Saturday’s trade between the Kings and Trail Blazers is unlikely to greatly impact the Western Conference playoff race, but it did give basketball fans an opportunity to realize that there is not a mystery NBA player named Wendell Gabriel.
Portland sent Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver and two second-round picks to Sacramento in exchange for Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan and Wenyen Gabriel. Unfortunately for Gabriel, early reports misnamed him and had to be quickly corrected. Perhaps ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes were victims of the autocorrect feature?
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The 22-year-old took it in stride, saying he “got Woj’d” on Twitter.
As for the trade itself, this appears to be about future flexibility rather than the players involved. The Trail Blazers saved more than $12 million in the deal, dramatically cutting down their luxury tax bill. The Kings created a roster spot and acquired two expiring contracts in Bazemore and Tolliver.
Sacramento is also scouring the market in the hopes of finding a landing spot for center Dewayne Dedmon, who was fined $50,000 by the NBA for his public comments about wanting a trade. This could just be the start of a busy few weeks for the Kings.
The important takeaway here: If Bulls big man Wendell Carter Jr. inexplicably gets moved before the Feb. 6 deadline, don’t call him Wenyen.
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