Smart and crafty general managers like the Orlando Magic’s Rob Hennigan are really doing things so clever with the restrictions of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that it’s like watching them play chess when they make trades and free agent acquisitions.
Hennigan in Orlando, Daryl Morey in Houston, Danny Ainge in Boston, Sam Presti in Oklahoma City—and a number of other GMs have found guys like the following list of 17 inexpensive players (some of whom later received bigger contracts, or will soon), and here’s a look at them:
- ORL: Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless (all three acquired via trades), Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn (draft picks)
- HOU: James Harden (trade), Chandler Parsons (draft, trade, repurchase!) and Omer Asik/Jeremy Lin (via free agency)
- BOS: Jared Sullinger (draft), Courtney Lee (trade), Avery Bradley (draft);
- OKC: Serge Ibaka (draft), Thabo Sefolosha (trade), Kendrick Perkins (trade) and Eric Maynor (draft; now traded to Portland)—you get the Idea, I think.
The idea that so many more intelligent and creative GMs are looking at these young guys they acquire in their first few seasons in the league is not a coincidence.