Saturday, March 17, 2012

NBA Trade Deadline Winners/Losers

(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Dwight seems to be happy with Orlando for now. The Magic are currently
third in the Eastern Conference with a 29-16 record. 

Although the Magic retained the deadline's grand prize, there were still a good number of trades involving stars from across the league.

Winner: Magic- Clearly the biggest winner of the week, maybe even the year, the Magic kept on to Dwight Howard for at least one more season. Let's all forget about the commotion he caused, and just think about how the Magic could upset the Bulls or Heat, and make another run into the NBA Finals. No player dominates their position better than Dwight. While their are many point guards, shooting guards, and forwards who compete for #1, no one can compete with Dwight for the league's best center (Bynum is getting their, but still isn't close). If the Magic make a deep run in the playoffs, Dwight will probably sign a new contract, and ask them to bring in some help, but even if the Magic lose early, they still can trade him at next year's deadline.

Winner: Bucks- The Bucks and Warriors pulled off the first trade of the week, when they sent Stephen Jackson and Andrew Bogut to Golden State in return for Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown. This trade definitely makes the Bucks a better team. First, with Andrew Bogut out for extended time, Ellis provides instant offense for this team, and also gives them a dynamic backcourt of Ellis and Jennings. Additionally, the Bucks freed of cap space so they could sign Ersan Ilyasova, who has had a standout year this season. Upfront the Bucks already had Gooden and Ilyasova, so their was no need to hold onto the overpaid and injured Bogut.

Loser: Warriors- Why would the Warriors want another overpaid big man when they already have David Lee and Andris Biedrins? Look, I understand why Golden State made this move (to tank the season and retain their draft pick if it falls to #7 or worse, because if not Utah owns it), but I still think they could have gotten more for Monta than just Andrew Bogut. Right now it looks like the Warriors will need to lose a few more games before they can be projected as the #7 pick (NBA uses a lottery technique to set draft order). Before the season, it looked like the Warriors were making progress, but now it looks like they have to start all over again.

Loser: Sixers- Why would a team that already has four guys that can play shooting guard (ET, Iggy, Jodie Meeks and Lou Williams) trade FOR another shooting guard, while giving up a talented prospect who plays on the post, where the Sixers lack depth? It makes no sense to me. Pre-deadline, the chatter around the league was that the Sixers would move either Evan Turner or Andre Iguodala for a combination of picks, size, and skill. Philadelphia went the opposite direction, and instead acquired Sam Young for the rights of Ricky S√°nchez. Not a great move, but we will see how this turns out.

Loser: Pacers- Indiana has been playing great basketball this season, and many still think this team is one star away from seriously contending in the East. But as the deadline approached, the Pacers didn't look to bring in a veteran star. Instead they traded for Leandro Barbosa. Barbosa is a great player, but not what this team needs. The Pacers needed a scorer, not another lock down defender. Good news is they gave up practically nothing for him (a 2nd round pick), but bad news is that they are still going to be a four-eight seed in the playoffs for the next few years.

Winner: Lakers- Although it was sad to see Derek Fisher leave the Lakers, it was time. The Lakers made great upgrades at point guard and big man depth by adding Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill. Sessions will add quick offense, and excitement off the bench (for now), while Hill will allow Pau and Bynum to get more rest. The Lakers didn't add Michael Beasley, but made two small moves that can pay off big in the future.

Wash: Nets- The Nets didn't get Howard, but at least they got some help for now. The Nets acquired Gerald Wallace, who is the league's most underrated and under-appreciated player in the league, for practically nothing. He is a defense and hustle player first, who can also score on the other end (that's why they call him Crash). Now the Nets will have a starting five of Williams-Brooks-Wallace-Humphries-Lopez...not that bad at all. We don't know if that supporting cast will be good enough to keep D-Will, but it will definitely win some games in the latter half of this season.

Winner: Rockets- Houston added a veteran big man in Marcus Camby for a few unproven young players and a draft pick. The Rockets haven't played great basketball since the break, but Camby can add some leadership and talent to this team. The Rockets are currently a seven seed in the West, so Camby will help them hold that spot in a very competitive conference.

Winner: Wizards- The Wizards acquired Nene and a draft pick for Javale McGee, which is a pretty big upgrade at center. McGee is fun to watch, but Nene is clearly the better player. John Wall will have a guy to go to in the post, who can also run the pick and roll offense. Washington has had a terrible season, but they are definitely moving in the right direction.

Loser: Nuggets- Why would the Nuggets want to break up their great chemistry to add a player who is worse, and more problematic than the player they originally had? They traded their longest tenured player (maybe even star player) for a guy who will put up 12 points and nine rebounds a night. If the Nuggets slip out of the playoffs, you know why.

Winner: Clippers- The Clippers didn't make any big moves, but they got the shooting guard they needed for nothing. Los Angeles has needed a big upgrade at shooting guard ever since Chauncey Billups went down with an injury. The Clippers didn't get Ray Allen, but they did a get a young scorer for free. A rare, great move by the Clippers' front office.

Losers: Celtics and Knicks- The Celtics and Knicks have had very disappointing seasons, yet neither made moves at the deadline. For the Celtics, there were plenty of moves that could have been done. They could have gotten rid of Rondo, who appears to not be gelling with his teammates, or they could have traded their veterans (Allen, Pierce, Garnett) for younger talent and picks. The Knicks' only move this week was to fire coach Mike D'Antoni. Not sure if the Knicks needed a player change, but the coaching move seems to be working fine (2-0 since Woodson became interim Head Coach).

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