Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Analyzing a minor move that was still a win for both parties.
FOR THE BLAZERS
This was a nice use of an asset few realized the Blazers had. Over the summer, the Blazers worked out a sign-and-trade with the Knicks for Raymond Felton rather than lose him for nothing. As part of the sign-and-trade, they picked up a $2.3 million trade exception that could be used sometime over the next 12 months. Seven months later, it ended up being used to acquire Eric Maynor.
Maynor has fallen out of the Thunder's rotation this year, but he's a definite upgrade for Portland at an important position. The Blazers had been playing Damian Lillard far too many minutes (38.5) this year because they could not trust either Ronnie Price or Nolan Smith to do anything useful. Maynor will at least allow Lillard to receive more rest and hold the fort down for longer. Terry Stotts also won't need to worry as much about staggering his lineups so that Lillard has to play with other reserves.
I also think we'll see better days from Maynor going forward. His production fell in his first season back after tearing his ACL, and his knee will be stronger next year. The Blazers will have to tender him a qualifying offer, but assuming Maynor gets no real offers in free agency, his salary is still manageable at $3.4 million.
FOR THE THUNDER
This deal helps provide even more wiggle room for Oklahoma City under the luxury tax. The Thunder were slated to be right up at the $70 million threshold prior to this trade, and now they can rest easy. Reggie Jackson has proven to be a much better option than Maynor behind Russell Westbrook, so this is no big loss for Scott Brooks.
It's unfortunate that Maynor's Thunder career flatlined after last year's torn ACL, but they were right to cut bait.
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