Could Three-Team Deal Affect Carmelo?

by Ryne Nelson

Yesterday’s three-team deal could have big implications in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. Or it could mean next to nothing…

But, before we go further, let’s review the deal’s particulars, as first reported by Yahoo!‘s Adrian Wojnarowski:

The New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets have agreed in principle on a three-way trade that will send Terrence Williams to Houston, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic and a 2012 first-round pick from Houston will go to New Jersey. Nets forward Joe Smith will join the Lakers, who also will send their 2011 first-round pick to New Jersey. In an effort to create luxury-tax savings by trading Vujacic’s $5.5 million salary for Smith’s $1.35 million, the Lakers were willing to include their first-round pick.

Here’s a crude break down:

Nets: Sasha Vujacic + Lakers’ 2011 first round pick + Houston’s 2012 first round pick (lottery protected)
Rockets: Terrence Williams
Lakers: Joe Smith

The Nets now have assets: five first round picks through 2012 (two are lottery protected), Vujacic’s $5,475,113 expiring contact, and the No. 3 pick in last June’s Draft, Derrick Favors.

But, as the Nets learned over the summer, giving up players for a non-guarantee is not smart. LeBron took his talents to South Beach. Carmelo could just as easily take his to the Nets’ rival across the Hudson.

Looking at the bright side… even if the Nets are unable to acquire Anthony, they can now offer a very lucrative deal to a future marquee free agent.

Fun Fact: While Vujacic and Williams will be putting on just their second jerseys of their career, Smith will be donning his 12th (besting Jimmy Jackson’s NBA record 11).