Hornets trade Anonio Daniels to Timberwolves for Darius Songaila and Bobby Brown

Trade reported this afternoon on NOLA.com.

Real quick reaction to this deal since I’m on my way out the door. Let’s talk $$ first…

The Hornets rid themselves of Antonio Daniels’ $6.6 million expiring contract. Bobby Brown has just one season left on his deal, and is owed $736,420. Darius Songaila will make $4,526,000 this season, and has a player option worth $4,818,000 for 2010-11.

So the immediate savings for the Hornets are about $1.3 million, only double that because they also save on the luxury tax penalty.

From NOLA.com:

The Hornets’ current payroll, not counting the salary of Ike Diogu, which has not yet been made public, now stands at $73,656,549, down from $74,994,129 before the trade.

The team is still above the salary cap threshold of $69.96 million for this season. If the team does not get under that limit by the end of the season, New Orleans will be taxed $1 for each $1 over the limit.

As for the impact this trade will have on the basketball floor, I’m optimistic. I can’t say I know Songaila’s game well, but he at least gives us another big body up front. Notes on him from Hornets.com:

Songaila, (6-9, 248), averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 77 games (29 starts) for the Washington Wizards last season. The six-year NBA veteran out of Wake Forest University, has career averages of 7.0 points and 3.5 rebounds over 410 games (78 starts) for the Sacramento Kings, Chicago Bulls and Wizards. Songaila has appeared in 21 career playoff games, averaging 5.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in those contests. The former 50th overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, Songaila has helped his native country Lithuania to third and fourth place finishes, respectively, in the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.

As for Brown, I’d consider him an upgrade from Daniels at point guard. They were similar statistically last season, but Brown has the foot speed that Daniels lacks, so he should be able to break down opposing defenses a lot more. Notes on Brown from Hornets.com:

Brown, (6-2, 175), averaged 5.3 points and 1.7 assists in 68 games last season with the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves. Brown notched a career-high 21 points as a member of the Kings against the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 23, 2008. An undrafted rookie out of Cal State Fullerton in 2007, Brown spent the 2007-08 season playing for Alba Berlin of the German League. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 0.90 steals in 16 games for Alba Berlin, leading the club to its first league championship since 2003. Brown played for the 2008 Hornets Summer League team, leading the Hornets in scoring (15.2) and assists (6.2) over the course of six games.

Overall, I’m liking this trade a lot, but if I have any concern it’s that we’re now counting on two very green and unproven point guards to back up Chris Paul. Hopefully the coaching staff will take the recent words of George Shinn seriously and give the youngsters ample opportunities to develop.

More thoughts on this trade in due time.

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