As you may have heard, the Sacramento Kings traded Mike Bibby today to the Atlanta Hawks for Tyronn Lue, Anthony Johnson, Lorenzen Wright, Shelden Williams, and a 2008 second round draft pick. Now, I'm not a basketball aficionado
Bibby has been declining steadily over the last three years. His points-per-game average has decreased since his career high 21.9 average in 2005. His assists-per-game average has never been very high for a point guard, and has hovered just over 5 for his career as a King. His backup, Beno Udrih, played excellent during Bibby's injury absence. In addition, John Salmons, one of the most underrated players in the NBA, should also see extended time now that Bibby is gone. Salmons has seen a 6 point increase in his PPG average over last season, and this should go up. Also, he plays superb defense, something Bibby definitly can't do.
In return, the Kings recieved Shelden Williams, the 5th overall pick in the 2006 draft. For a team looking to rebuild, Williams is a great addition. He had an excellent collegiate career at Duke, and while he may not have lived up to his potential so far, he still has lots of room to grow. They also recieved what is in effect a bunch of expiring contracts.
Best of all for the Kings, they drop Bibby's huge contract. He's due $13.5 million this season and $14 million next year. All of the players the Kings recieved have expiring contracts except for Williams, who has $3.3 million due to him this season and next. The Kings have set themselves up to make a serious run in the offseason at some big free agents, and should be a serious playoff contender sooner than previously thought.
Most importantly, the Kings made a trade when they needed to. Sure, they recieved about 40 cents on the dollar for Bibby, but they freed up a lot of cap space for this offseason, and made themselves into playoff contenders in the next few years. As a Kings fan, I love this trade, and I hope this works out for both teams