A four-team NBA megadeal appears to be in the works.
According to ESPN.com's Chad Ford, the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets, Indiana Pacers and New Jersey Nets are close to completing a set of trades cascading from a Trevor Ariza move to New Orleans.
Point guard Darren Collison and small forward James Posey would leave the Hornets for Indiana, and the Pacers would in turn send Troy Murphy to the Nets. Finally, guard Courtney Lee would move from New Jersey to Houston.
For Houston, the move is principally one made to dump salary and due to a lack of positional need. The Rockets currently have Shane Battier, Jordan Hill, Chase Buddinger, the recently acquired Kevin Martin, and first-round pick Patrick Patterson at the two and three spots on the court, making Ariza, and his contract, unnecessary. Houston was scheduled to be well over the luxury tax, but by trading Ariza for Lee, still on his rookie deal, the Rockets are set to save $10 million next season.
For New Orleans, the deal significantly upgrades its starting five. Ariza would slot in as starting small forward, and while Collison has great value as a promising young point guard, the Hornets have minimal need for him with Chris Paul on the team. Additionally, they are able to dump Posey's bad contract.
The Pacers immediately improve at point guard, with Collison set to split time with veteran T.J. Ford. Posey's veteran presence will also help in the development of youngsters such as Collison, Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert.
Murphy, a player who consistently averages double-doubles, will head to New Jersey to mentor Derrick Favors and provide an insurance policy in the frontcourt. Lee, an undersized swingman who primarily scores by slashing, may not have been a great fit with slashing ball-handler Devin Harris, and spot-up shooter Anthony Morrow is set to fill in his spot.
Each team appears to be "winning" in this four team deal.
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