NBA News & Notes: Magic Johnson completes two trades, Nerlens Noel sent to Mavs

February 24, 2017

Shortly after Los Angeles Lakers' owner Jeanie Buss wisely fired her bumbling, incompetent brother Jim, and then replaced him in the front office with the legendary Magic Johnson, her actions immediately paid dividends, as Johnson quickly executed two smart deals prior to the league's trading deadline.  For more on these deals, plus news on the league's other trades, see below:

Lakers deal Lou Williams for first round pick

Magic Johnson, Lakers President of Basketball Operations, made his first trade this week, dealing away the team's most productive player, Lou Williams, to the Houston Rockets in exchange for swingman Corey Brewer and an unprotected 2017 first round draft pick.

The move not only brings the Lakers an extra asset to stockpile with the projected late first round pick, but also will boost the Lakers chances of keeping their own lottery pick this year.  The Lakers will only keep their pick if it falls within the top three selections, and losing Williams, the team's best fourth quarter closer, could help the team "tank" and keep the pick.

Brewer, an athletic swingman who can defend, is essentially a throw-in making roughly the same amount of salary as Williams.

“This trade allows us to continue on the path of building something special, while maintaining future flexibility within the organization,” Johnson said. “Additionally, Corey is a proven veteran that will make a positive impact on our team right away.”

Brewer, 30, has appeared in 58 games (eight starts) for the Rockets this season, averaging 4.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.9 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Brewer has averaged 9.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists through 687 career NBA games. The former Florida standout was a two-time NCAA champion before winning an NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.

Williams owns career averages of 12.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists through 759 NBA games. In 125 games (36 starts) with Los Angeles, he averaged 16.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 26.5 minutes per contest.

The deal is also beneficial to Houston, as Williams adds another weapon off the bench to their high-scoring offense.

Dallas Mavericks acquire big man Nerlens Noel

The Dallas Mavericks announced that they have acquired forward-center Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for guard Justin Anderson, center Andrew Bogut, and a 2017 protected first-round pick.

Noel is young and athletic -- two traits the Mavericks roster lacks.  He became available due to the Sixers abundance of talent at the 5, as the team already has lottery picks Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor manning the position.

Noel is an active shotblocker who can run the floor.  His offensive game is still a work in progress, but fortunately for Dallas, he is young and has time to develop. Noel (6-11, 220) holds career averages of 10.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.6 blocks and 28.3 minutes per game in 171 games (140 starts) with Philadelphia.

The third-year man out of Kentucky is averaging 8.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 0.9 blocks and 19.4 minutes per game in 29 games (seven starts) this season. He is shooting 61.1 percent (107-of-175) from the field this year.

Noel was originally selected by the New Orleans Pelicans with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. His rights were later traded to Philadelphia along with a future first-round pick in exchange for Jrue Holiday and Pierre Jackson.

In his lone season at Kentucky (2012-13), Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.1 steals, 4.4 blocks and 31.9 minutes per game en route to earning First Team All-SEC, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Rookie of the Year honors. On Jan. 29, 2013, Noel set the UK single-game record with 12 blocked shots in a victory over No. 16 Ole Miss.

Noel suffered a torn ACL in a game against the Florida Gators on Feb. 12, 2013, ending his 2012-13 season. Despite the injury, Noel declared for the 2013 NBA Draft following his freshman year. He missed the entire 2013-14 NBA season recovering from knee surgery.

As a rookie in 2014-15, Noel averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.9 blocks and 30.8 minutes per game in 75 games (71 starts) while garnering NBA All-Rookie First Team honors.

Anderson (6-6, 228) was drafted by Dallas with the 21st overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. In 106 games (11 starts) with the Mavericks, he averaged 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 12.8 minutes per game.

Bogut (7-0, 260) was acquired by Dallas along with a future second-round pick from the Golden State Warriors on July 7, 2016 in exchange for a future conditional second-round pick. He averaged 3.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 block and 22.4 minutes per game in 26 games (21 starts) with the Mavericks this season.

Lakers acquire point guard Tyler Ennis from Rockets

In Magic Johnson's second trade, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired guard Tyler Ennis and the draft rights to guard/forward Brad Newley from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Marcelo Huertas.

Ennis is a 2014 former first round pick (18th overall selection) who will be brought in to compete with the Lakers young backcourt.  The veteran Huertas saw little playing time this season and was largely expendable.

Ennis has appeared in 31 games for the Rockets this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.1 assists in 6.3 minutes per game.  He owns career averages of 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 110 games with Phoenix, Milwaukee, and Houston.

Newley was selected by the Rockets with the 54th overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. A two-time representative for Australia’s Olympic team, he currently plays for AEK Athens in Greece.

Huertas averaged 3.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 76 games with the Lakers.

Dallas Mavericks waive guard Deron Williams

The Dallas Mavericks waived point guard and former All-Star Deron Williams.  Expect Williams to be snapped up by some playoff team looking to add a reliable playmaker off the bench.

Williams (6-3, 200) is a 12-year veteran who re-signed with the Mavericks on July 8, 2016. This season, he averaged 13.1 points, 6.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 29.3 minutes in 40 games (all starts). Among qualifiers, Williams ranks 10th in the NBA in assists per game.

Last season with Dallas, Williams averaged 14.1 points, a team-high 5.8 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 32.4 minutes in 65 games (63 starts).  He shot .414 from the field (321-775 FGs), .344 (97-282 3FGs) from three-point range and a career-high .869 (179-206 FTs) from the free throw line.  Among league leaders, he ranked 19th in assists and 15th in free throw percentage.

Nuggets add more size and acquire Roy Hibbert

The Denver Nuggets have acquired center Roy Hibbert from Milwaukee in exchange for a protected 2019 second round draft pick.

Hibbert, 7-2, 270, was acquired by Milwaukee from Charlotte in a trade on Feb. 2, 2017, and had yet to appear in a game for the Bucks. He played in 42 games (13 starts) for the Hornets this season, averaging 5.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.10 blocks in 16.0 minutes per game.

Overall, the big man has appeared in 656 career games (586 starts) over nine seasons with Indiana, L.A. Lakers and Charlotte, averaging 10.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.75 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game.

Hibbert, 30, is a two-time former Eastern Conference All-Star, having been named as a reserve for the Pacers in both 2012 and 2014. He was also named to the All-NBA Defensive Second Team in 2014.

The Georgetown University product was originally selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors before being traded to Indiana on July 9, 2008.

Wizards acquire Bogdanovic

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced that the team has acquired forward Bojan Bogdanovic and forward Chris McCullough from Brooklyn in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson, guard Marcus Thornton and a 2017 protected first round draft pick.

“Bojan is a very good shooter and a talented overall scorer whose versatility gives us an added dimension as we gear up for the stretch run,” said Grunfeld. “He is a proven starter that will provide us an added boost off the bench and allow us to be creative with our lineups.”

Bogdanovic (6-8, 225) has averaged career-highs of 14.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists this season, while shooting .357 (99-277) from three-point range in 55 games (54 starts).  He holds career averages of 11.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 212 career games (121 starts) while shooting .441 from the field, .366 from three-point range and .847 from the line in three seasons with Brooklyn. The 31st overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft averaged 11.2 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting .433 from the field and a career-best .382 from long distance in 79 games (39 starts) last season.

The 27-year-old sharpshooter has scored in double digits 44 times and tallied 20-plus points 12 times this season. He played for the Croatian National Team during the 2016 Summer Olympics, leading all scorers with 25.3 points per game while shooting .506 from the field and .450 from three-point range.

Bogdanovic was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after averaging 9.0 points and shooting .355 from three-point range in his first season (2014-15). Prior to the NBA, he played 160 games for Fenerbache Ulker of the Turkish Basketball League, averaging 13.7 points and 2.3 rebounds.

McCullough (6-9, 215) holds career averages of 3.9 points and 2.2 rebounds while shooting .429 from the field in 11.4 minutes per game. As a rookie in 2015-16, the former 29th overall draft pick averaged 4.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 24 games (four starts). This season, the Syracuse alum has appeared in 14 games with Brooklyn averaging 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds and has played in 31 games with the Long Island Nets of the D-League where he averaged 18.1 points and 7.7 rebounds to earn 2017 D-League All-Star honors. 

“We feel Chris is an intriguing prospect as a first-round pick who was recently named a D-League All-Star,” said Grunfeld. “He has high potential and we look forward to our staff continuing his development.”

Nicholson was originally acquired as a free agent by Washington on July 7, 2016, and averaged 2.5 points in 28 games this season. Thornton originally signed with the Wizards on March 9, 2016 and re-signed with Washington on July 28, 2016. In parts of two seasons in Washington, Thornton averaged 7.2 points in 47 games played.

“We thank Andrew and Marcus for their professionalism and their contributions to our team,” said Grunfeld.  “We wish them both the best moving forward in their careers.” 

By Staff of and news services

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