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Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Posted on: February 18, 2010 8:57 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2010 9:16 pm
After 11 trades in six days, the trade deadline wouldn’t be complete without surveying the wreckage and anointing the winners and losers. So before any more deals trickle out of the league office, here we go:


Cavaliers: Everybody was in agreement that Antawn Jamison was the better fit for Cleveland than Amar’e Stoudemire, and GM Danny Ferry was able to get him without giving up J.J. Hickson. LeBron gets what LeBron wants, and now he wants the Wizards to buy out Zydrunas Ilgauskas so he can re-sign with the Cavs and celebrate a championship after all the years he’s put in. The Wizards won’t have the heart to deny Z, but since they were able to maneuver beneath the luxury tax line, Washington will be able to drive a hard bargain. Sentimentality aside, the Cavs have to be viewed as the clear favorite to come out of the East and the biggest threat to win a title since LeBron left Akron-St. Vincent-St .Mary’s. 

Mavericks: Caron Butler a marginal upgrade over Josh Howard? I don’t think so. Forget Butler’s diminished production this season in Washington, where nothing went right for anyone. His size and scoring ability will be a major influence on the perimeter, but Brendan Haywood is the underrated component of this deal. Dallas’ biggest problem during its recent struggles was perimeter defense, and Haywood’s length and shot-blocking ability will only help. 

Trail Blazers: Portland didn’t want to trade Steve Blake, but in the end Blake and Travis Outlaw was a small price to pay for the much-needed interior presence of Marcus Camby. The Blazers had some conversations about minor, peripheral moves, but have to be pleased that they solidified the middle in the absence of Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla at such a reasonable price. 

Rockets: GM Daryl Morey raked the Knicks over the coals in the Tracy McGrady negotiation, holding firm on his demand of very little protection on New York’s first-round picks in 2011 and ’12. Then, in the wee hours Thursday, Morey was successful in recruiting a third team that could give him the piece he wanted more than any draft picks or luxury-tax relief: Kevin Martin. The sharpshooting guard will upgrade the Rockets’ struggling offense in the short term and will give them a lethal inside-outside game if Yao Ming returns at full strength next season. Giving up Carl Landry, who went to Sacramento, has to hurt, but was worth it in this case. Houston also gets Hill, a developing big man who will get a chance to follow the path blazed by Landry and Luis Scola. Despite his overpriced contract, Jeffries is a serviceable defender who can guard three positions well. 

Bulls: Other than New York, Chicago was the biggest deadline winner in the race for 2010 cap space. Though GM Gar Forman wasn’t able to recruit a third team to deliver McGrady to Chicago, he quickly changed gears and unloaded John Salmons on the Bucks. The debit of $5.8 million in ’10-’11 gives the Bulls about $17 million in cap space – just enough to lure a max free agent who might want to receive passes from Derrick Rose

Wizards: As much criticism as GM Ernie Grunfeld deserves for the implosion of the Wizards this season, he should be lauded for digging out of it this quickly. Nobody knows if Grunfeld will keep his job through the Wizards’ ownership transition, but he was able to move nearly $40 million in future salary and get Washington under the tax line – which seemed impossible only a few weeks ago. In terms of assets, Washington gets Josh Howard and Al Thornton, who will have a chance to prove they’re worth keeping around, Cleveland’s 2010 first-round pick, and Sacramento’s 2010 second-round pick (for Dominic McGuire and cash, in the deal that pushed them under the tax line). Next up: Dealing with Gilbert Arenas and the $80 million he’s owed over the next four seasons. 

Grizzlies: Memphis already had two extra 2010 first-round picks, so sending a protected first-rounder in 2011 to Utah for Ronnie Brewer was a no-brainer. Both teams can claim victory in this deal. The Jazz get some much-needed luxury tax relief (without trading Carlos Boozer), and Memphis gets a steady wing player to come off the bench. 


Celtics: Team president Danny Ainge kicked the tires on a lot of deals, but decided to move forward only with the acquisition of Nate Robinson for Eddie House. So for the second straight year, the Celtics get a guard the Knicks didn’t want, which can’t bode well. Robinson will give the Celtics some tempo and scoring off the bench, and let’s face it – Boston needs any kind of lift it can get. But if you accept the theory that Boston simply isn’t good enough to get through Cleveland or Orlando in the playoffs, they may come to regret failing to flip Ray Allen’s $19 million expiring contract into a starting shooting guard (Kirk Hinrich?) who would’ve helped them remain competitive next season. 

Suns: Phoenix once again dragged their franchise player, Amar’e Stoudemire, through a miserable two-week period fraught with trade rumors, only to do nothing. As a result, the Suns will be able to continue their playoff push and lose in the first round. It’s a foregone conclusion that Stoudemire will exercise his early-termination option on June 30, and the Suns will be under immense pressure to work out a sign-and-trade with less leverage than they had in the past 48 hours. It’s hard to criticize a team for not making a deal, especially when their current level of competitiveness won’t be compromised. But the Amar’e albatross was crying out to be lifted, and he’s still there. 

Nuggets: Denver felt strongly that it needed to add another frontcourt player to take out the Lakers in the playoffs this time. Nothing went anywhere with Antonio McDyess, and a last-minute attempt to pry Tyrus Thomas from the Bulls didn’t work, either. The Nuggets, sources said, tried to send Renaldo Balkman to Charlotte for expiring contracts they would’ve flipped to Chicago for Thomas, but the Bulls did business directly with Charlotte instead. Not a big deal; the Nuggets are still good enough to go toe-to-toe with the Lakers. But when you’re that close to getting a piece that would’ve been a difference-maker, it’s hard not to call it a disappointment. 

Spurs: San Antonio wasn’t successful in finding a new home for Roger Mason. Not a killer. But like the Nuggets, the Spurs were looking to add length and athleticism up front and weren’t able to use any of their wide assortment of expiring contracts to do so. They did the next best thing, dumping seldom-used Theo Ratliff’s $1.3 million contract – good for twice the savings when you account for luxury tax – on Charlotte for a heavily protected future second-round pick. But after going all-in and over the tax line with the Richard Jefferson acquisition, the Spurs will see their championship window slam shut if they don’t get better from within after the deadline. 

Remains To Be Seen  

Knicks: Donnie Walsh deserves a parade through the Canyon of Heroes for digging out of the mess Isiah Thomas left behind for him. But you can’t judge the McGrady trade until you see what Walsh is able to do with the cap space. Check back with me July 1. 

Heat: Miami couldn’t come up with enough to meet Phoenix’s demand in a Stoudemire trade, then made a late push with Utah for Carlos Boozer. If nothing else, they’re showing Wade how serious they are about surrounding him with elite talent. They didn’t accomplish anything this time around, but the Heat still have enough cap space to give Wade a max free agent as a teammate come July 1. I don’t buy that Miami’s desperate; the Heat already have one of the players everybody wants and they have the means to add another one. 

Kings: Sacramento became a fortunate bystander in the McGrady-to-the-Knicks scenario, finding the situation to be a good opportunity to deal Martin, whose importance would’ve only diminished as Tyreke Evans continued to develop. The Kings opened up some more 2010 cap space, so they’ll have room to spend if anybody wants to go there. And Landry is one of the most efficient big men in the game – a great get. But remember the old adage in NBA trades: The team that gets the best player wins. Martin was the best player in the deal, and the Kings traded him. So we’ll withhold judgment for that reason.

Category: NBA

Since: Jul 6, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2010 4:00 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

What DALLAS was able to do at the trade deadline just makes the West that much tougher, whichever team is able to come out of it might be worn out because it is so deep. There are going to be 3 teams that are above 500 out west that wont make the playoffs.

Since: Jul 6, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2010 3:35 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

kING JAMES is getting anyone he wants in a Cavs uni right now because they don't want to see the man blow town afetr the season and if having a team that can compete for a tittle is his requirement I think by adding Jamison they have done that on both accords.

Since: Feb 16, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2010 3:18 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

The bobcats are winners too. Getting Tyrus Thomas will help their bench scoring and rebounding and we only gave up Flip Murray!

Since: Mar 10, 2009
Posted on: February 22, 2010 1:06 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

By calling Nate Robinson a "guard that the Knicks didn't want, which can't bode well", that reads like Berger is calling Nate Robinson garbage.  That's why he put the Celtics in the Trade Deadline loser category, he's not saying it "can't bode well" for other teams as in Nate helps the Celtics out.  Berger is saying the trade won't bode well for the Celtics.  I begged to differ, I think Nate can play some basketball.  Then you jump in with,

Do you realize why the Lakers were after Nate?

Yeah, I do.  Fisher can’t stay with anybody on defense, Shannon Brown is better at the 2 and Vujacic is garbage.  I would have liked to see the Lakers get Nate but he’s a Base Year Compensation guy and his salary is tricky.

Ok you need to shooshReally, are we in a library or something?

Nate would have filled our weakest position and the one weakness that would prevent the Lakers from taking the title.Agreed, the backcourt is a concern.  Seems like you think Nate can play some ball, unlike Mr. Berger.  Thanks for helping make my point.  You're in good company, Kobe Bryant seems to think Nate can play some ball and add Dr. Jerry Buss to Nate's fan base.

So Berger is still right!

Not on this particular point.


Since: Dec 26, 2007
Posted on: February 20, 2010 10:41 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

"So for the second straight year, the Celtics get a guard the Knicks didn’t want, which can’t bode well

By all accounts the Lakers were hot on Nate, so it's not like the dude has the plague."

Do you realize why the Lakers were after Nate? Ok you need to shoosh. Nate would have filled our weakest position and the one weakness that would prevent the Lakers from taking the title.

So Berger is still right!

Since: Feb 19, 2010
Posted on: February 20, 2010 7:18 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Jamison did terrible in his first game maybe he do better next time but he got 2 points off of free throws worst debut ever but maybe he is good

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2010 6:10 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

The Bulls have a solid nucleus and cap space for next year but there's no way they flourish as long as Del Negro is coaching.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2010 3:23 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Allen couldn't defend my Grandma. Heck, he might be as old as my Grandma. The reason the two were mentioned in the same sentence is because Hinrich plays very good D and can hit the 3's when he's hot.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2010 3:12 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

More like Catfishbrain. LeBron? Clippers. You're smoking too much of that medical marijuana. Better nucleus than NY and NJ - maybe. Chicago has a WAY BETTER nucleus than all of them. I'm not a Bulls fan but a prime FA plus Rose, Deng, Noah will be very competitive...IF a top FA wants to define the rest of their career playing with one of the top 3 PG in the league.

Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2010 12:56 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Bill Simmons rates Kirk Heinrich's contract as one of the 20 worst contracts in the league.  Maybe you should have used a different example for a potential exchange with Allen.  Heinrich would have done nothing good for the Celtics.

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