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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: Mar 10, 2009
Posted on: February 18, 2010 10:45 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Berger taking some shots, calling out the Celts, Suns and Nuggets.

The Celtics gave it a look, pretty tough to call them losers for not being able to broker a deal.

"they may come to regret failing to flip ’s $19 million expiring contract into a starting shooting guard (?)"

Kirk Hinrich is averaging like 10/3/4 while shooting around 38% from the floor and he's on the books for 17 mil over the next two years.
Had Philly been looking to shed salary (which they weren't, by all accounts they were buyers at the deadline) then a Andre Iguadola and Samuel Dalembert for Ray Allen (19.1 mil expiring) and Veal Scalabrine (3.5 expiring) would have worked.  That's the deal they really wanted.  The Butler/Jamison for Ray Allen wasn't going down because Berger said GMs were giving Grunfeld grief about swining the balance of power in the east or something like that.  So the C's bring Ray (16/3/2 shooting 44%) back on the cheap next year, since he's so "washed up".

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.

"Phoenix once again dragged their franchise player, Amar’e Stoudemire, through a miserable two-week period fraught with trade rumors, only to do nothing"

What were Phoenix's options, The Cavs were smokescreening everybody anyway, they wanted Jamison.  Hard to resisit that Miami Heat package of Jermaine O'Neal (and his expiring contract, which basically is the same thing as keeping Amare becausing according to Berger he is going to exercise his termination offer), or Udonis Haslem (expiring deal), Udonis Haslem (expiring deal).  The Heat weren't coming off Michael Beasley, so why fault the Suns.  Can't really call them losers, nothing was out there. So they "dragged" Amare through a "miserable" couple of weeks, they have been doing this with him for years.

"Denver felt strongly that it needed to add another frontcourt player to take out the in the playoffs this time. Nothing went anywhere with ,

Gee, what a shock that San Antonio wasn't willing to help out the Nuggets after all they have been through together.  C'Mon man, why in the heck would San Antonio assist Melo and the Boys.  That could end up being a first round playoff matchup.

The Nuggets, sources said, tried to send to Charlotte for expiring contracts they would’ve flipped to Chicago for Thomas, but the Bulls did business directly with Charlotte instead"

Balkman's salary is 2 million a year. What "contracts" could they have gotten for that? Tyrus Thomas is sitting at 4.7 mil a year, it would have taken Balkman, another couple of dudes and a pick.  Tough to fault them for that.  Dudes are going to get bought out after the deadline so the Nuggets can add somebody that way.

It's easy to call teams out after the deadline, but this isn't NBA 2K10 where you can turn the trade override on and deal away.

Since: May 1, 2009
Posted on: February 18, 2010 10:34 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

The Knicks are winners in my mind as they were finally able to get rid of Jeffries contract and were able to get T-Mac and his expiring contract. This is a huge plus as they have now cleared enough cap room to sign two quality players (Lebron, Bosh, Wade, etc.) this offseason. In addition, they managed to get rid of Nate, who has been in D'Antonio's doghouse and inconsistent for a good portion of the season. With all that accomplished at the deadline, the Knicks seems like they're winners.

Since: Aug 22, 2009
Posted on: February 18, 2010 10:16 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

In my opinion (and I'm a Knicks fan), the Knicks are neutral right now and they will be winners or losers come the start of next season. They only have 4 guys signed for next year and there is no guarantee we will see Lebron James, Chris Bosh and/or Dwayne Wade in a Knicks jersey. If we come up empty, out team will look like a D-league team and our draft picks aren't exactly going to be favorable. If they sign 1 or 2 of those guys they are winners, if they sign none they are losers. Donnie Walsh is a winner anyways for cleaning up the mess Isiah Thomas left. 

Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2010 10:15 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Freaknasty -- the one word that comes to mind when thinking about the Cavaliers line-up with Jamison in it now.  Remember one thing .. the Cavaliers are a combined 4-0 against the Lakers and Magic this year, and that was WITHOUT Antawn.  If Cleveland can stay healthy, they're the odds-on favorite to win the championship now.

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2010 10:00 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Do you even watch any games?

Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: February 18, 2010 9:59 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

How are the Clippers not included in this article?  Did the original deal fall through or am I missing something?

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2010 9:54 pm

Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

The Kings had better hope Carl Landry doesn't opt out when his option comes out.

They have a nice core, and a good upcoming draft would go a long ways to getting them back on the right track.

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