That Rich Cho. He made not have the schmoozing skills necessary to win over his former employer Paul Allen up in Portland, but he certainly has the on-phone gravitas to talk other teams into making great trades for his teams.
His new team, the Charlotte Bobcats, has already put together a solid deal in the hours leading up to the 2011 NBA Draft. According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bobcats have dealt Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingtston, and their 19th overall pick to the Milwaukee Bucks for the seventh pick in the draft, one that used to belong to the Sacramento Kings. For their troubles, the Kings get John Salmons and the 10th overall pick. Former King Beno Udrih will go to the Bucks, and former King (and Buck up until Thursday) John Salmons will head back to Sacramento. Corey Maggette, at times a cheerier-sort of a Jackson-type, will go to Charlotte.
On the surface, it does appear as if Charlotte gave up quite a bit to jump 12 spots in a weak draft, but they're set to be able to pounce on the player of their choice (various reports indicate it's either defensive-minded athlete Bismack Biyombo, or Texas tough guy Tristan Thompson), while ridding itself of about $1.5 million in salary next year while retaining a scorer in Maggette. Maggette will be on the books for another year following 2011-12, making eight figures, but the Bobcats couldn't afford to let any more scoring go away, and Jackson isn't the type of player that is long for the various teams he chucks for.
Maggette is a chucker nonpareil, but the Bobcats will take it for a chance to load up on depth with both the seventh, and their already-in place ninth pick in the draft.
It's been clear for a few weeks that Milwaukee didn't see a whole lot it admired with the 10th pick, and a one-year rental of Jackson (with his ability to shoot, something the Bucks needed badly last season) isn't the worst thing in the world. Neither is the presence of Beno Udrih, because the Bucks suffered badly when former back up point man Luke Ridnour went to Minnesota last offseason.
Sacramento's motives are less clear. Salmons played well for the team earlier this decade, but he tailed off badly in his first full year with the Bucks last season, and the 31-year old has three guaranteed years worth over $24 million in salary due to him. The Kings have the cap space needed to take his deal on, but is he worth dropping three spots? When the Kings are already loaded at the wing position? Especially when that seventh pick appeared to be quite coveted in the days leading up to the Draft?
We've had a paucity of Draft day deals, if not chatter, for Thursday. Does this one either open up the floodgates, or rest as the biggest deal of the night?