Blog Entry

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:46 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 9:14 pm
With close to a dozen trades before the 2011 NBA Trade Deadline, we break down the winners and losers in each division.
Posted by EOB Staff

Well, that escalated quickly. After an insane week that started with the Carmelo Anthony trade finally coming to fruition, the NBA trade deadline finished with nearly a dozen deals having been completed. Here are the winners and losers from this insane week that was. 

Atlantic Division

Winner: New Jersey Nets

Plenty of good arguments to be had for the New York Knicks snagging Carmelo Anthony and the Boston Celtics nabbing Jeff Green, but no other team in the entire league changed its fortunes like the New Jersey Nets, who acquired the single best player who moved during this year's trading season: point guard Deron Williams. The price New Jersey paid was meaningful but not crippling, and Williams sets them up to win and build far better than rookie big man Derrick Favors would have. We already saw how far point guard Devin Harris could carry them the last two seasons. Williams will hopefully breathe some new life into big man Brook Lopez, help maximize the production from New Jersey's many role players and serve as an attraction to  other marquee names in free agency. Nobody else made a bigger leap into relevancy that the Nets did, and that's worthy of the winner title. -- Ben Golliver

(Tracker )

Loser: Toronto Raptors

Speaking of struggling with relevance, allow me to introduce the Toronto Raptors, who moved a first round pick for James Johnson, a seldom used forward who has failed to deliver on his draft promise during his two years in the NBA. It's not a terrible move but it's one that comes with limited upside, leaving the Raptors to continue to churn below mediocrity. Blowing things up was probably the way to go -- unloading Jose Calderon's contract would have been a great start -- but asset collection would have also inspired some hope among the Raptors diehards. Instead, the cynical wait for Jay Triano's firing marches on. -- BG

(Tracker )

Northwest Division

Winner: Oklahoma City Thunder

I don't think there could possibly be a bigger winner than the Oklahoma City Thunder. They won a Pulitzer, a Grammy, a Nobel Prize and an Oscar all in one swoop.

Not only did two of the division's very best players in Deron Williams and Carmelo Anthony get moved, opening the door for OKC to stay at the top of the Northwest for years to come, the Thunder did a little of their own maneuvering, picking up Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed to fill the biggest gap in the team's depth chart.

Giving up Jeff Green stings as he was one of the original long term pieces that the Thunder was building with. But he was a restricted free agent and indications were that he wasn't going to be re-signed for the price OKC was comfortable with. So the Thunder flips him and Nenad Krstic (an expiring contract) for the Celtics starting center (and Nate Robinson). Perkins is an unrestricted free agent himself this summer, but not only does OKC get him for two months, it also has the cap space and desire to re-sign him over the summer.

So let's recap that real quick: Some of the main competition got worse and the Thunder got better. That's a good haul. -- Royce Young

(Tracker )

Loser: Utah Jazz

Any time you give up a superstar, you aren't going to get equal value. It's just reality. And while the Jazz received a nice return for Deron Williams (Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, two first-round picks) it's really not even close to enough.

The Jazz still had the rest of this season and a whole other year with Williams. They wanted to strike preemptively to avoid any welling Derondrama of taking place next season. But is that really worth just shipping out one of the league's best point guards, just like that?

In the past 30 days, Utah has lost its coach and its face. Those are big blows. The Jazz are moving on and will try and rebuild a winner around younger players while creating cap space and stockpiling picks, but there's no denying that this isn't the same team without Williams.

The Jazz will be lucky to stumble into the postseason this season and will likely be a lottery team next year. And to think, they could've had at least another full season with Williams, but instead they chose to jump at the best offer they might get. I understand the thinking of trading a player that won't re-sign, but still, is what you get back worth the time you're giving up? -- RY

Southeast Division

Winner: Charlotte Bobcats

It took some time for Michael Jordan to realize it, but the best maneuver for the Bobcats was simply to set fire to the roster. The team was never going anywhere with its existing pieces so it just made all the sense in the world to start over.

What the Bobcats received on deadline day was a couple expiring contracts (Joel Przybilla, Morris Peterson) while also finding two first-round drafts picks and not a bad young big man in D.J. White. They lost Gerald Wallace, which hurts, but that's the price for rebuilding .

Going into the summer, the normally financially strapped Bobcats will have some room to look around, while also being able to build around the cheapest talent available -- rookies. The forthcoming draft classes aren't that excellent, but there are good players to be had if you look hard enough.

It's odd to see a team that threw away a chance at the postseason as a winner, but the Bobcats did the right thing. This has been in the cards for months and while they didn't get Stephen Jackson moved, they sent a good chunk of the roster off. -- RY

(Tracker )

Loser: Orlando Magic

Orlando did all of its dealing more than a month ago and didn't really have much left to pursue. The Magic wanted a big man to help inside, but they never did find a suitable deal.

But on top of that, they are now kind of that idle ship in the East. They have the talent to win, but Otis Smith's blockbuster hasn't worked out well at all. Gilbert Arenas isn't scoring, Hedo Turkoglu isn't creating and Jason Richardson is mainly just a shooter. Dwight Howard wanted more help inside and the Magic didn't get it.

(Where they did win was Kendrick Perkins getting moved. Perkins was always one of the best defenders for Dwight Howard and with him out of the picture, the Celtics aren't nearly as formidable inside and will likely struggle guarding Howard. So that's one plus for them.)

Again, not that they really had to pieces to make a big splash, but maybe Smith jumped the gun on a trade. Maybe if he waits for the deadline, he's a player for some of the bigger fish like Gerald Wallace or even Deron Williams. That's speculation, but if Orlando's not going anywhere, it would've been worth it, right? -- RY

Southwest Division

Winner: Houston Rockets

The Rockets needed to do something, and it's hard to criticize what they came up with. Turning Shane Battier's expiring contract into a decent high-risk, maybe-reward project in bust-to-date center Hasheem Thabeet was solid. Moving point guard Aaron Brooks, who the Rockets clearly weren't willing to commit big dollars to long-term, for productive and cheap point guard Goran Dragic of the Suns, bought the Rockets a year to sort out their long-term point guard situation. Together, the trades serve as value plays for a franchise that has spun its wheels since Yao Ming's abrupt decline into the injury abyss. There wasn't much competition for the "winner" tag in this division, as it was fairly quiet and devoid of major division-altering moves. While playoff contention might get tabled until next year, the Rockets plunge ahead with their smarter-than-average, flexibility-oriented approach. -- BG

(Tracker )

Loser: Memphis Grizzlies

Any time you try valiantly but can't complete a trade of a player who has started a fight on your team plane and been suspended for violating the league's performance enhancing drugs policy, you are the automatic loser. That's just a default rule of the NBA. When the Grizzlies failed to complete a deal that would have shipped O.J. Mayo to the Indiana Pacers for Josh McRoberts, they added another dramatic chapter to an already difficult situation, sending a message to a troubled player that he isn't really wanted but, hey, he is still welcome to show up for practice tomorrow. Awkward. Mayo still has tons of promise, but this disaster area clearly isn't the right location for him to realize it. -- BG

(Tracker )

Central Division

Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers

It wasn't a huge win. It wasn't even a considerable win.  But the Cavaliers needed to make efforts to go young, and they have done so.  The Cavs sent off Mo Williams and Jamario Moon's expiring contract for Baron Davis and a first round pick from the Clippers. The initial reaction is revulsion, because they were forced to acquire Baron Davis' massive contract, knee problems, and laziness. But two things. One, Davis has shown with Blake Griffin that he can be a not-terrible player. The Cavs aren't looking for a guy to be a difference maker next year. Davis will have considerably more value next season at the deadline with a 2013 expiring contract (if he doesn't opt-out). It's a large chunk of change with nearly $29 million left on his deal, but if they're able to flip him at some point, buy him out, or get some level of production, it's worth it. Why? Because two, that draft pick is the gold mine, here. The Clippers are not going to make the playoffs this year, will be in the lottery, and can end up with a valuable draft pick. As a result, the Cavs get what they need most. A high draft pick. That's what they needed to do.

In a second deal, the Cavaliers picked up Semih Erden and Luke Harangody from the Celtics. Neither are going to set the world on fire, but both have shown flashes of talent for the Celtics, and can be valuable role players or added to offseason trades. For the price of a second round pick, that's a near-steal. The Cavaliers missed out on a big opportunity when a deal with Golden State fell through, but in the end, they at least moved forward with rebuilding instead of standing pat. It wasn't a great deadline, but it wasn't a disaster. That's what this season is. --Matt Moore

(Tracker )

Loser: Indiana Pacers

Drat! Foiled! The Pacers were this  close to landing O.J. Mayo in a trade sending Josh McRoberts and a draft pick to Memphis. It's a bigger loss for the Grizzlies who now have to deal with the fallout, but a lost opportunity for Indiana. Brandon Rush has vanished in the rotation and the Pacers need a true 2-guard to make them a better scoring team on the perimeter. Mayo would have fit that bill perfectly. But as always should be the lesson with the Grizzlies, if you give them an opportunit to screw something up, that's what they'll do. This time it backfired on the Pacers and they're stuck, despite McRoberts being a more-than-serviceable forward, without Mayo. Plus it looks embarassing to have agreed to a deal and have the deadline pass. But perhaps the biggest reason they lost was their insistance on not trading their expiring contracts. They had Mike Dunleavey Jr. and Jeff Foster both available and both expendable and failed to get on the market. They could have brought in a legitimate addition to push them into a solid middle-playoff-seed team. Instead, they're left with the same squad, playing well, but contending cores are not built on three-week win streaks. If they can't do anything with the money they'll clear, they may regret having been so quiet on this very loud day. -- MM

Pacific Division

Winner: Sacramento Kings

Marcus Thornton's career is probably going one of two ways. He is likely not going to end up as just an average NBA player. He's either going to blow up and be a household name where he plays in terms of scoring capacity, or he's going to flame out horribly and be an inefficient malcontent. Odds are much more on the former. I'm not saying he'll be a star in this league, but he can be very good and part of a core that helps the Kings contend, if they keep him. Moving Landry clears space, clears someone who was unhappy, clears money the team can't afford to spend. Thornton is a young asset, and one that can fill the bucket up. That's especially important for them this season with Tyreke Evans on the bench due to injury. But when he gets back, Evans-Thornton-Cousins? That's a phenomenal balance of talent. Just because this season has been a disaster doesn't mean next year has to be. Great move for the Kings. I'm not going to dignify the Marquis Daniels trade with a response. -- MM

(Tracker )

Loser: Phoenix Suns

Bear in mind, Aaron Brooks is a good player. He really is. The Rockets hardballed him because they understand his limitations and never overcommit to a player who's not truly great . That's just not what they do. And Brooks is not a great player. Furthermore, Brooks fits with the Suns only to the degree that it's nice to have nitro-boost on the fastest car in the world. You're already fast. Why are you spending more to get faster? Brooks will struggle to get time behind Steve Nash, who's kept himself in such good condition he won't be going anywhere any time soon. Brooks was acquired for a talented guard in Goran Dragic and a first round pick. That pick wasn't going to be super-valuable and the Suns bleed first-rounders like they're nothing, but still, for a team that's struggling to find an identity after the loss of Stoudemire, this move seemed at best superfluous and at worst a step backwards. Brooks kind of fits the role of the departed Leandro Barbosa, but was that really what the Suns needed? This was a strange trade, and not one that helped them. -- MM

(Tracker )

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:14 pm

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

How did the Cavs win picking up Baron Davis? Maybe the local all-you-can-eat buffets will win, but not the basketball team. Mo Williams when healthy is a far better player. The Cavs may get a 1st round pick, but they'll draft some stiff, because their GM is clueless. This miss Danny Ferry big time.

Heinrich is a good player, but brilliant move? Geez, this guy is truely inane. Atlanta may finish 5th, but they'll be out in round one. In fact, they may get swept, if the play Orlando.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:10 pm

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

Deron Williams is better than Carmelo? Let's see a player who is a one year rental and deposed a HOF coach goes to NJ for 2 players and picks while the Knicks get Carmelo and Billups and basically give up Gallinari? Hello, dumb guy?  What planet is this idiot from?

Chris Paul is a better point guard and doesn't have the bad attitude. Derrick Rose is way better as well. I'd still take Nash over D-Williams in the short-term. Williams is good, but has a major attitude. His actions with Sloan proved what a punk he really is. Now he gets to play for a clueless coach who sounds and coached like Mickey Mouse. Good luck losing 52 games a year.

Sorry, the big winners were the Knicks period. They've changed their fortunes in the short-term and long term by acquiring a true super star for 3 + years and will get either Paul(whom I prefer) or Williams in 2013 when Billups deal expires(if he's not bought out next year).

The Nets on the other hand failed to get the big fish and wasted 5 months doing so. They landed a rental(who didn't want to come there) who in his press conference refused in any way to commit to his new team. Anthony wanted to come to NY. Williams wanted to come east, but wanted to be across the river with a real team. He may get his wish in 2013. If he doesn't, expect him to be anywhere but NJ/Brooklyn.

I'll say it again, where does CBS get these helots?

Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:57 am

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

Detroit should be on here as losers.  They were unable to make any moves.

Since: Apr 19, 2010
Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:54 am

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

I think moving Green will really hurt OKC's offense.  Westbrook and to a lesser degree Durant live off driving to the basket and Green helps spread the floor to make this possible.  Now, when they drive and the defense converges who are they going to kick the ball to.  Perkins and Ibaka are no threat unless they are standing under the basket.  This looks good on paper because it helps a defensive weakness, but I need to see the product on the floor before I give this a high grade.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:52 am

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

Anyone surprised that the Craptors were losers?  They lose all of their games and then lose at the trade deadline.  Time for contraction.

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:20 am

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

OKC, NYK, Portland, are the winners.  Charlotte, Boston, Utah are the losers in my opinion.  I don't know what any of the losers are doing, Some kind of picks are great but you can also mess up royally with them,  Perkins is a heck of a player, I thought Boston was ready for one more run, guess not.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2011 10:56 am

Lots of complaining, no perspective

There are very few LOSERS in this era of basketball. 

Everyone involved in the NBA wins.

Ratings are up, and casual fans care about regular season basketball for the first time EVER.  Whether they love or hate Miami, they CARE what happens to them.  If you think David Stern is upset by all of the attention his sport is getting, you are nuts. 

Bad teams that are willing to part with draft picks can improve if they are willing to spend some money (see the Nets).
Small market teams can compete if they are willing to invest in their star AND pay to give him a good supporting cast (see the Thunder).
Players can go places where they are MOTIVATED to play (James, Bosh, Anthony, etc). 

Fans of bad teams have hope that they can make a move for a star with an uncertain future (T-Wolves fans have to wonder if an offer of Kevin Love, Johnson and the rights to Rubio might be enough to get Dwight Howard to town next year). 

Because besides that, your childhood heroes rarely if ever finished their careers where they made their names, so fans have always had to deal with losing icons. 
As a Knicks fan, I had to watch them trade Ewing for a handful of magic beans. 
Philly fans had to watch Barkley move to Phoenix.  
A decade or so before that, Bucks fans watch Kareem move to the Lakers and Blazer fans watch Walton move to the Clippers. 
A decade before that, Chamberlain fans watched him get traded between Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and Big O fans watched Mr. Triple Double leave the Kings to play in Milwaukee. 

The point is that fans have ALWAYS had to deal with player movement.  We are upset these days because analysts tell you how great things were in the old days.  Don't be fooled - those days never existed.  Joe-Montana fans in San Fran were sad to see him go.  Franco Harris fans in Pittsburgh must have hated to see him in Seattle.  Willie Mays fans, Reggie Jackson fans, O.J. Simpson fans.... well, at least at the time - okay, next example.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2011 9:49 am

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

  • Losers: Small market cities. Your time with a NBA franchise is almost up.

  • Winners: Players. Always are, its their league giving to them by David Stern after the 9 billion dollar TV deal with ESPN.

  • Losers: Fans. True fans who follow, have had season tickets for years, take their kids, only to be betrayed year in and year out by trades and free agency. Hello Cleveland!

  • Winners: Players. Guaranteed contracts. I believe C Webb is still getting paid by two or three of the teams he played for after retiring 3 years ago.

  • Losers: Coaches. Real coaches that is. The x and o guys are almost extinct. With the resignation of Sloan, there are only a few left, the rest are former players that are nothing more than hood ornaments. Watch your back Avery Johnson, with Yergone Williams in town, you are on the clock! He may be the next player/coach?!

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2011 9:33 am

Cavs Win Big!

The Cavs have had three winning eras in their history, Austin Carr & the Miracle of Richfield team, Brad Daugherty & the Mark Price/Ron Harper/Larry Nance team, and the Lebron James team.  What they all have in common was that each started with the first overall selection.  The Cavs need high draft picks to get better.  Mid round picks are worthless in the NBA.  Mediocrity breeds mediocrity, which is why most middle of the pack teams don't improve year after year.  Unless you can sign a big name free agent (and we all see where they are headed), then you are pretty much stuck in the mud in the NBA.  I don't care if Baron Davis sits on the Cavs bench, as long as we get TWO, yes TWO lottery picks to rebuild around.  Who knows, if the Cavs draft good enough, Davis might even get motivated and start playing like a star once again!

Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2011 8:51 am

Trade Deadline: Black Thursday Winners and Losers

The Kings future is:
Extinct -- When the NBA downsizes the Kings are one of the first to go.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or