Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Truth re NBA Trade Deadline

NBA Trade Deadline passed just a few hours ago...there was a lot of moves...pretty much all of them interesting...as in any sport with any Trade Deadline we see winners and we see losers...let's take a look at this together...

The obvious winners...

New York Knicks...by acquiring Carmelo Anthony the Knicks provide a 1-2 scoring punch of Amar'e aka S.T.A.T (Standing Tall And Talented) & Melo (on Twitter I saw Cabbie - @therealcabbie - suggest that it is now a matter of time until someone remixes Black and Yellow to STAT & Melo haha)...When Coach Mike D'Antoni was bought in to lead this Knicks team in 2008 it didn't make a lot of sense as the roster was not at all what D'Antoni would want to play his O-heavy style...now the Knicks are equipped to score...a lot of people think the Knicks gave up too much for Melo...not true at all IMO...Chauncey Billups replaces Raymond Felton at PG and the Knicks would have been looking at Deron Williams or Chris Paul to replace Felton in 2012 anyway...Knicks likely would have had to renounce the rights to Wilson Chandler anyway...the 2nd round draft picks are who cares...the 2014 1st round pick will likely be a brutal # as the Knicks will be a Top 5 team in 2014...really it is just Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov for Melo which is a trade you make 10 times out of 10 if you are New York...the criticism that their is no D in Melo doesn't play with me...the list of NBA players that do not play D hardily begins and ends with Carmelo Anthony...the Raptors for example have 12 players on their roster so we know that is at least 12 right away...truth is there are maybe 4-5 people on this earth that are better at scoring a basketball than Melo...also no guarantee that new CBA would allow the Knicks to get Melo in the off season (new CBA could have Franchise Tag allowing the Nuggets to keep Melo in Denver)...

Utah Jazz...the Jazz get a stud-in-the-making in Derrick Favors for a trouble making jackass like Deron Williams...there was no chance of the Jazz re-upping with D-Will long term so they would have lost him for nothing in 1.5 years...the Jazz also get the Nets 1st round pick this year and we will watch closely to see what # that pick ends up being...it is not Lottery protected so if that pick wins the Lottery then the Jazz are absolute bandits here

Teams I think are winners that may not be as obvious...

Atlanta Hawks...I like the trade that sends Mike Bibby to the Nation's Capital for Kirk Hinrich...Hinrich is an upgrade at this position for the Hawks...I am in the minority perhaps as I still like the Hawks as the #5 best team in the East slightly ahead of the Knicks

Cleveland Cavs...zero chance to have a happy and motivated Baron Davis here for the Cavs, and they are on the hook for $28 million owed to BD over the next 2 years, but none of that money is coming from us so we don't care about that...what I do like is it also comes with a #1 draft pick...the heavy sentiment is that this years NBA Draft is brutal, but I like the Cavs idea here that their Lottery pick, plus Clippers Lottery pick likely gives them 2 Top 10 picks to infuse some youth and talent into this roster...(I will say though that not trading  Antawn Jamison is a swing and a miss as he would have fetched back an asset or two for sure)

Portland Trail Blazers...this team gets Brandon Roy back healthy one day, and the next they add Gerald Wallace...nice move...Wallace is a complete player who would help 90% of the teams in the NBA so to get him for 2 future draft picks,  Joel Przybilla and back-up forward Dante Cunningham is worth the price

Teams and trades that were just meh...

Toronto Raptors...I like getting James Johnson for a #1 draft pick as that pick will not be in the Lottery, and Bryan Colangelo said in the DeMar DeRozan draft if DD wasn't available at #9 then they would have traded down and taken Johnson so they have had him on their radar for a while now, so that is a nice move, but the Raps are a meh as they have soooo many holes to fill and Trade Exception $$$ from the Chris Bosh trade so to only make 1 minor move is underwhelming and dissapointing...actually underwhelming and dissapointing are the words that best sum up BC's tenure as Craptors GM

Chicago Bulls...no trade for the Bulls may leave them as a very very good team...I thought an upgrade at the SG or SF position would have elevated them into "Great" status, but alas it did not happen

The Western Conference version of the Bulls are the Dallas Mavericks...very very good team, but no upgrade at PG and no scoring replacement for the injured Caron Butler leaves them at that level...I thought they had a chance to be elite with an upgrade or two

Shane Battier going to the Grizzlies for Hasheem Thabeet is meh to me...I think Battier is at the point in his career that he could provide a missing piece for a legit contender, which the Grizz are surely not...Houston looks to replace Yao with a project like Thabeet...meh

IMO the losers are...

New Jersey Nets...no idea why the Nets would trade Derrick Favors period...let alone in exchange for an ass like Deron Williams who is absolutely going to bolt via free agency in 2012...D-Will couldn't play for a legend like Jerry Sloan, he is going to hate hate hate the chirping of Avery Johnson...we will re-visit this disater in 2012 when Favors is an All Star and D-Will is wearing a different jersey in a different town (Kincks/Lakers/Magic/Mavs/Rockets will all be in the hunt for D-Will...amongst others...but management thinks he will re-up long term with the Nets?!?!)

I may be in the minority here but I think the Kendrick Perkins/Nate Robinson to OK City for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic trade could be a lose-lose...for the Thunder I actually do like the idea of getting a player in return for Green who had already rejected a re-up offer from the Thunder and was about to become a free agent...but I am left thinking that Perkins is a major upgrade in D yes, but a major downgrade from Jeff Green (15 points per game) on O...I just think the way to beat the Lakers or Spurs is to Offend, not Defend...Lakers shoot under 50% on a regular basis, but their Champ D is their calling card in the play-offs so I do not like taking a step back on O...time will tell on the Thunder front as Perk is a nice player, but is currently out with an injury and has only played 12 games this season...For the Celtics - ?!?!...the Trade Deadline passed just mere hours ago and already the Celtics players are furious that the team would move Perk...This Celtics team was built to defend you better and be more physical/aggressive than any other team was capable of...that took a major hit with this trade...Doc Rivers has said a billion times that his starting line-up of Rondo/Allen/Pierce/KG/Perk is undefeated in postseason when they have been healthy...that is now done...IF the Warriors buy out Troy Murphy, or if James Posey becomes available, then the Celtics move looks a bit more palatable if they can get either player...or perhaps Rasheed Wallace...then the Celts would have added to their perimeter attack and the trade makes waaaay more sense...time will tell

I think the trade that interests me the most oddly enough is the Aaron Brooks for Goran Dragic trade...I am very interested to see what Dragic can do with increased playing time...he has been in the monster shadow of Steve Nash and will get a chance to show his stuff in Houston...If anyone can explain to me what the hell happened to Aaron Brooks I am all ears...this guy was a Top 10 PG coming into this season, but in 2010-2011 he may not even be Top 10 PG in the state of Texas...crazy drop off for Brooks, but perhaps the desert may be the place to rejuvenate his game

Send me your thoughts at craig.ballard@hotmail.com and follow me on Twitter @craigballard77