option on the third season, sources said.
The sign-and-trade would give the Warriors the salary cap flexibility to sign their 2013 first-round pick, Serbian Nemanja Nedovic, and preserve the Warriors' midlevel salary exception. Golden State would send Utah a future second-round pick for its role in facilitating the deal.
That's a lot of work just to get Andre Iguodala on the payroll and open up a couple more millions in the process. It's definitely worth it, though, if it gives Golden State that much-needed financial flexibility.
If anything, the only argument that could come from this deal is whether or not Foye is worth just a second-rounder. Although he only averaged 10.8 points a game last year, Foye did shoot 41.0 percent from behind the arc. The Jazz weren't a very good team when it came to three-point shooting, so Foye's got a lot of value as a three-point specialist.
Omer Asik Not Getting Out of Houston
Following the signing of Dwight Howard, it's not a huge shock that Omer Asik wants to play elsewhere. His game is not all that different from Howard's, so it's not as if the two are great compliments to one another.
Asik is seeing his playing time and influence on the team likely dwindling. However, the Houston Rockets are apparently intending to roll with both big men on the payroll, per ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst:
Shortly after Howard announced his decision, Asik was in contact with the team and asked to be moved. The Rockets, however, have turned away offers thus far and will continue to do so, sources said.
On Sunday at the Orlando Pro Summer League, Rockets' coach Kevin McHale said the team will try to mend fences with Asik.
"With Omer, he had a great year for us last year and really became one of the top centers in the league," McHale said. "It's just when you have an opportunity to get Dwight, it's hard not to. I'm sure Omer right now is a little down in the dumps, but we'll pick him up."
McHale said he can see lineups when Asik and Howard would play together in addition to Asik, who, along with Howard, would create perhaps the best defensive and rebounding rotation in the league, backing Howard up. McHale called to mind the 1980s when the Rockets used lineups with Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson.
"You do play two bigs," McHale said. "You have to get spacing and you have to make sure your small guys have got to make sure they keep the court spaced."
Of course, the Los Angeles Lakers thought the whole "two bigs" idea would work last year with Howard and Pau Gasol. Instead, it was largely a failure until the end of the season, and then the Lakers were swept in the first round.
All of this could just be posturing on the Rockets' part. The general consensus is that they will trade Asik, so they want to try and build demand by creating the perception that he isn't going anywhere.
If he does end up on the block, Asik would likely have some good value. He averaged 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a game last year. While a bit limited offensively, Asik is good on the defensive end and a tremendous rebounder.
It might be better for Houston to get whatever it can back for Asik than to have a malcontent on the bench.