If you've been reading this site for the last two and a half years, you know that I also cover the Minnesota Timberwolves. This comes in handy when the two teams play each other ("Hey, Derek. I gave you the Timberwolves game because I figured you were covering it anyway.") or when the two teams make a trade like they did on Tuesday.
By now you've most likely heard that the Hornets have shipped Gary Neal and a 2019 second round pick to Minnesota for Mo Williams and Troy Daniels. This is far from a blockbuster deal, but one that could benefit the Hornets. Let's take a look at the pieces incoming and the pros/cons that come with each.
Pros: Williams will give the Hornets a point guard that could hold down the position until Kemba Walker returns. At the age of 32, Williams is still efficient, and is averaging 6.4 assists per game as well. There's also the threat of him going off like he did against the Pacers for 52 points.
Cons: At times, Williams is too quick to call his own number. Williams can make plays for others, but too often looks for his own shot. Going from Neal to Williams won't be a huge adjustment for Hornets fans in this aspect, but Williams is more efficient. The other concern with Williams is his health. Williams has missed time this season with both back spasms and an ankle sprain. If Walker isn't 100 percent, there's no guarantee that Williams will hold up, especially for a playoff run.
Williams has also been a lackluster defender this season. Often times, Williams has been well behind his man as a result of being unwilling or unable to keep up with him.
Pros: Daniels is 23 years old and was an all-star in the D-League. In last spring's playoffs, Daniels lived up to his reputation as a shooter shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from three in four games.
Cons: Daniels might not be a good NBA player. Aside from his four game outburst in the playoffs, Daniels has struggled with both the Rockets and the Timberwolves. As a throw-in in the Corey Brewer trade, Daniels played just over eight minutes per game in 19 games.
This is on a Timberwolves team berift of shooting and riddled with injuries. Really, Daniels could have found minutes at the backup point guard spot, but the Timberwolves didn't think much of him as a ballhandler, but then couldn't crack the shooting guard rotation either. Instead, the Timberwolves opted to play not-point guard Zach LaVine at lead guard, and even Chase Budinger over him on the perimeter.
Going to a playoff team like Charlotte, Daniels' chances to don't seem any better since teams with postseason aspirations don't usually focus on player development. It would be suprising if he was able to take minutes from Lance Stephenson, Gerald Henderson or P.J. Hairston. All of these players are just better than Daniels is right now. Unfortunately, Daniels has a guaranteed $947K contract for next season. This may seem like an inconsequential amount, but it's still guaranteed money for a player whose production could be replaced by a player on a 10-day contract or taken with a second round pick.
Like I said at the top, this is not a huge trade that is going to swing the Eastern Conference power balance. Williams should be able to manage the game well enough until Walker gets back as long as he holds up. And being able to shift Lance Stephenson back to the perimeter will only enhance the team's depth.