Breaking Down the Trade Deadline Bonanza

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.

Here We Go Again

The NBA is on it’s way, which means the trade rumours have already arrived. The curtain has dropped. The spotlight is on. The show has began. And with the show comes the drama.

Dallas Ditching Chandler?

On the first day that free agent contracts could be discussed, Tyson Chandler took away one thing from the day. He was getting traded. “I really think I’m going to be on a new team come training camp,” Chandler told ESPN.com on Wednesday. He believes Dallas won’t offer him the long term extension that he deserves. And he does deserve it. For three years in a row the Dallas Mavericks were 1st round dropouts. Disappointments to their city and to the NBA. But when Tyson Chandler came to town he changed the whole team. He brought height, he brought hustle and most of all motivated the team to play defense. It’s no coincidence that last year the Dallas Mavericks were 7th in points allowed per 100 posessions in 2010-2011 and were 12th, 15th and 17th the three years before that. He provided them with an inside presence in the finals and deserves a contract. His biggest worry is that Dallas may sign Nene over him. Nene and him are the two most coveted free agents this year.

Nene Fever:

The big man on the free agent campus this year is Nene. Teams from all over the league have shown interest in him. Dallas, Golden State, New Jersey, Denver, Houston, Indiana, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Portland were all teams who made contact with Nene’s agent on Wednesday. A perfect fit for Nene would be teams lacking an inside presence. Teams like Golden State, Denver and Houston. The Nets have shown interest in Nene due to Deron Williams’ statements that he would be far less inclined to re-sign a long-term deal with the Nets if they don’t immediately improve their roster.

Ron Artest…. I mean Metta World Peace:

It has been reported that the Los Angeles Lakers may waive Ron Artest….. I mean Metta World Peace’s over-priced contract. Although, the small forward is one of the best defenders in the league and filling the void later with other players is very difficult considering the type of defender he is. On the offensive side, he is in decline. Last season he averaged 8.5 points and it’s clear that his age may be taking a toll on his body and his speed. He doesn’t have the strength he once had (and I might regret this) but he’s become a  liability on offense. Letting go of his 3 year 21.5 million dollar contract would be a relief, causing the Lakers to save up to 27 million dollars in taxes and salary through 2013-2014.

Hollywood Wants Superman:

A minute doesn’t go by when we don’t wonder how many championships Shaq and Kobe could’ve won together had their problems not gotten in the way. Finally, years later Superman may be coming back to Hollywood. Not the one who has the superman logo on his bed. The one who wore the cape during his slam dunk performance. Jim Buss has said that he would trade Andrew Bynum “for the right deal.” The right deal or the deal that involves Dwight Howard? But Andrew Bynum may not be what the Magic are looking for in a replacement for Dwight and rumour has it that Andrew Bogut would be a better fit for them. I disagree but a three team deal has been circling, sending Dwight to the Lakers, Bogut to the Magic and Bynum to the Bucks. The Clippers also seem willing to do whatever it takes for Dwight. The Clippers have tons of young depth with players like Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan and Al-Farouq Aminu and can provide more assets in a trade with the Magic. Although, Dwight and Kobe together may look like a championship on paper. In reality they wouldn’t gel. Dwight loves the ball down in the post, he takes it in all day. And why wouldn’t you when you’re the most dominant player in the NBA. Then there is Kobe, who loves the ball on the perimeter and taking it to the hole. They are both types of players who demand the spotlight and I can’t see it working out.

Blazers and Brandon Roy:

A source had said that the TrailBlazers had waived Roy but team president Larry Miller firmly stated that, ”We have not, and regardless of what’s been said by John Canzano and others out there, (made a) decision on amnesty as of yet,” On January 17th of last season Brandon Roy underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees. He returned to the lineup on February 25th and scored 18 points off the bench. The rest of the season was a quiet one for Roy, he came off the bench for the whole season and averaged 12.5 points as supposed to his career average of 19 points a game. His future looked grim, until the playoffs came around and  Portland needed someone to step up. Brandon Roy came off the bench in Game 3 against the Mavericks and scored 16 points in 23 minutes. Larry Miller added, ”With everything that Brandon has done for this organization, there’s no way we would make a decision like that without having conversation with him, without evaluating where he is.” I wouldn’t give up on Roy yet, his knees may let him down at times but he showed that in big situations he can shine. He knows how to win and he is a valuable piece on any team.

Celtics Discussing Rondo Trades:

Just to be clear, the Celtics don’t want to get rid of Rondo. He is the future of their organisation and will be their saviour once Pierce, Allen and Garnett are gone. However, the Celtics are exploring options in exchange for Rondo. Danny Ainge said, “I don’t make any comments on trade rumors. I’m just not commenting on any of it. Everybody knows how valuable Rondo is to our team. I’ll talk to Rondo, but I don’t want to talk about it publicly.” I sense insecurity in the Celtics front office. They realise that their Big Three aren’t big news anymore, they are getting older and soon they won’t be able to compete with the up and coming talent in the league. Additionally, they realise Rondo isn’t the best Point Guard out there and it makes sense for them to get better. Rumours have circulated that a Rondo for Paul deal may be developing, although they are very vague rumours.

Grizz and Gasol:

After last years semi-breakout season for Marc Gasol teams are showing more interest in him now that he’s a free agent. He provided Memphis with defense, hustle and a quick inside presence that Tim Duncan and the 1st place Spurs couldn’t handle. The Grizzlies organization have shown interest in keeping him. “Obviously, we want to sit down and try to make a deal with Marc,” Heisley said. “I’m committed to keeping him.” Gasol has made it clear that he would like to return to Memphis this season. However, they may not have enough money to satisfy Gasol after agreeing to contract extensions with Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. All we know now is that the Grizzlies want Gasol and Gasol wants the Grizzlies. Personally, I would love to see last year’s team come back stronger this year and make it back to the playoffs. Every time they stepped onto the floor, the game was bound to be exciting. They were the most energetic team in the NBA and it was a joy to watch them burst through the playoffs and surprise everybody.

Jazz’s Pick

Let’s assume Kyrie Irving goes to Cleveland like he is projected to, and let’s assume Derrick Williams goes to Minnesota. That leaves the Utah Jazz on the clock.

They are the ones with the dilemma, they have two main prospects that they will be choosing from. Enes Kantor the Turkish beast, Brandon Knight the Kentucky point guard  Like I said the Jazz have a dilemma.

This year the city of Utah was struck with misery after their saviour, their all-star, their Deron Williams was traded to New Jersey. That left them scratching their head. The received the #3 draft pick, Devin Harris a veteran point guard and Derrick Favors a talented first year big man. Who do the Jazz need the most? Let’s take a look.

Brandon Knight:

6’3, 183 lbs, and a scoring point guard right out of Kentucky. His college stats are as follows. 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. An all around point guard with room for development.  After Deron Williams left Utah, the point guard spot has been a little inconsistent. Devin Harris is giving 100% to every game he plays, he has an eye for getting the ball to an open man and is very agile getting to the basket. He also has a veteran I.Q and experience for the game. He’s played under all time greats such as Dirk Nowitzki and has learned from him about how to be a leader. But when he needs a break on the bench, the back-up point guards haven’t always been as consistent as they should. CJ Watson, and Ronnie Price have been coming off the bench for Devin Harris. They have some games where they are playing like J.J Barea in the finals. Confident, unexpected and clutch. They have led the offense and locked down on defense but some games they look as if they’re just running into a wall and trying to break it down. That’s where Brandon Knight comes in. He could provide a big energetic spark off the bench. He is a very talented scorer, he has a deadly mid range shot and is very quick and athletic which helps him get to the rim a lot. He is the perfect fit in this run and gun offense, he knows how to move the ball and move without it and would be a great pick and roll tandem with Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson.

Enes Kantor: 6’11, 258 pounds .

This guy is a big turkish monster. He averaged 18 points and 16 rebounds in Turkey. I won’t even go into how dominant this guy is. Not many people have seen him play because he is European but i’ll just show you this video. His game speaks for itself. 

I agree with his comments about being a mixture of Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwight Howard. He is persistent on the boards and tough like Dwight. His post moves are versatile and he can finish with either hand. He also can knock down jump shots from beyond the three point line like Dirk can. This guy is an all around offensive presence as well as being a mean defensive presence. But do the Jazz need him. Well I don’t think he is the right pick for them, honestly. Their front-court is their biggest strength. They already have Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and the developing Derrick Favors. I don’t think they should add another big man over a young scoring point guard in Brandon Knight. If they do pick Enes Kantor, you have 4 solid big men all having to play shorter amount of minutes. They don’t play their comfortable roles, or comfortable minutes and they don’t perform as well. Also there is no real need for 4 performing big men. I guess drafting him could give them opportunities to trade maybe Derrick Favors or Paul Millsap for some scorers.

I would take Brandon Knight. It’s not up to me though, so I guess we’ll have to wait till June 23rd and see.

The Kidd Without the Credit

While Bill Russell stood up on that stage and handed Dirk the much deserved Finals MVP trophy, the only thing anybody could do was cheer. Here he was, one of the all time greats receiving his first finals MVP from sports’ best champion. He held that trophy up high and let out a childish german smile. Surrounding him was his loyal and hardworking teammates like Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, Shawn Marion, Deshawn Stevenson, but squished between all the 6-7 feet champions was the 38 year old unsung hero, Jason Kidd.

The spotlight on Dirk has never been brighter. He took a team of hungry veterans to the NBA finals and with his determined attitude he took them to a championship. Fans everywhere are glad that Dirk got the championship he’s always deserved, but we may be forgetting about the other 30 year old without a ring.

The facilitator named Jason Kidd.

In 2008 when Mark Cuban shook up the basketball world by sending his developing young point guard named Devin Harris to Dallas for the experienced veteran in Jason Kidd. Jason had had two chances at an NBA championships in New Jersey, but fell short both times. The trade was seen as a negative through the eyes of fans and analysts. Jason Kidd’s career was winding down, he was 36, he couldn’t run fast or jump high, but Mark Cuban had faith. He had faith that Jason Kidd didn’t need the athleticism of this era of basketball, all he needed was experience, maturity and a passing skill like no other. Now as the Mavericks have been crowned basketball champions of the world it seems the trade was a success.

Jason Kidd may not turn up in the stat sheet a lot. His plays may not pop out to the typical NBA fan, but he played his heart out in those 6 games. In game 5 it was his three pointer that put Dallas up 4 points with about 40 seconds remaining. In game 6 it was his control of the pace and of the game that slowed the game down in Dallas’ favour. It was his big threes that gave momentum to the silent Dallas crowds and silenced the loud Miami crowd. It was his ability to get Dirk’s offense rolling and his ability to reach the open man that won Dallas the NBA finals.

Let’s not forget about Jason Kidd. He may not shoot off of one leg, or score 27 off the bench. But this veteran does more then that. Wasn’t it him who took over as the vocal leader during Dirk’s flu game. All these behind the scenes things that Jason Kidd did, helped win them this championship. What about guarding Lebron sometimes and guarding Mike Bibby. He deserves one just as much as Dirk, he has played longer and has been through some rough times. To win this championship means the same to him then to Dirk, although it may not be his MVP he knows what he has done is indescribable.

At an age of 38, Jason Kidd does not want to be forgotten. His performance in the Finals prove to us that the little things count in big games. A big three, a great pass, a jolt of energy on the bench. Think about how much effort and hustle Jason Kidd has to play with at the age of 38 to win a championship. Most NBA players are young, quick, athletic but here is a 38 year old man playing alongside players like Lebron and beating them.

While Dirk held up that MVP trophy, Jason Kidd wasn’t sighing with jealousy, but cheering because he knows his production can’t be measured and because he helped Dirk get to where he wanted to be.