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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: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2010 10:12 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Donnie Walsh deserves a parade through the Canyon of Heroes for digging out of the mess Isiah Thomas left behind for him.
I don't think Isiah Thomas left a mess behind in New York.. It just needed time to develop.. 1st of all, the Knicks have not really improved, record wise, since Thomas departure. So, Thomas as the coach, was not the problem.. Now, lets examine Thomas the GM..

He brought in Zach Randolph and draft David Lee.. BOTH were All-Stars this year.. Thats pretty good.. Yes, he traded for Steve Francis, but with the EXCELLENT years Francis had in Houston, I think that was an educated gamble.. It didn't work out, but what GM has a 100% success rate on every move they make?? I think, trading for a player, that turned into an All-Star 2 years later and drafting an All-Star in David Lee, is very good..

There is NO guarantee that the Knicks will get Lebron or any other top notch free agent. Its a good chance, but no guarantee.. David Aldridge said it best, last night.. "The Bulls had a ton of cap room after Michael Jordan left, and instead of getting Grant Hill and T-Mac, they ended up with Ron Mercer and Eddie Curry.. It happens.. It is quite possible, that the Knicks could end up in a worse situation than have All-Stars David Lee and Zach Randolph on the same team.

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 9:57 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

I would put Miami in the Winners category.

Why give up players now for Boozer or Stoudamire when you know you can get them in the offseason for nothing except money.

Miami does have Wade and will more than likely retain him.

They also have Beasley who has HUGE upside and is up to 17ppg as a starter in his 2nd season.

Something should tell you about the kid when everyone wants him in trade deals.

This offseason will be interesting since literally the only returning players are Cook and Beasley.

Miami will overhaul the entire roster and get 1 more big name to play with Beasley and move not reaching too far.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 9:56 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

I agree that Thomas didn't look like he was ever going to live up to his ability in Chicago. That said, the Bulls didn;t get all that much for Salmons and Thomas other than a few stopgap players and some cap space clearing.  To a lesser degree I put them in the same boat as the Knicks.  These moves were made with one thing in mind: the 2010 free agent season.  So if we use that space to land Wade or Bosh then greate.  But if it is 2002 all over again then the Bulls are going to look pretty stupid dealing Salmons and Thomas away for a song.

Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2010 6:41 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Ravens1113...great post.  I could not agree with you more.  I disliked the trading for thomas a few years ago on draft day. 

Since: Sep 11, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2010 4:12 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

I strongly disagree with you on this one.  First of all Landry is just 26 years old and is putting up 16+ pts, and 5 1/2 rbs in just under 30 min/gm.  Those numbers will go up as the #2 or 3 scoring option in the offense and will help out Sactos ole' defense.  Kevin Martin was the one that was clogging up the rotaion and minutes of younger players.  I think hes a good player but his previously huge numbers obviously were a product of an anemic offense, and the ball constantly being in his hands.  The other problem is the big men on the squad:  Brokman is a beast, but that does not put points on the board.  Hawes has yet to show what he is going to contribute long term, finding an identity with the kings.  Landry solves both those problems.  Furthermore, this is Tyreke's team now and next season there will be cap space to grab at least one high level playmaker or two very serviceable contributors to a already strong core!  So in my opinion it is very much a win .

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2010 3:28 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

The Magic went 2-0 against the Lakers last year.. we saw how that turned out.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2010 2:42 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

"Despite his overpriced contract, Jeffries is a serviceable defender who can guard three positions well. "Jared Jefferies?Ok, I watch knicks games, i admit it. I have NO IDEA why this guy has a reputation of being a good defender. Watch teh games!!Jared Jefferies is a bigger criminal than billy the kid, who robbed banks for their money, but admitted it. Top 5, contract included, worst players in the nba in the last 20 years. period. not a even koking

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2010 1:11 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

The biggest loser, 'hands down', are the Sacramento Kings and their loyal fan base.  They were young, talented, a bit inexperienced but up and coming.  They trade the best player on their team and get nothing usable, by them, in return.  Landry is a good player but they don't need big men, especially forwards.

They have Thompson, Caspi, Hawes, Brockman, and Greene (with May warming the bench).  Landry will only take valuable learning time from the youngsters and future of the team!!!

If Garcia doesn't pan-out and Udrih returns to his invisible self that leaves only Tyreke Evans to play point guard, shooting gaurd and help dear Grant Napier annouce the ineptitude of a 'growing' franchise.  Larry Hughes???  Give me a break.

If this 'trade' was done to free salary in the hopes of landing a free agent, forget it!!!  What was Petrie thinking.  Maybe the Las Vegas Kings...ain't so bad.

Since: Jan 7, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2010 12:31 am

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Now that Chicago has the cap space, they better land a max free agent this off season. If they can manage to get their hands on Chris Bosch or Dwayne Wade, then they will become a power house.  A team of Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and either Wade or Bosch will be a nasty combo. I'm also very happy that the Bulls dumped cry baby Tyrus Thomas. Good Luck with that Charlotte!!!!!!! 

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: February 18, 2010 11:28 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

but was worth it in this caseI disagree.

But I'll be glad to hear your reasoning behind this.

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