Looking down the barrel of some significant luxury tax penalties, Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri is moving swiftly to get below the tax line while keeping his team competitive in the NBA's wide-open Eastern Conference.
Ujiri pulled off two trades in about 12 hours, sending veteran forward DeMarre Carroll to Brooklyn in a salary dump and landing C.J. Miles in a sign-and-trade with Indiana for Cory Joseph, three people with knowledge of the dealings told The Associated Press.
The Raptors and Nets agreed to the Carroll deal late Saturday night, with Toronto sending a future first- and second-round pick to Brooklyn with Carroll and getting Justin Hamilton in return.
The deal allowed Toronto to offload Carroll's remaining two years and $30-million (U.S.) from its books, which helped the Raptors dip below the punitive luxury tax line in a summer when they re-signed point guard Kyle Lowry to a three-year, $100-million deal.
Carroll was coming off a disappointing season in which he averaged 8.9 points on 34-per-cent shooting in 72 games. Still, his abilities as a defender and his veteran presence were important for a Raptors team that is trying to close the gap on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who swept Toronto out of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
So Ujiri moved quickly to plug the hole, agreeing to terms with Miles on a three-year, $25-million contract and sending backup point guard Joseph to the Pacers to complete the trade. The 30-year-old Miles is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. He shot 41 per cent from three-point range and is an accomplished defender as well.
Dealing Joseph opens up more time at point guard behind Lowry for emerging talent Delon Wright while giving the rebuilding Pacers an experienced ball-handler after losing Jeff Teague in free agency.
Carroll, an oft-injured forward, thanked Toronto fans on Sunday morning in an Instagram post that included a picture of both Toronto supporters and the Barclays Center, the home of the Brooklyn Nets.
"It was a blessing to play for Toronto and for the entire nation of Canada," the post said. "It's definitely something I will remember for the rest of my life!!! "BrooklynNets...looking forward to meeting y'all and showing you that #Hardwork!!!"
Carroll also added that he's a member of the Nets to his Instagram bio.
The 30-year-old signed with Toronto as a free agent in 2015, but was hampered by injuries that limited him to 26 games in 2015-16 and 72 games last year.
The 6-foot-8, 212-pound Carroll averaged 8.9 points per game last season while playing a little more than 26 minutes a game. Those numbers were cut in half during the post-season in which the Raptors were eliminated in the second round by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Also on Sunday, the Raptors signed first round draft pick OG Anunoby to a rookie scale contract. Anunoby, 19, is under contract through the 2018-19 season, with two team option years to follow. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, as per team policy. Toronto selected the 6-foot-8 combo forward 23rd overall at the NBA draft in June.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were also negotiating with Miles in a potential trade that would have sent Cole Aldrich to Indiana. But the Wolves refused to add Oklahoma City's lottery-protected 2018 first-round pick they got from Utah in the trade for Ricky Rubio to make the deal palatable for the Pacers.
ESPN first reported the trades.
For rebuilding Brooklyn, it was the latest in a series of moves designed at accumulating as many quality assets as possible. GM Sean Marks has been creative in his willingness to accept contracts other teams view as onerous in exchange for valuable pieces.