A while ago, I touted the idea of the New Orleans Hornets trading Hilton Armstrong to the Clippers and Ike Diogu to the Hawks (in exchange for Digbeu's rights) to get under the tax. The Hornets didn't quite do this; they salary dumped Armstrong, but onto the Kings (whom I hadn't previously considered candidates for reasons I'm not sure of), and moved Bobby Brown to the Clippers, as was their perogative. I don't think they gave up any cash in the Brown deal, which would explain its advantages over salary dumping Diogu, but that in itself is a rather damning slant on their finances; they'd rather trade a healthy player at a position where they need depth, rather than pay a few quid to dump an injured player whose salary is keeping them in the tax territory and who will not play for them this season.
It's also not a glowing endorsement of Bobby Brown, really.
I was going to write a separate post to describe ways that the Hornets can avoid the luxury tax without trading away David West or anyone important, but I've decided that I can't be bothered. Here's a shorthand version:
1) On trade deadline day, trade Hilton Armstrong and $1.1 million in cash ($922,748 to cover his remaining salary, the rest as an incentive) to the Clippers in exchange for changing the protection on their 2016 second rounder - already owed to the Hornets from the Rasual Butler deal - from top 55 to top 50. The Clippers gain a free player who may or may not see the court, whilst more importantly earning some cash for their troubles and giving up quite literally the least significant thing imaginable. Meanwhile, the Hornets dump the $2.8 million salary of a player that managed to lose an unloseable backup centre spot to Darius Songaila. That can't ever be a bad loss.
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