To say the trade deadline was eventful is an understatement. We had trades from all over the country, ones we expected and ones that came out of nowhere. I’m here to give my take on each and every significant move.
1. Dwight Stickin in Orlando
After months of anticipation and rumours Dwight Howard officially opted in with the Magic for the 2012-2013 season. This was a bad move for Dwight and a good move for the Magic. The Magic are playing great basketball as of now. They are going to make the playoffs and most likely the 2nd round. However, that’s where this season will end for them. Dwight wanted to wait out this season, and see what the organization could do to surround him with supporting guys this offseason. However, the Magic really don’t have much financial flexibility for this off-season. And not too many assets to send over in trades. All this extension gave the Magic was more time to figure out a way to improve the roster. On the other hand I don’t think Dwight really thought this over. This team won’t be changing too drastically from now until the next trade deadline next season. We’re in for dejavu.
2. Nene to Washington
This trade came out of nowhere. Nobody even saw Nene as a trade piece for the Nuggets this season. However, he’ll now be paired up with the electrifying speed and talent of John Wall. The Wizards received Brian Cook from the Clippers and a future second round pick, and Nene from the Nuggets. The Clippers received Nick Young. And the Nuggets received Javale McGee and Ronny Turiaf. In this trade I see three winners. The Clippers were desperately looking for a shooting guard after Chauncey Billups got injured earlier this season. Now they have Nick Young a young scorer who can make plays alongside guys like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. He gives them an outside scoring presence. This season he is currently averaging around 17 points a game. The Wizards upgraded in this trade as well. One of the main problems for them as a team was the lack of maturity and the lack of veteran leaders. So by trading Javale McGee for a more experienced center in Nene was an upgrade. The only downside, is that Nene has a history of injuries and you can’t be certain if he will be healthy for long periods at a time. But when he is healthy he is one of the best centers in the West. The Nuggets may have upgraded the least in this trade. Nene like I said has a history of injuries, Javale McGee has no history of injuries. He is younger and can play more of the fast-break style that the Nuggets like to run. In terms of stats, the two are almost identical. Javale McGee is averaging 12 points and 9 rebounds. While Nene is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds. What Denver did lose in this trade is an inside scoring presence. Javale McGee is more of a defensive stopper and crash the boards type of guy. He’s not someone you can throw it down to in the post and watch him put up two points. That’s an aspect of their game that is now gone. Which means the Nuggets are very much a perimeter team right now on the offensive end.
3. And end to an era
The Lakers made two significant trades yesterday. One that made us smile about the future. The other made us reminisce on the past. The first trade was sending Luke Walton, Jason Kapono, and a 1st round draft pick (lottery protected) to the Cavaliers for Christian Eyenga and Ramon Sessions. The Lakers kill two birds with one stone in this trade. Not only do they upgrade immensely at the point guard position but they shed the 6 million that they were paying Luke Walton. The Lakers biggest weakness was at the point guard position. Both Derrick Fisher and Steve Blake are seasoned veterans who can’t fast break, or keep up with the faster guards in the league. Now with 25 year old Ramon Sessions running the Lake Show, the Lakers have fresher legs, a deeper bench and a more consistent backcourt. The other trade they made was trading Derrick Fisher the 5 time NBA champion with the Lakers and a first round pick for Jordan Hill in Houston. It had to be done. After adding Ramon Sessions it seemed inevitable that one of the other point guards had to go. Derrick Fisher, who is 37 was the more sensible choice. He is way past his prime, he is retiring in a couple of seasons and Steve Blake is a more versatile guard who can play the 2 if he needs to. Although this trade makes us sad to see the end of the Derrick Fisher era in Los Angeles it’s a good move for the future and a good move for the Lakers.
4. Monta Ellis finally on the move
Monta Ellis’ name has been flying around trade rumours for a few years now. Finally, he has been traded. The Golden State Warriors traded Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. This trade makes me think a few things. First, that the Warriors have given up on this season. Which may be the practical thing to do, but always the sad thing to see for a young team. By getting rid of Monta Ellis they lose a scoring threat. One of the best scoring threats in the league. They receive Andrew Bogut who won’t play again all season, and Stephen Jackson who is known for his off court antics more so then his on court prowess. Keep in mind Stephen Curry is currently injured. So the Golden State Warriors are pretty much out of the picture for the rest of the 23 game season. However, this trade wasn’t about the short term for them. This was about the longterm. By giving up on this season they will get a high draft pick in a young draft stacked with talent. So they pick up a top draft pick, they get a healthy Andrew Bogut down low and a healthy Stephen Curry at the point and you have yourself a very exciting team. Don’t forget the rookie Klay Thompson who is slowly developing into a lethal scorer on the court. For the Bucks, I think this trade was a very smart one. It’s no secret Scott Skiles and Stephen Jackson didn’t get along. So sending him away clears up the locker room and brings in some fresh air. And by giving away Andrew Bogut they can look toward the future and shed his salary. Not to mention his achy body. And bringing in Monta Ellis gives their backcourt a humongous boost on the scoring front. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis playing side by side is something that needs to be watched. The only downside to this is their defense will take a hit. Monta Ellis is no Stephen Jackson and Ekpe Udoh is no Andrew Bogut but let’s focus on the positive for now.
5. Jackson Returns to San Antonio
Another good move for the Golden State Warriors was trading Stephen Jackson to the Spurs for T.J Ford, Richard Jefferson and a protected 1st round pick. The 1st round pick is lottery protected, which gives the Golden State Warriors another 1st round pick to go along with the one their bound to get when the rest of their season tanks. Another move made for the future. The Spurs on the other hand really improve their roster and bring back flashes of their 2003 NBA Championship run. They improve on their perimeter defense and now add another scoring punch alongside Ginobli, and Parker.
6. Pacers Add Depth with Barbosa
The Indiana Pacers season has been all about chemistry, hustle and depth. This team doesn’t have one superstar. They have several good players. Roy Hibbert was an all star this year. Danny Granger an all star last year. Paul George bound to be an all star in a couple of years. David West an all star a few seasons ago. Their roster is stacked with solid guys. Now by adding Leonardo Barbosa they improve their depth immensely. Barbosa was averaging 12 points off the bench in Toronto. The best thing about this trade, is that all the Pacers gave up was a 2nd round pick. Life is getting better in Indiana.
7. Wallace to the Nets.
With the Nets missing out on their potential blockbuster deal for Howard. The Nets needed something to try and persuade D-Will to sign an extension. So they brought in Gerald Wallace a guy averaging 13 points a game in Portland. An improvement? Definitely, but anything is an improvement for the Nets these days. Now we’re learning that it wasn’t even enough to keep D-Will interested, according to ESPN he says he will not opt in with the Nets but will test free agency this summer. But besides that, it was a good move for New Jersey who are slowly trying to build a team around a player who isn’t even the least bit interested.
8. Camby to Houston
This trade was a surprise, but as the day progressed players leaving Portland seemed like a common theme. Marcus Camby the defensive stopper was traded to Houston for Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn and a 2nd round pick. This move along with letting Gerald Wallace go and the firing of Nate McMillan implies the rebuilding stages for Portland who were stuck in groundhog day once again. The Blazers acquire expiring contracts and gain more financial flexibility for the next season. In Houston they are slowly putting together a better team. With Dalembert and Camby down low this team will be very difficult to score in down low. They have their own set of twin towers. This trade is a definite upgrade for Houston but not what they were looking for ideally when it came to the trade deadline. They were looking bigger, someone like Pau Gasol. But hey you get what you get and you don’t get upset. The Rockets are getting there, this move along with their flexibility this off season makes for exciting possibilities in the future.