John Salmons was in all likelihood, a goner.
So for the Toronto Raptors to get much of value back for his services, seemed a bit of a fool's errand.
However this is Masai Ujiri we're talking about here, and about 30 minutes ago, news broke from both ESPN and Yahoo! Sports that the Dinos were in the final stages of a trade that would send Salmons to the Atlanta Hawks for Lou Williams and prospect Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira.
Not too shabby Masai.
At worst, the Raptors have to take on some extra short term salary (about $5.5M worth) to take a shot on a player who used to be one of the best bench players in the league.
At best, Lou Williams regains some of that "pre-ACL injury swagger," and gives Toronto not only a lethal weapon off the pine, but some more ball-handling insurance in case Kyle Lowry and/or Greivis Vasquez depart.
Also, in both scenarios, the Raptors also get a look at a 2013 first-round pick in Nogueira, another Brazilian with wingspan for days. Here is his Draftexpress scouting video:
It's not a perfect trade, as Williams could be a bust and Nogueira, who apparently has a decent-sized buyout from his Spanish team, may not be over for another season.
But there's not much downside here for the Dinos. Williams only has a year left on his deal so it's a small rental if he doesn't perform like his 2010-2012 self, and it enable the Raps to keep their mid-level exception in all likelihood. (We'll see what happens with Lowry, Patterson, Vasquez etc.)
It's a pretty solid move for the Hawks too. While I'm surprised they threw Nogueira into the deal, they can now waive Salmons so that they'd only be on the hook for $1M of his $7M salary. (Sidebar, WHY IS JOHN SALMONS BEING PAID $7 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THIS UPCOMING SEASON???!!) That gives them another piece of cap room and it looks like they'll have enough to go after a big-name free agent if they so desire.
Best of all though...
BEBE AND BRUNO.