View Full Version : Payton-Allen trade - who got the best of it?

02-20-2003, 09:27 PM
Seattle gives up the franchise (Payton) but gets an all-star (Allen) who's 7 years younger. They desperately need a point guard, but at 22-30 they had zero shot at the playoffs anyway, so this is something they can address in the offseason.

Milwaukee continues to completely revamp the league's most underachieving 2001-2002 team. Big Dog (Glenn Robinson) gone preseason. Now Allen finds himself shipped out too. Payton (my favorite non-KG NBA player) will hopefully bring some much-needed fire (and defense) to a soft Bucks team. Desmond Mason is a talented young player, but they really could use some size. The 2 biggest questions for Milwaukee: 1 - How does Sam Cassell fit in now? (Rumor has it they're trying a Cassell-for-Spreewell trade) 2 - Can they resign Payton this summer (he's a free agent).

I give the Sonics a B+ - they were going to lose Payton this summer to free agency, but they managed to get a star in return. The only negatives are: they had to give up Mason, and Allen's contract runs 2 more years (after this one) at $30 mil

Bucks - incomplete. If they can sign Payton and if they can move Cassell, I'll give them a B. If they are stuck with Cassell, they get a C+. If they lose Payton, it's a D.

02-21-2003, 12:45 AM
I just don't see the point for Milwaukee. Whats wrong with shipping everyone *else* out and using Allen as a key cog in that rebuilding. Its not like getting Payton, Campbell and possibly Spreewell will really matter.

I mean, anytime you can get a guy like Payton, it can't be bad. Heck, they guy is top 5 all time at his position (Magic, O, Zeke, Pasty). Hard to say getting him is a bad thing. And like you noted, Des Mason is a very nice catch. My guess is all these high priced guys they are brining in are going to be ejected at year end, along with Karl. Thus giving the new coach a clean slate and lots of cap room.

Plus, don't forget that the owner is trying to sell the team. That plays into this trade too.

02-21-2003, 03:02 AM
Payton and Karl get along well together. I don't follow basketball very closely, but I wouldn't take free tickets to a Sonics game right now--they suck. I was expecting Payton to be traded, but I was stunned that they let Mason go along with him. Losing both of them for Allen, an old guy, and another guy who's seen 9 teams in 6 years doesn't leave me feeling like Seattle got the best of it. My favorite Sonic player of all time is the coach now. Payton comes in a distant second. And why dump Kenny Anderson? I hope Payton can get himself a ring. Through the years here, he rarely whined and complained. Having to sit through Griffey, The Big Unit, and Shawn Kemp was painful. I wanted to see those three fall flat on their faces. Two out of three ain't bad...

02-21-2003, 09:28 AM
First of all, to clarify some of your misconceptions:

(1) Bucks had/have no intention of trading Sam Cassell. He's ridiculously underpaid, which makes him one of the top assets in the NBA. Payton prefers playing 2-guard at least 1/2 the time anyway. (And Cassell for Spreewell is a bit ludicrous - Cassell makes around 3-4M, Spreewell makes ~13M - not even close to doable unless Milwaukee threw in 1/2 the team.)

(2) I seriously doubt that the Bucks did the deal on the assumption they'd resign Payton. His agent is notoriously unrealistic, but more importantly, the owner is trying to sell the team. Sad as it may be, in the NBA it's easier to sell the Clippers than it would be to sell a top team (with a big payroll). The Bucks got rid of over $10M in salary for next year, and got a cheap young guy (Mason) in return. Unless Payton's current asking price (~$12M+ per year for 5+ years) drops like a rock, he'll got a full 6 weeks in his Bucks career.

(3) Payton's relationship with Karl is overrated. Payton's a phenomenally competitive player with an attitude - he's going to clash with any coach, especially one as strong-willed as Karl. However, no matter how tough he may be to deal with, there isn't a single NBA team that wouldn't love to have him (unlike Iverson, who's idiocies are more problematic).

The analysis: The Sonics' managerial party is surely continuing as I type. To win in the NBA you need 2 to 2 1/2 superstars. They just got one in exchange for one they had no intention of re-signing. If Lewis can develop into the other, then all they've got to do is build around them. Basically, it amounts to a Mason for Allen deal - a cheap promising young player for a well-paid young All-Star. The Bucks made out fine too - they purged themselves of a huge salary (and it seems that Karl wasn't in love with Allen anyway, despite his annual trips to the All-Star game) and got a young stud in return. This year, they're now in a position to make some noise in the East. Down the road, they've got a young small forward who's tenacious defensively. If Mason can continue to improve his scoring, he could become that 1/2 superstar - or maybe even a full share. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

Also - Seattle will surely play better the rest of the way this season. The addition of Campbell will have a bigger effect than the Allen-Payton/Mason trade. People seem to be overlooking that Campbell fills their biggest need - and they gave up a pine-rider to get him.

02-21-2003, 09:44 AM
"Plus, don't forget that the owner is trying to sell the team. That plays into this trade too."

--This should be much more of a key point than a footnote. In Big Dog and Allen, they've unloaded a SIGNIFICANT amount of salary over the past several months.

My prediction: The Bucks play out this season, possibly making the playoffs, possibly not. They sign-and-trade Payton for one or two young, tough big guys (or possibly some nice draft picks). Now, the team is suddenly young, talented and cheap, with cap room to build for the future. Very, very attractive for a potential buyer.

02-21-2003, 01:58 PM
They can't really sign-and-trade Payton without taking on $10-15 million in salary in return (Payton's outgoing salary when he signs a new deal), which would defeat the point.

02-23-2003, 07:49 PM
They would take a cap hit, but it would still likely be smaller than the obligation they had to Allen (roughly $14M/yr IIRC). And of course, the cap hit would be totally worth it if they get quality young talent in return for him.

If ALL they were interested in was cap room, they would just let him go to free agency after playing 30 games for the Bucks. Can't imagine that would be worth it.

02-24-2003, 09:04 AM
I suspect their thinking is that Payton will get squeezed the way a lot of guys did last year with the luxury tax fears, and will settle for $8-10M per year. If so, they'll sign him for 5, if not, he'll walk and they'll tell everyone how happy they are with the Mason and cap space for cap-clogger, non-defender Allen.

02-24-2003, 12:13 PM
"if not, he'll walk and they'll tell everyone how happy they are with the Mason and cap space for cap-clogger, non-defender Allen."

--I'm sure this is the spin they'd try, but no one would buy it. If they don't get long-term talent value for payton, either in sign or trade, this is one of the worst trades in years. Mason and cap space are nice, but they could have fetched a lot more than that for Allen IMO.

02-24-2003, 02:37 PM
I totally disagree. Here's one way to look at it from Milwaukee's position, assuming they let Payton walk:

Give up:
Ray Allen - max contract, marginal defense, didn't get along with Karl, team underachieved at least three years in a row under Allen's suspect "leadership" (I realize Karl takes some of the blame for this, but Karl did more with less in Seattle and at some point the players take a chunk of the rap). Really - he was paid top dollar and wasn't giving superstar production. If you go down the list of max contract guys you'd want to build a team around, he's not in my top 10 (O'Neal, Bryant, Duncan, Garnett, McGrady, Kidd, Webber, Nowitski, Pierce and Marion). Certainly, I'm not saying he's not a valuable player - I think Seattle comes out a better team after this deal for a number of reasons - but thus far, he hasn't demonstrated that he's the kind of player to lead his team to the promised land.
Conditional pick - as I understand it, this is either a crap 1st rounder or 2 2nd round picks in this year's draft. Probably not a huge factor, especially since I'm pretty sure that if the Bucks make the playoffs, it's two 2nd round picks.

Payton for the rest of the season - one-for-one, a clear improvement over Allen the rest of the way this year, dominant defender to go along with same level of offensive skills as Allen, with a straight-up Allen-for-Payton trade, I'd have moved the Bucks from the 6-8th place in the East to 3-4th.
About $10M per year against the cap and the balance sheet after this season (net of Allen plus Ollie minus Mason) - makes the team more attractive to potential buyers. It also affords them the possibility of being a player in the free agent market the following summer when a bunch of their veteran's contract's expire (I believe the only people under contract for 2004/5 are Thomas, D. Mason, Cassell, Gadzuric and Redd - a fine core).
Desmond Mason - a very valuable player, mostly 'cause he's still under the rookie wage scale for another year. Very good defender, insanely athletic - sort of a poor man's Shawn Marion. Also, an excellent fit with Karl, who loves athletic defenders and was sorely lacking them in Milwaukee.

Overall - Bucks much better this year. If Payton leaves, they've gained cap flexibility and a cheap, young player who's a far better defender than Allen, although not anywhere near the offensive force. However, Desmond was averaging 14 and 7 off the Sonics bench, so he could put up decent numbers in a starting role (16 and 8 seems reasonable). Of course, if the Bucks resign Payton for 4-5 years, then I think they come out of this deal smelling like roses.

02-24-2003, 02:51 PM
I agree that signing Payton to a multi-year would be the best situation for the Bucks. We'll see if it's what Payton wants, though... I have my doubts.

Regardless, it will still be a year or so before we really know who came out well in this deal (unless Payton leads them to the Finals this year, which is a longshot). I trust that Grunfeld has a long-term plan in place, along with contingency plans. Who knows what's going on inside that dude's head sometimes...

As for Mason, I've heard nothing but good things about the guy; I'm glad we've got him. But he's still a work in progress, and only time will tell what he is capable of in the long-run.

03-01-2003, 09:58 AM
Karl's quote yesterday, regarding the deal:

"[A]fter the season there's a future with personnel, a future with trades, a future signing Gary or not signing Gary. There's all types of adventures and opportunities we didn't have before. Before we were a (luxury) tax team that had personnel that was not together, not fitting. I think Ernie and Herb (Bucks owner, Sen. Herb Kohl) have done a great job of opening up our opportunities."

Does that sound like a team that made the deal fully intending to re-sign Payton? Looks to me like they'll make a vague effort - if he resigns at the right price, great, if not, they still would have made the deal.

03-01-2003, 10:21 AM
"Does that sound like a team that made the deal fully intending to re-sign Payton? Looks to me like they'll make a vague effort - if he resigns at the right price, great, if not, they still would have made the deal."

--You may be right. The interesting thing about this quote is that it comes from Karl and not Grunfeld. If it were coming from Grunfeld, I wouldn't read a word into it, as he has a long history of feeding red herrings to the local media... From Karl, though, I could buy it a little bit.

Regardless, the Bucks should have a VERY interesting offseason this year. I'm just hoping they don't blow their future in the process.