One good cost-cutting move apparently deserves another.
Just days after the Mavs swept up Lamar Odom up from L.A. in order to tidy up the Lakers’ books (helpful gent, that Donnie Nelson), Dallas has agreed — per Marc Stein of ESPN.com — to send Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez to Denver in exchange for a future second round pick. This isn’t an equitable trade, but it allows the Mavs to liquidate some depth for the sake of immediate salary savings and an extra chunk of cap space next summer.
|Rudy Fernandez||$2,180,443||-- (QO)|
|Team Salary Before Trade (Estimate)||$69,998,293||$53,484,505*|
|Team Salary After Trade (Estimate)||$64,748,850||$50,241,505*|
*The Mavs have some decisions to make that could drastically reduce this number. They can release Lamar Odom (who has a partially guaranteed salary worth just $2.4 million, marking savings of $5.8 million) and/or amnesty Brendan Haywood ($8.4 million) or Shawn Marion ($8.4 million). Both moves would pull the Mavs down to around just $36 million committed salary going into 2012 free agency.
This trade isn’t one to like, but one to stomach. Corey Brewer has the potential to be a very solid rotation player, but the Mavs realistically didn’t have the minutes to accommodate him. Lamar Odom and Vince Carter put a strain on the rotation as it is, and as Stein noted in a follow-up tweet, the Mavs have designs to make Rodrigue Beaubois a more integral component this season. Sometimes it really does just come down to a salary move and a playing time crunch.
As for Fernandez, the writing has seemingly been on the wall for months. But regardless of which rumors were true and which were exaggerated, Fernandez will no longer be buried on the Dallas bench, and Rick Carlisle sheds the burden of having to worry about this team’s most fragile ego. I don’t blame Fernandez for wanting to play, and I have no problem with him — reportedly — piping up in request for a trade. But saving Carlisle the headache might be best for all involved, even if that makes Fernandez’s brief tenure in Dallas a bit of a waste. The Mavs gave up a pretty decent first round pick in order to acquire him in the first place, and now will send his salary along with Brewer to nab a second round pick. None of that really adds up, but the Nuggets get capable wing players to fill minutes while the Mavs get some clearly important financial relief.
It’s a legitimate bummer that the Mavs will never again benefit from Brewer’s infectious energy, but it’s an acceptable expense on a team with such amazing depth.