I'm sure you've heard it by now. The Atlanta Hawks have made a trade deadline move, acquiring Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong from the Washington Wizards for Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford and a 2011 first round pick.
From a financial and salary cap standpoint, this deal works. Atlanta is sending $9 million in salary over to Washington (Bibby $5.5M, Evans $2.5M, Crawford $1M) and taking on $10M from Washington (Hinrich $9M, Armstrong $1M). The trade works because it's within the 125% fudge factor exception when teams are over the salary cap.
As far as the luxury tax goes, Atlanta may or may not be over it as a result of the trade. At first blush, it looks like they are over the $70.3 million threshold. They'd be somewhere around $70.9 million after this all shakes out.
However, it's simply too early to tell if they will be paying the tax man. A lot of the calculation has to do with bonuses and what, if any, exemptions the Hawks can use on some of their players. Suffice to say, if they're over the tax threshold, it wouldn't be by a heck of a lot either way and it wasn't a concern to ownership.
As far as next year goes, the Hawks are basically unaffected. Only Hinrich is under contract next season for $8 million. They subtract Bibby's $6.2 million salary and Crawford's $1.1 million. Evans is an expiring contract. You're looking at the addition of $800,000 to the books for next year. However, the lack of a first round pick puts Atlanta slightly ahead. Obviously, they'd have to sign an additional player since this was a 3-for-2 player deal.
Conclusion: The trade has little impact on the books for this or next season. Atlanta may go into the luxury tax this year, but not by much.
Bibby Vs. Hinrich
From a personnel perspective, the player the Hawks wanted here is Hinrich.
The former Chicago Bulls point guard may not be getting any younger at 30, but he's three years younger than Bibby, and is a better defender. However, do not expect much slashing from him into the post. Most of his buckets are going to come from an all too familiar place for Hawks fans -- on jump shots. Hinrich's sweet spot is in the 10-15 foot range and he is the all-time Bulls leader in 3-pointers.
In that respect, he's similar to Bibby, although he is a little more efficient with the basketball, connecting on 45-percent of his field goals this season as opposed to 43-percent by the Bibster. His assists numbers are slightly higher (4.1 vs. 3.8) this year, but the assist-to-turnover ratio of both players are in the same general range.
Where you are going to see an upgrade for Atlanta is on defense. Because Hinrich was never an elite point guard, he had to get by at learning other phases of the game. He is a very good help defender that knows how to get into another player's face and contest a shot or two. However, he can sometimes get beat in isolation, but is better than the league average.
Keep in mind however, that Hinrich has moved to the bench as John Wall has progressed in Washington and that Hinrich has been hampered by a calf injury of late. One would assume that the Hawks assessed the injury before making the move and that it's nothing serious. With Jeff Teague perched on coach Larry Drew's bench, expect Hinrich to take over Bibby's starting duties at point.
Conclusion: Advantage Hawks
The rest of the deal
The Hawks took a risk giving up on Jordan Crawford, who could turn into a decent two guard. However, with Joe Johnson locked up long term, his ceiling was limited in Atlanta.
Evans was disappointing this season. You're losing some bench depth, but not a heck of a lot. Expect Damien Wilkins to take over a lot of Evans' role off the bench.
Armstrong provides the Hawks with depth off the bench at center and forward. However, I don't think you're looking at much more than a third stringer here. I'd be shocked if he moves past Jason Collins and Zaza Pachulia on the depth chart.
Whatever draft pick Washington gets here (and the reports are that it's the Hawks 2011 pick), it will be a late first rounder. While it may have some value, it won't have a ton of value.
Overall impact of the deal
The Hawks did what they had to do to shore up the point with a serviceable point guard that plays defense and stay within their salary structure.
It wasn't a huge move by any means, but Atlanta really doesn't really need a scorer at the point and they do not have the maneuverability or the financial means to make a big splash at the deadline. The trade doesn't make the Hawks favorites in the East or even catapult them ahead of the Orlando Magic in the Southeast Division standings.
It does however, give them a little bit of a better chance come playoff time. Whether it's enough? Who knows.