The Louis Williams/Lucas Nogueira Trade
June 28th, 2014

(originally published elsewhere) In a trade agreed to last night, and perhaps already to have been made official by the time this sentence is finished, the Toronto Raptors agreed to trade John Salmons and his partially guaranteed contract to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Louis Williams and the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira. Toronto were previously on the cusp of trading Salmons to Memphis on draft night, along with the #37 pick, in exchange for Tayshaun Prince and the #22, the theory being that they intended to draft Canadian guard Tyler Ennis with their #20 pick and then taking young project Bruno Caboclo at #22. But when Ennis was taken 18th by Phoenix, the plan was scuppered, and the deal pulled. The Raptors would instead choose to wait for a better spot in which to use Salmons’s valuable unguaranteed contract. And they have now found it. Nogueira, the #16 pick in the 2013 draft, had been shopped by Atlanta in recent times. Despite averaging a very solid 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in only 16 minutes per game of Spanish ACB league option last season, the Hawks seemed to have other priorities, and have used those once-valued rights merely to dump some salary. Perhaps prompted to by Nogueira’s ongoing tendinitis problems – which are worryingly recurrent and severe for a 21 year old center whose game is largely based on his athleticism – Atlanta soured on this potential piece for the future in order to prioritise their present. They are not trading for John Salmons the player under any circumstance. Salmons has declined significantly, and despite a big minutes yield for the Raptors last season, he was mostly ineffective, shooting 36% on his way to a 7.6 PER. Nevertheless, his contract, which calls for a $7 million […]

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