As the saying goes, there are many doin's a-transpiring. We've already gone over a few of them, but there were more moves made yesterday that are worth talking about.
First off is the trade that moved Yaroslav Korolev to Reno and Marcus Hubbard to Albuquerque. So it may finally be able to be said that the team that ended up with Korolev got the better of the deal. As Scott wrote in the comments yesterday, Korolev reportedly asked out of Albuquerque, who already had Carlos Powell and Kevin Pittnogle; once they traded for Kurt Looby, Korolev essentially got pushed out of the frontcourt entirely. He's really a small forward who got pressed into duty elsewhere. He played pretty well early on in the season, but his rebounding seems to swing from very good to nonexistent. He's still probably more (ridiculous) upside than being ready to play in the NBA at this point, but he's shooting almost 44 percent from outside and doesn't turn the ball over or foul very much. He should be a decent player to stick in between Desmon Farmer and Rod Benson.
Hubbard, on the other hand, has now been traded twice this season, first from the Vipers and now out of Reno. His stock somehow went up, too, when you consider that the guy RGV got in their deal was waived soon thereafter, which is a bit surprising considering his performance this year. I mean, he's been okay? I guess? But after a pretty solid start to the season he seems to have reverted to his innate Hubbard-ness, with inefficient scoring and mostly indifferent rebounding. He'll back up Pittsnogle on the Thunderbirds, which is fitting because he also hangs around the perimeter.
In other trade news, after coming off of an injury waiver, Bakersfield's Justin Hawkins was traded to Iowa for center John Edwards. Brian Butch has played well for the Jam, but Edwards gives them a pretty solid backup and/or insurance. I'm not crazy about Edwards, mind you, but he averaged nine points and five rebounds in his past two D-League seasons, and as long as he brings that off the bench? Ayyyyyyyyyy. Of course, Edwards has been on Iowa's roster for awhile without playing a game, so this is all assuming he actually suits up at all.
Bakersfield also has a few players who do a lot of the same things as Hawkins, and in some cases much better. Updated! Amary Sy has reportedly been bought out of his contract and is going to play in Spain, which means that the team now has Rodney Webb (6'7") and Will Daniels (6'7") to man the small and power forward positions. I suppose they also could run with Reece Gaines at the 3, but any way you put it, with Hawkins and now Sy gone they're suddenly a little thin at that position. I'm assuming they had some inkling of the Sy thing happening, because buyouts don't typically happen overnight (as far as I know), and went ahead with this trade anyway, but it does mean that they weren't really dealing from as much relative strength as they had been. Even before his injury, Hawkins's playing time was starting to head downward. He had a decent stretch of games in mid-December, and I'm sure that's the player Iowa is hoping they get, but he also brings some measure of variety to their roster - he's shooting under 29 percent from outside, which would put him amongst the worst Energy shooters, but he can contribute in other areas like rebounding and passing, which is something the team needs when their shots aren't falling. The numbers haven't always been there this season, but he was a decent college player and could help Iowa, certainly more than Edwards has thus far.
Finally, the Austin Toros brought in allocated player Roderick Riley and released Augustine Okuson to make room. Okuson hadn't really done a whole lot, scoring a grand total of 14 points and grabbing 20 total rebounds thus far, never appearing in more than 10 minutes in a game. Riley comes in with some D-League experience, having played for Fayetteville, Bakersfield and Colorado. He averaged 10 and 7 in the 2007-2008 season before playing in Jordan and the Ukraine last year. He's, uh, big (6'11" and listed at 327), and he's bound to give the team more than Okuson had.