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DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) - Though it is not the big name that Dallas Mavericks’ fans may be hoping for, the Dallas Mavericks have traded Dahntay Jones to the Atlanta Hawks for Anthony Morrow.
Who is Anthony Morrow?
Anthony Jarrad Morrow is a 6-5, 210-pound, fifth-year shooting guard from Georgia Tech. The 27-year-old, who also plays some small forward, is “one of the best shooters in the game,” according to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, “and you can never have enough of those.”
The scouting report on Morrow is that he is a stellar shooter and can catch-and-shoot with the best in the league, but that he struggles on defense. He sports a career .450 percentage from the field, including .425 from the arc. It’s worth noting that Morrow’s shooting numbers have been on a downward trend since his rookie season, but usage and situation can account for some of that.
Though he rarely gets to the free-throw line, drawing a shooting foul only 3.3-percent of the time this season, he knocks them down at almost a 90% clip. Morrow is a decent rebounder for his position, grabbing nearly 9-percent of available defensive rebounds for his career and gets his numbers without dominating the ball on offense.
Morrow had fallen out of favor in Atlanta, averaging a career-low 12.5 minutes per game, due in no small part to Kyle Korver’s career season. Not surprisingly, Morrow’s per-game averages this season are the lowest of his career. Encouragingly, however, his per 36-minute averages are right in line with the rest of his career.
According to SynergySports, most of Morrow’s scoring opportunities come in spot-up shooting situations, where he shoots 47.5-percent from the field, hitting 1.2 points per possession, ranking him 29th in the NBA this season.
Also, be prepared for plenty of pull-up jumpers in transition, where Morrow hits 35 percent from the field, (36.4 percent from the arc) and is good for 0.95 points per possession.
Why the Deal Got Done
The motivation from the Mavericks’ side is simple: they traded a guy, Jones, who wasn’t really making an impact, for a guy who might. Further, since Morrow’s $4 million salary will come off the books this summer, his contract is Plan Powder-friendly as well.
From the Hawks’ perspective, the deal is all about money, and the looming Repeater Tax. Since Atlanta did not find a suitable deal for Josh Smith, they were roughly a million dollars into luxury tax territory this season, and were tax-payers last year as well. Since the repeater tax will arrive in 2014-15 and will impose harsh penalties on teams who were taxpayers in three of the four previous seasons, Atlanta was seeking to get out of being a tax-payer this season. With the deal, Atlanta saves about $1.1 million this season to avoid the luxury tax. Dahntay Jones also gives them a serviceable swingman on a cap-friendly, expiring contract.
“Can’t wait to feel that AAC energy soon,” Morrow tweeted moments after the 2 p.m. deadline.
Like Dallas, Atlanta is hoping to make a big splash this summer in free agency and was hesitant to take on long-term salary commitments.
It’s hard to say who “won” the deal as both teams got something they needed. Atlanta gets out of the luxury tax territory and Dallas gets a shooter for their second unit. Dallas traded something they didn’t need for a useable piece, and Atlanta gains long-term flexibility by dumping a guy they weren’t using anyway.
It’s a trade that works for both teams. Though neither hit a home run, they both hit solid singles. … Oh, and Morrow is pals with Mavs “Plan Powder” summer target Dwight Howard, too. You know, for what it’s worth.
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