Kevin C. Cox
The Hawks gave themselves much-needed breathing room under the luxury tax by dealing Anthony Morrow to the Mavericks.
The Anthony Morrow trade was about one thing and one thing only: finances. Let's explain.
FOR THE HAWKS
Atlanta's status with respect to the luxury tax had been a bit unclear. Tom Ziller noted that the Hawks were over the line prior to this trade, but that's only when you include Jordan Farmar's waived salary. It was somewhat unclear whether Farmar's $1.5 million salary counted for tax purposes, which explains the discrepancy. But with this deal, the Hawks now have plenty of breathing room with our without Farmar's leftover salary.
The Hawks ended up dealing Morrow, who makes $4 million this season, for Jones, who makes $2.9 million. For a team that was barely over the tax line last season and risked being docked for repeater penalties in the future, this was a huge coup. Atlanta didn't even have to surrender any additional assets to make the deal work.
Morrow is an elite shooter that can't do anything else and wasn't playing. Jones won't play either, but the Hawks lose nothing on the court and gain a lot on the books.
FOR THE MAVERICKS
Morrow can play, but I'm surprised the Mavericks didn't make the Hawks pay more for getting out of their potential tax problem. Dallas wants to save its powder this summer to chase bigger fish, so I don't see them re-signing Morrow unless he truly breaks out over the next half season. As it stands, he'll fight with Dominique Jones, Rodrigue Beaubois and Jae Crowder for scraps on the wing behind O.J. Mayo, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter.
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