Sunday, February 27, 2011

NBA Trade Deadline Review

Obviously this was an insane, frantic trade season. Some teams did very well for themselves, some did not, and some blew some major opportunities.

Traded: Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans, 2011 first-round pick
Acquired: Kirk Hinrich, Hilton Armstrong

With their assets there wasn't much they could do to upgrade the point guard position. Mike Bibby shouldn't be starting anywhere and other than his lack of a jump shot, Hinrich should be. Especially when he's sharing the backcourt with Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson (who won't have to compensate for Bibby's dismal defending any more). Even Jeff Teague could benefit from a few extra minutes.

Traded: Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, Semih Erden, Luke Harangody
Acquired: Jeff Green, Sacramento Kings' 2017 second-round pick, Cleveland Cavaliers' 2013 second-round pick

Perkins for Green is the only deal of real consequence. A lot of people are saying they traded away their title hopes but I'm not going to go that far. I will say that before the deal I was confident that the Celtics were a step above the Heat, Bulls and Magic. Now? Notsomuch. I like Jeff Green a lot and if they do happen to resign him he'll flourish with Rondo, and he can only improve if KG's intensity rubs off on him. I'd also like to see a bigger role for Avery Bradley with Nate gone.

Traded: Gerald Wallace, Nazr Mohammed
Acquired: Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, DJ White, Morris Peterson, New Orleans Hornets' 2011 first-round pick, Portland Trail Blazers' 2013 first-round pick

Salary dump. And Jordan tried to say those first rounders will be a major part of the franchise's future. But a pick in the 18-23 range in this draft (as New Orleans' is likely to be) is like playing Russian Roulette with 5 bullets, and who knows how late Portland's pick will be in three years with the core they have now.

Traded: James Johnson
Acquired: Miami Heat 2011 first-round pick

FAIL FAIL FAIL. Jesus Christ. I like James Johnson a lot; he just never found his way into Chicago's rotation. He'll be a good player in Toronto. Know where else he could've been good? IN MEMPHIS. If the Grizzlies accepted Josh McRoberts and a first-rounder, I refuse to believe Chicago couldn't have done Johnson, a first-rounder, and maybe something else. I understand the concerns surrounding Mayo but come on. We're talking about a 23-year old with all the potential in the world to be one of the most complete guards in the NBA. Oh well. A deal could still be made after the season, as I can't imagine Mayo staying in Memphis.

Traded: Mo Williams, Jamarrio Moon, 2013 second-round pick
Acquired: Los Angeles Clippers 2011 first-round pick, Baron Davis, Luke Harangody, Semih Erden

I'm not gonna sit here and pretend like I know a thing about Erden, and Harangody is nothing. Losing Mo Williams is great for a rebuilding process, though bringing in Baron Davis to do so is thoroughly confusing with his history with head coach Byron Scott. I can't help but feel bad for Boom Dizzle. I know even he admits that he doesn't put forth much effort if he doesn't see reason to, but to be a part of this Clipper resurgence only to be shipped off to the single worst situation he could ever ask for is a bit much. But maybe, karmically speaking, this is exactly what he deserves and serves a lesson to us all; life isn't fair.


Nothing. They should've traded for Stephen Jackson. Oh well.

Traded: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter
Acquired: Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, conditional New York Knicks' first-round pick, Golden State Warriors' 2012, 2013 second-round picks

Carmelo Anthony is a top-10 player and you're never going to get fair value in trading one of those away, but they should be sending fruit baskets to Mikhail Prokhorov, Isiah Thomas and James Dolan for the coup they landed. I have no clue why Timofey Mozgov became a hot commodity, but Gallinari and Chandler are both solid players. Wish they had moved Felton on to the Lakers so Ty Lawson gets his full shot, but it appears he's going to be the starter, so good for him.


Richard Hamilton nixed a trade that would've allowed him to play for a contender, notably either Boston or Chicago (who wanted to START him). He is an asshole.

Traded: Brandon Wright, Dan Gadzuric
Acquired: Troy Murphy, New Jersey Nets' 2012 second-round pick

Murphy's deal expires, and he'll be elsewhere soon. Just your run-of-the-mill salary dump.

Traded: Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks, Ishmael Smith
Acquired: Goran Dragic, Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll, Phoenix Suns' 2011 first-round pick (lottery protected), Memphis Grizzlies' 2011 first-round pick

Dragic has fallen off the map this year, but he comes cheap and still with a lot of upside. The first-rounders are okay, and Brooks and Battier weren't really helping them go anywhere (Brooks especially).


They almost pulled off a hell of a steal in that OJ Mayo trade (for a first-round pick and Josh McRoberts)... then again, who knows how that would've worked. Although I'm surprised Larry Bird tried to trade for Mayo... maybe he meant to send McRoberts to get him some tuna salad with extra mayo and some orange juice?

Traded: 2011 first-round pick, Baron Davis
Acquired: Mo Williams, Jamario Moon

They must really have wanted to get rid of Davis. Mo Williams? I mean, I guess it's a pretty good fit in actuality, but still... Mo Williams? It's not like they saved much money, and they gave away a lottery pick to boot. Really it's not a bad deal, they don't need any more rookies and Davis really isn't the best mentor for young players. Mo Williams tho?


Wish they had tried to get Felton. Or blown everyone's minds and worked out an Andrew Bynum-for-Dwight Howard deal. Ha.

Traded: Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll, 2011 first-round pick
Acquired: Shane Battier, Ishmael Smith

I guess they want to make a push for the playoffs, and feel that's possible with Battier, even with Rudy Gay injured. More power to 'em. I guess a winning culture has to start somewhere.


Nothing to do.


Nothing done.

Traded: Corey Brewer, Kosta Koufos
Acquired: Anthony Randolph, Eddie Curry

Well done, T'wolves. Well done. Randolph is the only player here of any real consequence. Brewer can defend, but it doesn't matter in Minnesota or New York.

Traded: Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy, 2011 first-round pick, Golden State Warriors' 2012 first-round pick (partially protected), 2012 second-round pick
Acquired: Deron Williams, Brandon Wright, Dan Gadzuric

Obviously, the jury is pretty much out until 2012 when we'll see what else they do to the roster and D-Will decides whether or not he'll sign an extension. But they wanted to trade Harris and never wanted Favors, so to get a player even better than Carmelo is a hell of a take.

Traded: Marcus Thornton
Acquired: Carl Landry

Big-time mismanagement of Thornton's trade value. This is another guy Chicago should've maybe targeted. James Johnson and change? As for the Hornets, it fills a need.

Traded: Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Anthony Randolph, Eddie Curry, Timofey Mozgov, 2014 first-round pick, Golden State Warriors' 2012, 2013 second-round picks
Acquired: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Corey Brewer, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter

They gave up far more than they had to. 'Melo wasn't going anywhere besides NY. That's a fact. But 'Melo is a top-10 player, and they got him. So it's a win.

Traded: Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, Morris Peterson, DJ White
Acquired: Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed

They couldn't have asked for a more perfect fit than Perkins, and would you expect any less from this franchise? He brings the basket protection and rebounding they need, but also a championship pedigree that should be invaluable to that locker room. Plus, Serge Ibaka gets to move over to power forward where his athleticism will shine. I think they're the second best team in the West once Perkins eases in to his role.


They did their trading already.


They should've traded Iguodala. Maybe try to enter in to the Carmelo sweepstakes. Or go after Deron Williams, for that matter.

Traded: Goran Dragic, 2011 first-round pick (lottery protected)
Acquired: Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks? Really? Just strange.

Traded: Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks, New Orleans Hornets' 2011 first-round pick, 2013 first-round pick
Acquired: Gerald Wallace

Two major issues with this deal. First, Wallace has had injury problems, and if you join the Blazers with the sniffles, you'll have full-blown AIDS within days. Everyone gets hurt there. Second, and more tangible, Wallace is most effective in the open court and the Blazers are perpetually in the rightmost lane. Other than that I love the deal, and I can't wait to see how it works out.

Traded: Carl Landry, 2017 second-round pick
Acquired: Marcus Thornton, Marquis Daniels

I like Thornton.

Traded: Miami Heat 2011 first-round pick
Acquired: James Johnson

This was a steal. Johnson will be good, and for Miami's first rounder?

Traded: Deron Williams
Acquired: Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, New Jersey Nets' 2011 first-round pick, Golden State Warriors' 2012 first-round pick (partially protected)

Well... if you have to trade a franchise player, this is the deal you hope to get in return. I don't like Harris but he's a pretty good player. I do like Derrick Favors a lot. And the Nets' pick could net a pretty good player, even in this draft.

Traded: Kirk Hinrich, Hilton Armstrong
Acquired: Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans, Atlanta Hawks 2011 first-round pick

Meh. I don't really get it. We didn't save any money and the players are all non-factors. But I get an excuse to watch this again:

Crawford has some talent but it'll be wasted on this structureless team. Maybe Atlanta's first rounder can yield a diamond in the rough, or be parlayed into moving into position to get Perry Jones (who would probably flop on this Wizards team). What pisses me off is I had to have my high hopes brought on by Andray Blatche trade murmurs dashed when no deal was actually made. I fucking hate that kid. Something needs to be done, though. John Wall is pissed, and I'm all for him being a vocal leader, but the problem is when someone is on their own wavelength like Blatche is, Wall getting in Dray's face would only blow the locker room to pieces, and wouldn't do anything for Wall's development. Good thing Grunfeld gave him that long extension!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NBA Midseason Report

Every time I make a post it comes with a comment about how I never write anything anymore, and how I promise to get back into it. Not this time.

First I'll do my East and West all-star teams, w/ brief explanations on my differences.

Eastern Conference
Derrick Rose
Dwyane Wade
LeBron James
Amar'e Stoudemire
Dwight Howard

Rajon Rondo
*Raymond Felton
*John Wall
*Josh Smith
Paul Pierce
Kevin Garnett
Al Horford

Outside of those top six players, the East is entirely unimpressive and difficult to differentiate. Even so, Ray Allen and Chris Bosh had no business near LA. Felton had some huge games for the Knicks and there's no question that he should've made it. Wall hasn't been other-worldly like I hoped, but he's still averaging 9 assists per game and has had some impressive moments for a terrible Wizards team. Homer pick, sure, but who wouldn't want to see him in an all-star game (as evidenced by his 22-assist performance in the Rookie-Sophmore game).

Western Conference
Chris Paul
Kobe Bryant
Kevin Durant
Blake Griffin
Pau Gasol

Russell Westbrook
*Monta Ellis
Deron Williams
*Rudy Gay
Kevin Love
Dirk Nowitzki
*LaMarcus Aldridge

Tim Duncan... come on, Pop. You know how far down the list of Western Conference scorers you have to go to find Tim Duncan? #43. Right behind Beno Udrih. People take Beno to prevent gas. Meanwhile, Portland is eight games above .500 entirely because LaMarcus Aldridge has taken it upon himself to finally play like a grown man. I took 'Melo off the list because he's tanked his way out of Denver (he's just that good that he can still score 25/game), and I threw in Monta Ellis because he just looks like a better player now. Don't get me wrong, he's still a gunner, but he's much more refined now. Also, Rudy Gay deserves more credit than he'll probably ever get.

Look Ahead

I'll start with the 'Melo deal. Sorry, Knicks fans, but this will never work. It just won't. And more than anything, because it has Isiah Thomas' aura attached to the whole thing. If Donnie Walsh had made his own decision to give up everyone but Amar'e in the deal I'd be more confident. Sucks to see a franchise like the Knicks do some stupid shit like this. Let's all be real for a second: the moment the next free agency period begins was the absolute last moment that Carmelo Anthony was going to become a Knick. He wasn't going to Houston. He wasn't going to New Jersey. He was always going to be a New York Knick. He doesn't make this team a championship contender this year, so why give up what would've been his entire supporting cast?

They will be fun to watch, though. No doubt about that. And unquestionably, at least to my mind, they are a better team today than they were two days ago. Wilson Chandler is a nice player and Galinari sometimes is. Felton-Billups is probably a wash at this point, except Felton is having the best year of his career and Billups is 34. And I don't understand the hubbub over Blake Griffin launching-pad Timofey Mozgov. What they get is a player in Carmelo Anthony who, when he wants to be, is still a top-10 player in the league (I have eight others definitely on my list, in no order: LeBron, Kobe, Durant, Rose, CP3, Dwight, Wade, Deron Williams). And he wants to play in New York. With Amar'e also there, who is on a short list for that last spot on my top-10, you're going to have a formidable team. Having two players who command as much defensive attention as those two guys automatically opens the court for the rest of the team. It's just too bad that they don't really have much in the way of 'rest of the team,' and they might now be even WORSE defensively.

(I broke my own rule and read Bill Simmons' trade value column He commented on Amar'e's knee, playing time, and declining production. I don't know if there's any validity to the inevitability of Amar'e breaking down, but I'm going to keep an eye on it for sure.)

I'm also a little surprised that there was never any talk of Ricky Rubio. This would've been a relatively quiet way for Minnesota to get past the inevitable embarrassment that'll come with Rubio finally deciding to come to the NBA and still avoiding the Wolves like the plague. And it'd give the Knicks a bargain for their point guard of the future, instead of waiting a couple years to find out they can't afford Chris Paul or Deron Williams. And they'd be better off with Rubio and Dwight Howard anyway, considering Dwight can make a team with Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis starting at the forward spots a defensive powerhouse worthy of an NBA Finals trip.

Lost in all this is Ty Lawson, who not only loses the perfect mentor in Chauncey Billups but is also now stuck behind Felton for 3+ years. Chapel Hill is happy, at least (actually, the six people who actually follow their players after they leave campus).


DERRICK ROSE. Told you he was gonna be an MVP candidate, and right now, based on what I've seen, he's EASILY the MVP of the league. 22-8 without Joakim Noah, 11-7 without Carlos Boozer, and 2-1 without both. Which leads me to point out that after losing the first two games in which all three played together, they reeled off seven straight wins before Noah was shelved. Noah is slated to return on Wednesday, and after a brief adjustment period I fully expect the Bulls to be a force to be reckoned with. They probably need a shooting guard in order for me to call them a true championship contender, though. Talks of JR Smith (NO) and Courtney Lee (meh) have surfaced, but there really isn't a viable option out there. OJ Mayo's name was mentioned and Memphis shot that down immediately, but I'd love to see that happen. I don't see how it could, but a Rose-Mayo backcourt? Goodness.


The Lakers are still winning the championship, get over it. They should go after Felton and seal the deal. And speaking of LA, I wonder how Donald Sterling is gonna fuck all this up. Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon are bona fide stars, and they have a ton of young talent AND cap space, especially when they have Chris Kaman's expiring deal to work with after this year is finished. Seems like they're building up for a MAJOR collapse.