Portland Trail Blazers management showed commitment to the team when they gave Carmelo Anthony a guaranteed contract last December. In the past few days, they closed the deal on a major trade with the Sacramento Kings. The Trail Blazers gave Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver and two second-round pics for Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan.
Veteran Trevor Ariza started his career in 2004 with the New York Knicks. He has jumped around several teams since then, ending with the Sacramento Kings this season. The Trail Blazers will be his 11th squad in 16 seasons. Historically, Ariza is a stand-up role player averaging over 10 points and almost five rebounds a game. In Sacramento, he is playing off the bench and averaging just six points, but grabbing the same five rebounds a game.
Kent Bazemore played for the Golden State Warriors at the start of his career back in 2012. He transferred to the Los Angeles Lakers before finding a home with the Atlanta Hawks. He was traded to the Trail Blazers this season. He averaged 8.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in his career.
According to Sporting News, earlier reports showed that it was Wendell Gabriel, not Wenyen Gabriel, who got traded. It was a typographical error. It is now confirmed that the trade involved Wenyen Gabriel. Wendell Gabriel doesn't exist, at least not in the current Sacramento Kings roster.
The five-player deal is the beginning of a flurry of deals that we expect to happen across the league. With the trade deadline of February 6th quickly approaching, NBA teams will do their best to complete this season's roster objectives. Last Thursday, the Atlanta Hawks traded Allen Crabbe for Treveon Graham of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
According to Talkbasket.net, the deal saved the Trail Blazers $12.3 million. Both trades look the same on paper. It seems like they are looking to find young players and see if they fit in their training program or open up salary space for them. Gabriel is an undrafted rookie, while the 22-year old Swanigan is in his 5th season, but only played in 11 games in his two seasons with the Kings.