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: May 21, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2010 1:12 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

You are good........, Us in Chicago would have loved to have seen T-MAC and Rose play pass and shoot but we got rid of malcontent T.Thomas which was nice.Houston I think made out the best, thats if Martin can get that touch back.

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2010 12:47 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

I think it's too early to put the Celtics into the loser section. The remains-to-be-seen sections would be better. Allen for Hinrich might have worked, but although Allen is not having a good year he can suddenly go on a hot streak shooting. Hinrich probably would have been an upgrade defensively. Robinson for House, though, could work out well for the Celtics. The Celtics are in desperate need of some speed and Robinson is a big upgrade over House in that regard. Also, when Allen iis having a bad shooting game, I think the Celtics can play Rondo and Robinson together with Rondo guarding the opponent's off guard on defense and playing point guard on offense. Robinson would give the Celtics the only player other than Pierce who can get a decent shot off on his own with the clock running down. (Rondo can get a shot off any time he wants but is not likely to make it.) In any case, I don't think swapping out Allen was going to make much of a difference in the playoffs this year, whereas Robinson might.

Since: Oct 2, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2010 12:38 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

I am a Celtics fan and could not agree with you more.....They will walk away with it this year...

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 12:29 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

What about  the Milwaukee Bucks ?Frown I feel that they made some good move to make them  a Better Team.Cool

Since: Apr 30, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2010 12:01 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Yes... Clippers? I think they scored big getting rid of Camby and bringing in young talent.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 11:31 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

First of all you say Landry is ONLY 26.  Is Martin 'over the hill' @ 27.  That's PRIME time.  The Kings were clogged @ forward before the trade.  Casspi, Thompson, Brockman, and Greene need minutes to mature.  They already have talent.  Hawes is a center, Landry is not.

Kevin Martin just returned from injury.  I do not believe adequate time was given for him to mesh-in with the changing team.  He is NOT a ball hog as you imply.  For heavens sake, he was being begged to take more shots last year.  When you can take only 10 -15 shots and score 20+ points...hey, you're a good shooter.  And, he's an excellent rebounder for a guard.

You and Eillene Voisin are looking through the same 'rose colored glasses'.  Free agents?...Sacramento?...Maybe a role player but don't expect the second coming of Chris Webber or Vlade Divac!!!

Since: Jan 10, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2010 11:21 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Mr. Berger,

Ray Allen was the primary reason why the Celtics beat the Lakers last night.
Ray has already said he wants to retire a C and will sign for less money.
Do you think Hinrich can do what ray can do ? If you do, you're all wet.
Also, like so many others, you've totally devalued Nate Robinson.
Light talk about "energy" is an understatement you will realize that
when the Celtics bench starts going +15 against all other benches.
Good Day and please try to think outside of the box. We hear the same old thing
from all you media types. You all say the same things. I know it's easy to do
that and continue with your day, but please apply yourself more.
Thanks, Ron.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2010 10:50 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

     How can you omit the failure to do anything in Philadelphia?  Stories were circulating from all parts of the country about the Sixers having offers to move the awful contracts of Iguodala and Dalembert for expiring contracts and nothing happened.  This Sixer team is a mess with the whole Iverson debacle returning to the team and the mess that Ed Stefanski continues to wallow in.
     For years I thought that Billy King was the biggest fool in the business until the last year or so.  There is no plan for success in Philadelphia and Stefanski had been given the golden opportunity to clean house, clear salary cap dollars, and hang the blame on King long after he was gone.  Instead, he's given out deals just as stupid as King did years earlier, re-signed Iverson to try to put asses in the seats of the half-empty Wachovia Center, and has made no real moves to improve the team on the floor.
     The Sixers should have been included just because of their inactivity when they had the chances to do things to help this franchise moving forward.

Since: Nov 15, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2010 10:38 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

I think the Bucks did well with the moves they made on Thursday.  On paper, these moves should make the team better and hopefully be enough to sneak into the #8 seed.  Just getting into the playoffs would be a huge achievement for the Bucks, and the experience would be invaluable.  Considering they were projected to be the worst team in the league.  I know Salmons isn't much, and the Bulls were looking to dump his contract, but its one of the positions they needed to address.  Also got an option to switch first round picks, and two other draft picks as well.  The Bucks will have a large amount of money in the upcoming year or two and that's when they'll be more active financially and the younger players will have matured considerably.  Clearly a team that is competitive night in and night out, but they need to move away from the idea of being a jump shooting team. 

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2010 10:21 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

The Clippers are LOSERS no matter what they do.

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