Blog Entry

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: Jan 23, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2010 4:42 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Berger, of course the Knicks are "winners" at the trade deadline.  DW did a stellar job with what he had.  True, it remains to be seen what comes of it, but we're not talking about judging an entire body of work, just what happened before Feb 18 at 3pm.

Since: Jul 8, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2010 3:59 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers


Since: Jan 23, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2010 3:29 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

You are completely right! They have to land a big free agent or they just wasted this years trade deadline! Do you think the Chicago Bulls have enough cap space to sign 2 big free agents? I'm thinking Dywane Wade and Chris Bosh or some duo combination to really compliment Derrick Rose. What do you think can happen? I hope Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Joakim Noah will continue to flourish!

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 3:07 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Completely agree with the DBowman post here.  The Sixers were clear losers here at the dealine, simply because of their inability to make a deal.  This is a team that is comprised of elements that have proven to not fit well together.  The mix of talent and coaching philosophy is a proven loser.  The need for change in Philly is as clear as it was for a team like Washington.  Yet Washington takes the risks to set a new direction, while Stefanski and the Sixers have opted to take this terrible team and continue to jam it down the throats of their fans for the forseeable future. 

I also agree that Stefanski has done the impossible and nearly made Sixers fans forget that Billy King was an even worse steward of this team.  Maybe Stefanski didn't make any moves because he no longer trusts himself to make good decisions.  Sixers fans are still loving his big off-season acquisitions of Jason Kapono from Toronto (guy doesn't even dress for half the games) and the addition of a proven loser for coach, who brilliantly decides to install a Princeton offense without the help of a veteran point guard to run it.  Oh, and it also is an offense that renders Elton Brand nearly useless...not a bright move for using a player that eats up so much salary.  The list of folly here could run for pages.  Perhaps the best move the Sixers could have made yesterday was to give Stefanski, Jordan and the whole front office their walking papers.  If they don't want to make the changes because they're too married to these earlier stupid decisions, then fire 'em.

More I think about it, maybe the reason the Sixers didn't show up on this deadline deal article's "worst list" is that Berger is saving them for a different article.  That'll be the one written at the end of the season about teams with the worst front offices.  Giving Stefanski a high draft pick and some more spending money is like giving a drunk dude the keys to your new Bentley.  But that's likely what's going to happen in Philly.  Sad stuff.    

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 2:41 pm

Overlooked in Dallas' Pickups....

Is the fact DeShawn Stevenson gives them a Legit Defender to the leagues upper echelon 2-3's   He is hard nosed, and has a true certain distaste for LeBron, and on court, I am sure, Artest and Kobe would be treated the same.   

Haywood and Butler are great pickups no matter, getting a stopper and depth, and someone with some grit and stones, is a added plus.

I like the move...

Since: Sep 11, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2010 2:28 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

I never said Kevin Martin was old.  You implied that getting someone like Landry was going to affect young players growth.  Well he too is a young player growing.  Kevin Martin cant play DEFENSE, and was a ball hog, he had to be. Thats the reason he has become a better shooter, the Kings won how many games the last couple seasons???  I know that Hawes is listed as a center, but hardly plays like one.  It seems as if Brockman is the one that plays center.  Martin was not the player that was going to save the Franchise anyway.  Have you not payed any attention to how the great Kings teams came to be, the Kings built those teams through trades.  Sacramento is a great place to play, players just dont know it.  Get them here through trade and then they will stay, do your history homework.

Since: Feb 19, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2010 2:04 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

What about the Clippers? They have the most cap space of them all and have a better nucleus than the Knicks, Nets or Chicago...Give them some credit for setting themselves up for a run at LeBron...

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2010 1:36 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

I hate these articles...The reason the celtics didnt trade allen was cause they didnt want to tick off garnett and u really think trading allen for robertson would help this team..if u do ur ignorant and dont know basketball..history shows when u trade a star who is close with the other stars u piss off those remaining...and best chance boston has is with a happy KG and Pierce..Berger your an idiot and u dont know jack-s-it about basketball

Since: Feb 19, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2010 1:35 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

what donnie walsh has done to clean up the mess isiah left is remarkable. He has gotten rid of all the left overs from the isiah thomas era with the exception of the immovable object in eddy curry  This is the first time in a long time the knicks have got me excited.  We now can go into the 2010 FA with more cap space then anyone else to hopefully sign lebron/wade and bosh.  Having lebron and bosh is my ideal scenario , having them to with the option to kick it out to Gallo, seems pretty tough to compete with.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 1:19 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Sorry, NO ONE believes (besides delusional Knicks fans) that the Knicks will get 1 of the super free agents, needless to say 2 of them.

Seriously, where do Knicks fans come up with this stuff?

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