The Clippers made a pair of minor trades shortly before Thursday’s deadline, dealing veteran forward Antawn Jamison to the Atlanta Hawks and reserve center Byron Mullens to the Philadelphia 76ers in moves that brought them closer to the luxury tax threshold while opening up a pair of roster spots.
The Clippers traded Jamison, and an undisclosed sum of cash to Atlanta for the rights to Cenk Akyol, a 6-foot-7 forward who was the Hawks’ second-round draft pick in 2005 but has never appeared in the NBA and now plays in the Turkish Basketball League.
The Clippers traded Mullens, 25, and a future second-round draft pick to the 76ers for a conditional pick.
The departures of Jamison, 37, who was making the veteran’s minimum salary of $1.4 million, and Mullens, who was making about $1 million, lowered the Clippers’ payroll to about $71.3 million, slightly under the tax threshold of $72.5 million for this season. Both Jamison and Mullens were in their first season with Clippers.
Jamison was able to disembark the Clippers’ charter flight bound for Memphis after the flight was delayed.
A proposed trade with the New York Knicks involving Clippers backup point guard Darren Collison and small forward Matt Barnes as well as Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert and point guard Raymond Felton did not materialize. Shumpert sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Wednesday night and is expected to be sidelined about two weeks.
Jamison, a two-time All-Star, was averaging a career-low 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in only 11.3 minutes per game. Mullens was averaging 2.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.2 minutes per game.
The trades leave the Clippers woefully thin at the power forward and center spots, with only Ryan Hollins as a backup to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. The team will likely add a free agent big man for depth.