Tag:Darren Collison
Posted on: November 26, 2010 12:40 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2010 6:08 pm
 

Your NBA Fantasy Black Friday Deals

Your NBA Black Friday Fantasy deals: come find the bargain fantasy guys you're looking for.
Posted by Kevin Goodwin

Well, folks, it's that time of year again. The day we shake off those paralyzing turkey chemicals and drag ourselves out of bed in the wee hours. The day we maraud from store to store like a pack of ravenous credit-wielding zombies. The day we do the ridiculous in the name of big deals and unparalleled savings. Black Friday hath cometh.

Fortunately, Fantasy owners don't even have to leave their couch to find great bargains … and it's the right time of year for those as well. I've got 10 super-saver steals that could put your team on the track to success in the New Year.  Don't let those other fantasy shoppers beat you to the bargains!

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Calderon's Fantasy value is sky high, and Fantasy owners are clearing out long-term roster space to snatch him up. Since Jarrett Jack was traded to New Orleans, Calderon will see the lion's share of minutes up in Toronto.  He has been producing at a high level recently, and is averaging 12.3 points and 6.5 assists over his last four games entering Black Friday. He should continue to perform for the Raptors, and for Fantasy owners from here on out.

Real Deal Equivalent: Squinkies Bubble Pack - $11.99 at Babies"R"Us
They're definitely not the most glamorous item on the list, but are widely considered to be one of the hottest grabs of the season. It's kind of like the Furby toy from a few years ago, except they're supposedly very collectable to kids, and will likely be worth holding on to for the long haul.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Flynn still doesn't have a timetable for his return, but it's getting closer. Minnesota brought in veteran guard Luke Ridnour to push Flynn for the starting job this year, but a hip injury to Flynn deflated any competition. Now, Flynn will have to prove his worth to coach Kurt Rambis. We all know Rambis was limiting Kevin Love's minutes to start the season, so it's unclear how he'll treat Flynn when he does return. But Fantasy owners who are hurting in the guard position should keep an eye on Flynn. He has more of an upside than Ridnour, and can offer you around 13-15 points and 4-5 assists per game. He also shot 35.8 percent from downtown last season, which is a nice gift for Fantasy owners around the holidays.

Real Deal Equivalent: 1/3 Carat Diamond White Gold Bypass Bridal Ring Set - $219 at Wal-Mart
Gets the job done... and looks enough like the high-end alternatives when the time comes to take it out of the box. Plus, it'll be easy to cry poverty when you're dealing with those pesky alimony hearings.

    3. Troy Murphy, forward, New Jersey Nets (Owned 85 percent/Started 10 percent)

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Murphy has been inactive for five games now, and is sitting behind Kris Humphries and rookie Derrick Favors on the depth chart. Coach Avery Johnson hasn't been able to figure out what to do with Murphy. He missed the preseason and the start of the regular season with a back injury, but is now on the shelf because of his conditioning. The Nets traded for Murphy with the hope that he could be a starter, and now he's not playing or bringing in any Fantasy points. Not what anyone wants from a Round 5 or 6 draft choice (his average in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues). Still, in leagues where he's available, Murphy would be worth grabbing while you can. If he gets traded by the Nets, he could go back to his 15-10 stat line, and smart Fantasy owners could get him on the cheap if they can afford to keep him reserved until he sees more court time. Keep in mind, Murphy also has a history of late-season success -- Since the 2006-07 NBA season he's averaged 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game before the All-Star break and 14.8 PPG and 9.1 boards post All-Star.

Real Deal Equivalent: Samsung SMX-F40 SD camcorder - $119 at K-Mart
Sure, it might not be something you're going to use all the time, but when the battery is fully charged, this baby could come in pretty handy. Just think how useful it could be when one of your buddies falls asleep in the middle of a party. Youtube!  

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Okur hasn't played yet this season, and is available in almost half of Fantasy leagues. With the Jazz playing so well to start the year, owners with room on their roster may have good reason to add the veteran big man. As a career 37.8 3-point shooter, Okur is hardly a typical center, which makes him a nice player to own in category-based leagues. Utah's addition of Al Jefferson may scare some owners off, but nabbing Okur now before a timetable is set could pay nice dividends.

Real Deal Equivalent: Yankee Candle Pine & Cinnamon Jar Candles - $17.99 at Kohl's
Maybe you didn't have time to cut down a premiere 7-footer in the draft. Maybe you're just desperate to hide the despicable funk emanating from those 1997 Jordans that can't seem to find their way to the trashcan. Either way, this is a great way to Spruce up your lineup for the winter run... terrible pun, definitely intended.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Przybilla is set to make his season debut on Black Friday, which gives Fantasy owners a perfect opportunity to check him out. He'll likely be rusty coming off knee surgery, but is a center worth keeping tabs on or adding in deeper formats. He doesn't score many points, but is a good source of rebounds and shoots with high efficiency from the field -- 55.5 percent for his career. Also, take in to account that Portland needs bodies on the frontcourt, which means Przybilla will get plenty of playing time. Remember he should be targeted in deeper Fantasy formats, not standard leagues.

Real Deal Equivalent:  Craftsman 179cc 24'' Two-stage Snowblower - $583 at Sears
Powerful, but a little one-dimensional. Still, winter can be long and arduous, as can the NBA season. Finding a bargain like this could be the easiest way to clear your path to the playoffs.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Butler isn't having a very good start to the season, which means now is the time to buy. Some Fantasy owners may want to drop him, but realize he's worth too much to just throw away. That being the case, they may be willing to part with Butler for next to nothing. He hasn't fully adjusted to being in Dallas since coming over from Washington, and the one thing that would help Butler's Fantasy appeal most is being traded. So, owners that like to gamble could make the move for Butler now. Last year, Butler averaged 15.2 points and 5.4 boards with the Mavericks, so the potential is there for Fantasy owners to see a nice return on their investment.

Real Deal Equivalent:  55" Westinghouse 120Hz, 1080p LCD TV - $799.99 at Best Buy
Still a great grab if you need to upgrade. Sure, it may not shine as brightly as LED or have the pop of 3D, but, a few years ago, this was a top-of-the-line model.

    7. Brandon Roy, guard, Portland Trail Blazers (Owned 99 percent/Started 22 percent)

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Roy should be owned in every Fantasy league out there, but while he battles knee injuries, owners are definitely grinding their teeth for drafting him so high. Some owners may be looking to jump ship, since this is the lowest Roy's Fantasy value has ever been, and that means it's the perfect time to get an upper echelon guard for dirt cheap. If you can pry Roy away from another owner, there's a good chance he would make your team better immediately. Portland may limit his court time to preserve him for the year, but Roy has the ability to produce solid numbers in 20-25 minutes of action.

Real Deal Equivalent:  High-Performance Samsung Laptops - $150 off at Best Buy
Yeah, you may have to open up your wallet if you want to bring home a big toy like this, but it's definitely a great option if you want to get some high-caliber equipment without paying full retail.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Collison was undoubtedly overvalued entering this year. He was taken with an average draft pick of 40, based solely on his 18.8 points, 9.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds as a starter last year in New Orleans. This means that current owners are probably very disappointed with his 14.3 points and 4.3 boards per game through the first five weeks of the season. I smell a sale. Collison still has the potential to be a 17 and 7 guy, and owners should check their league and see if they can strike up a deal.

Real Deal Equivalent:  All adult jeans - $15 at Old Navy
Not exactly the designer dungarees you might find in a Madison Avenue boutique, but a reasonably stylish alternative for the price. Let's face it; you could easily pay twice as much any other time of year. Yeah, I used the word "dungarees". No, I'm not a septuagenarian

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Carter is currently dealing with some bumps and bruises which are keeping him out of the Magic lineup. He's also averaging career-lows in points, rebounds and assists: 13.9, 3.2 and 2.5, respectively. Clearly, Carter is no longer the high-flyer he once was, but he does have the capability to go off on any given night. Again, we've got a player who could be reeled in for cheap based on the disappointment tied to inflated preseason expectations. If you don't mind being patient with the veteran, trading for Carter could be a steal.

Real Deal Equivalent:  Radio Flyer Big Wheel - $35 at Wal-Mart
Yeah, we all remember how awesome these were when we were kids. Of course, back then, a few rocks in the tires would only help you sound cooler when you peeled out down the driveway. It's a sentimental choice, I know, but you can't look past the classics when you're in the market for a dependable option.

Fantasy Shopping Cart: Andersen just made his season debut for the Nuggets, which is why he's available in 90 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues. He's coming off an offseason knee surgery, so he's a bit of a risky option, but there are definitely Fantasy owners out there who are in desperate need of a big man. Injury bug, anyone? Those owners might be happy to see Andersen fill a void in their lineups. He's not worth owning in standard leagues, but is definitely worth a flier in deeper Rotisserie formats. He's a bargain and a half right now.

Real Deal Equivalent:  46" APEX LCD TV, 1080p 60 Hz - $449 at Target
Absolutely jaw-dropping color. And, while it's not the most recognized brand on the market, it's got some versatility -- Size enough to hold it down in the living room, and could be a huge addition to a bedroom-sized fantasy lineup.

Posted on: October 19, 2010 7:57 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:54 pm
 

Shootaround 10.19.10: Magic's Godfather offer

Posted by Ben Golliver
Posted on: October 17, 2010 6:48 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Report: Spurs Trade Curtis Jerrells To Hornets

The San Antonio Spurs have reportedly traded guard Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets for a draft pick.
Posted by Ben Golliver
Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com reportsthat the San Antonio Spurs have traded backup point guard Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets.
The San Antonio Spurs have traded reserve point guard Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for a second-round pick, sources tell HOOPSWORLD.
The obvious link between the two organizations is new Hornets GM Dell Demps, who was a front office executive for the Spurs prior to his hire by New Orleans this summer. The Hornets have been in need of backcourt depth behind Chris Paul after they shipped Darren Collison to the Indiana Pacers in a trade that netted wing Trevor Ariza. Jerrells will join a backcourt that includes Paul, Willie Green (also acquired by trade ) and promising second-year scorer Marcus Thornton. The Spurs have two quality point guards in long-time starter Tony Parker and solid backup George Hill, who started for much of last season as Parker dealt with injury issues. Jerrells played for the D-League's Austin Toros last year and was called up by the Spurs, but never saw any action .
Posted on: September 24, 2010 11:46 am
Edited on: September 24, 2010 11:48 am
 

Preseason Primer: Pacers

Posted by Royce Young

The Pacers were part of the deal of the summer, a four-team trade that landed them Darren Collison and James Posey. They still acknowledge they're rebuilding, but now, it feels like a corner might start turning. They're still missing pieces and have questions headed to camp, but for the first time in a while, a plan looks evident.

Training camp site:
Indianapolis, IN

Training camp starts: Sept. 28

Key additions: Darren Collison (trade), Lance Stephenson (draft), Paul George (draft), James Posey (trade)

Key subtractions: Troy Murphy (trade), Earl Watson (free agent)

Likely starting lineup: Darren Collison, PG; Mike Dunleavy, SG; Danny Granger, SF; Josh McRoberts, PF; Roy Hibbert, C

Player to watch: To be determined power forward. Right now, the Pacers have Josh McRoberts starting at the 4. I think it's safe to assume Larry Bird has plans to make a move to have someone new there. Tyler Hansbrough is also in the mix but he's battling a condition that's hampering his ability to get on the floor.

Chemistry quiz: Any time you add a new point guard to the mix, questions come up about how the team will play together. Darren Collison isn't a complicated guard. He's pretty straightforward in the way he plays and the way he carries himself. He shouldn't have any issues fitting in to Jim O'Brien's system.

Camp battles: Two positions: The aforementioned power forward situation and also shooting guard. Is it Mike Dunleavy? Brandon Rush? Dahntay Jones? Rookie Lance Stephenson? Could lottery rookie Paul George slide down and play the 2? The Pacers have a number of rotation questions coming in and in both cases, might not have the player to fill them actually on the roster.

Handcuffed: The Pacers were a team that fought the law a bit this offseason. Brandon Rush was tagged with a five-game suspension for a drug violation and Lance Stephenson was accused of pushing his girlfriend down some stairs. So you can definitely assume there are some distractions and questions to be asked on media day.

Camp invites:
A couple of interest include Magnum Rolle, a second-round pick and Lance Allred, the first deaf player to play in the NBA.

Biggest strength: 3-point shooting. One of O'Brien's staples is to create the 3-point shot. Now with Collison creating space for shooters, guys like Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavy, Brandon Rush and James Posey will have the ability to crank up a number of 3s.

Glaring weakness: Roster holes. Again, who plays power forward? Who plays shooting guard? The Pacers took a big step in correcting a roster issue by acquiring Collison, but the trade sent power forward Troy Murphy elsewhere. Indiana isn't done making moves and it plans on improving the lineup, at this point, those guys aren't on the team.
Posted on: August 23, 2010 8:42 am
 

Shootaround 8.23.10: Pool shots

"" Posted by Royce Young
  • Pete Thamel of the New York Times on the brilliant move by Team USA to go zone in the final possession yesterday: "American basketball coaches are rarely credited for their tactics at the international level; they are expected to have the most athletic and talented team. But what made the move to the 2-3 zone so effective was the coaching staff’s understanding of a nuance of international rules. Team USA expected Spain to run a high screen-and-roll for Juan Carlos Navarro, who led Spain with 20 points and prompted Boeheim to say, half kidding, that he had scored on that play on five consecutive possessions. Instead, when the United States went to the zone, Spain had to scrap its play and could not call another timeout because FIBA rules do not allow them in the middle of possessions."
  • Mike Wells of the Indy Star: "I think it's funny that some fans immediately put the Pacers in the playoffs after they acquired Darren Collison. Darren Collison is just one piece - a giant piece I might add - but they've still got some work to do if they expect to end their four-year postseason drought. No matter what you thought of Troy Murphy's defensive flaws, the Pacers will have to find a way to make up for the 11.0 rebounds he averaged the past two seasons. Roy Hibbert was second in rebounds at 5.7 last season. That won't get it done. Pacers officials know it, too."
  • Brian Robb of Celtics Hub looks deeper into Rajon Rondo's DNP yesterday: "Ultimately, the biggest question coming out of this game for C’s fans is likely whether Derrick Rose played himself ahead of Rondo into the starting lineup for this tournament. I know it’s just an exhibition game, but Rose played well today (13 points) against a superior opponent, providing crucial scores in the game’s closing minutes, including the game winning free throws."
  • Steve Nash coulda been rich man, says Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns: "Alas, Steve Nash chose the security of the two years and comfort with the organization in signing the deal, but after enjoying such a spectacular season last year he probably would have been in line for a nice raise on the open market. I bet he could have gotten something in the area of three years and $40 million."
Posted on: August 15, 2010 3:42 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 3:44 pm
 

Pacers still looking to make another move

Posted by Royce Young

Indiana already filled its major roster hole in a deal that brought point guard in. But by the sound of it, the Pacers are looking to make at least one more splash in the trading market before the season starts.

Larry Bird was a bit more vague than Danny Granger in talking to NBA Fanhouse, but Bird said , "We're not good enough right now... So we have to take a hard look and see where we're at. If there's some opportunity, we're going to be involved in it.'" Granger on the other hand pointed out the Pacers need to look for a big to replace Troy Murphy who was moved to New Jersey in the four-team deal.

"We're not done yet," Granger told Fanhouse Saturday after the scrimmage against China . "I talked to management, and we're not done yet. What will happen, I don't know yet. We're still mulling over it. But we got a few things still up our sleeve."

"We're going to have to go after another big, I'm sure," he continued. "Losing Troy, he was great. I can play the (power forward) but I'm not a true (power forward). So we're definitely going to have to add another big, and I think that will be our main focus."

Currently, the Pacers have center Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough who missed most of last season because of injury, Soloman Jones, Jeff Foster and Josh McRoberts. Second-round pick Magnum Rolle also has a legitimate shot at the roster as well.

Indiana definitely has some intriguing assets to make such a move. The Pacers have the expiring contracts of Mike Dunleavy ($10.5 million), T.J. Ford ($8.8 million) and Jeff Foster ($6.6 million) as trade bait. Some thought James Posey would be a candidate to be bought out, but that appears very unlikely. However, Posey is an excellent trade piece as a contender would definitely love to grab his ability and contract.

Indiana has been a team that's finished in the bottom third of the league the past few seasons, but showed some serious signs of improvement late last year. Darren Collison is certainly an important addition to the Pacer roster, but another quality piece might be something that could put this young squad into the discussion to make a run at eighth in the East.
Posted on: August 12, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 9:16 pm
 

Blog talk: 4-way trade

A look around the web at reactions to the 4-way trade between the Hornets, Rockets, Nets, and Pacers.
Posted by Matt Moore

Indiana Pacers

Pacers blog Indy Cornrows is breathing a heavy sigh of relief as the team has finally begun to construct a roster for the future, after years of band-aids on bullet holes:

"The second major area of relief addressed was adding a point guard who isn't just a one-season rental or a stop-gap point guard until someone better surface. Darren Collison is a young and vibrant point guard who instantly energizes the backcourt and fits in well with the other young core pieces the Pacers have assembled.

Plus, the risk on Collison is minimal since he has three years remaining on his rookie contract. If things work out as planned, he's extremely valuable from a production per dollar view. If the worst case situation plays out and Collison doesn't pan out, his minimal salary doesn't become an anchor on the salary cap for the Pacers to move on.

Exhale."

Teams trying to acquire a legitimate point guard never get this lucky. You either have to overpay in assets or money, and often both. For the Pacers to have acquired a player with neither limitation nor cost, that's quite a coup. 8 Points 9 seconds touches base on how it's relevant that Collison brings the right attitude to "running the team."

"Celebrate, Pacers fans. This is a good, good, good day. The team has a point guard. I never thought this day would come. Best part? Darren is just the perfect combination of youth, talent, mentality (he wants to show the world he belongs among the better PGs on this league) and drive to run this team at a very high level immediately. I’m sure he enjoyed picking up a thing or two from Chris Paul, but he must be ecstatic to have “his” team. And with only Granger and Hibbert as established team cornerstones for the future, he can immediately put his mark on the ball club."

 

And that aspect is why it's important the Jim O'Brien makes it clear the team is headed for a youth movement and not allow the same kind of veteran preference overshadow the need to put the youth on the floor. The Paces also feature a solid four-man rotation in the backcourt with Collison, Brandon Rush, Lance Stephenson, and A.J. Price. Also, there's no word on if the celebration in Indiana will feature a hoe-down. (I'm not mocking. I'm from Arkansas. I respect a good hoe-down.)

Houston Rockets

The Dream Shake lays out the biggest reason this trade works for the Rockets. It removes a logjam at small forward and allows Shane Battier to return to the rotation in heavy minutes.

"While some may argue that Trevor Ariza is the better player than Lee, that's not really my concern. Rather, I'm focused on how Lee fits with the roster, because that's what ultimately matters most. He's perfect for the free-flowing offense that Rick Adelman will likely employ with the second unit, much in the way that Shane Battier was a terrible fit for such a unit. Lee's presence frees up Battier to start once again, where he is much more comfortable. Make no mistake: Battier starting again is a good thing. He may have suffered through an ankle injury last season, but his style of play is not such that it will be affected by his aging. He is an intangibles player, much in the way Lee is. If anything, I'm excited that Lee will be able to learn from Battier"

Lee is often criticized for having limited upside.  I'd argue that his upside manifests itself not in terms of increased points and assists, but in the kind of things The Dream Shake hints at, the defense and savvy attributes that Battier represents.

New Jersey Nets

Sebastian Pruiti of Nets Are Scorching thinks the best thing about the Nets' acquisition of Troy Murphy is his expiring contract, which gives them not only flexibility next summer, but the ability to "flip" Murphy before the deadline if a marquee upgrade becomes available to teams with cap space.

""At the start of next season, the Nets are going to have both Murphy and Humphries coming off the books, plus they are saving what Courtney Lee would be making next year ($2,225,093).  This means that they are going to have somewhere in the area of $15 to $16 million worth of cap space to work with next year, when a certain indecisive forward in Denver becomes a free agent.  Even if the Nets don’t make a run at Carmelo, they have a lot of money to continue adding pieces to their roster.  In addition to the cap space next year, Murphy’s contract is going to be very attractive to teams at the trade deadline, and if Favors is playing well enough, I can see the Nets flipping Murphy for some young talent/trade exceptions/draft picks."

It's strange to see Murphy headed to the Nets in such a salary-shifter role, considering he was one of the more sought-after offensive weapons at last year's deadline. In the interim, he should be able to provide some help, most notably taking pressure off of Derrick Favors to come in as gangbusters, which is a really good thing considering how raw Favors is:

"From a roster standpoint, the Nets now have a power forward who can come in right away and be “the guy” at the spot.  Murphy, the New Jersey native, is going to be the opening day starter, no question about it.  So what does that do to the rest of the front court?  It makes Derrick Favors the back-up, and this is probably the best scenario for him in terms of development. "

New Orleans Hornets

Hornets 247 reports on an underrated element of this trade , that head coach Monty Williams has done terrific work with similarly long versatile small forwards in Portland, which could spell good things for Ariza in New Orleans.

"It also has to be noted that this is the exact kind of small forward that new coach Monty Williams will love to work with. By all accounts he did wonders with Nicolas Batum and Travis Outlaw while he was in Portland and Ariza is further along in his game than either of those players were when Monty started working with them. Once Peja is moved, the Hornets will have two defensive minded small forwards in Pondexter and Ariza that will be able to hound players on the defensive end, fill lanes and finish in transition, and knock down the wide open threes that CP3 will be able to provide."

At The Hive, on the other hand, isn't nearly as impressed with the trade, being frustrated with not getting more for what they consider a future star in Darren Collison.

"At the end of the day, I simply expected more for Darren Collison. I thought his value was higher and that Trevor Ariza's, after an underwhelming first year in Houston, was lower. The fact that Houston received nothing more than Courtney Lee in the transaction is pretty telling."
Posted on: August 11, 2010 5:29 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 5:46 pm
 

Breaking down the 4-team trade

Posted by Royce Young and Matt Moore

Here's how today's 4-team trade breaks down for each team.

New Orleans Hornets

Sent: Darren Collison, James Posey
Received: Trevor Ariza, sweet, sweet flexibility

Dell Demps wasn't about to sit around with the Hornets roster as-is and hope it was good enough to settle Chris Paul down. He went right to work with building for the future. Today's trade netted the Hornets Trevor Ariza, but surrendered Darren Collison. It's likely Demps will take Heat for giving up on a player that averaged 16.1 and 7.4 per 36 minutes last season in a backup role, as a rookie. But in reality, this was a solid win for New Orleans, because it gave Demps what he needs in order to start turning the Hornets into a real contender. Flexibility.

That flexibility starts in the other player they sent to Indiana in this trade, James Posey. Posey had two years and $13.4 million left on his contract for a soon-to-be-34-year-old player that scored 5.2 points per game and shot 37% from the field last season. Posey and Peja Stojakovic make up the bulk of the remaining albatross contracts on New Orleans, older players with massive contracts. Moving Posey clears not only the money but the roster space.

Acquiring Trevor Ariza locks them into a long-term deal, but it's for a 25-year-old wing that can defend and carries a lot more value. Ariza's production plummeted last season, largely due to trying to take on more than he's capable of handling. But alongside David West and Emeka Okafor as a weapon for Chris Paul, he could regain some measure of the ability that landed him that contract in the first place. And if not, moving Ariza at 24 will be much easier than Posey.

Moving Collison is a risky maneuver, but having your second or third best player at the same position as your best player creates complications. This move gets rid of one of the albatross contracts and gains a talented player. Allowing them to ditch Julian Wright is a perk of the deal.

Demps knows the only way to get the Hornets on the right track is to create flexibility. If you want to make a flexible omelet, you gotta break a few eggs. --M.M.

Indiana Pacers

Sent: Troy Murphy
Received: Darren Collison, James Posey

If there was a clear-cut winner in this deal (and we think each team won), the Pacers are it. Point guard is a vital position in this league. Outside of the Lakers (whose system doesn't require an elite point guard), nearly every serious contender has a legitimate top-flight point guard. And the Pacers' point guard situation has been an outright disaster for years. T.J. Ford was thought to be the answer, and that didn't work out so much. Furthermore, they lived in point-mediocrity while refusing to commit to a true youth movement.

Well a new day is dawning in in Indy.

With the addition of Collison, the Pacers get a scoring-point who can also distribute to the options they've acquired in the draft, along with Danny Granger. Troy Murphy was one of several expirings they have, so they're still looking at a wealth of movable options to upgrade before the deadline. They specifically needed an upgrade at point guard and definitely got it. Even if Collison takes a step back while keeping his turnover ratio as high as it was, he's still a significant upgrade, and one who is only 23.

Posey's contract is a pain, but it's possible a buyout could be arranged, and if not, they're still losing enough salary to make them players in free agency next season. More importantly, a revised CBA with a stricter tact won't hurt them as severely. The Pacers now feature Collison, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, Brandon Rush, Roy Hibbert, and Tyler Hansbrough as significant rotation players they've drafted or acquired. It's a roster with flexibility and upside. It may not be a playoff team, but it's a team headed in the right direction that finally solved its biggest riddle. --M.M .

Houston Rockets

Sent: Trevor Ariza
Received: Courtney Lee

Yes, swapping Ariza for Lee seems like a downgrade in talent. But when you consider the Rockets' payroll just swelled to around $81 million after the signing of Luis Scola, Brad Miller and Kyle Lowry, it's pretty clear Houston wanted to dump some salary. The Rockets were about to be stamped with a $10 million or more luxury tax hit, so this deal saves them almost $30 million overall and about $10 million this season when you factor in the luxury tax. Houston isn't a franchise that attempts to operate on the cheap, but in this NBA financial climate, any time you can cut major costs all while not hurting the team, it's a pretty good plan.

But don't write it off from a non-basketball standpoint either. This wasn't only a business move. Lee is a player that at his $1.2 million salary, is a pretty good bargain. He can defend three positions, can shoot the 3 and on a good night, put up solid numbers. The Rockets wanted to move around a bit to make more room for Shane Battier and make Kevin Martin the go-to offensive weapon. Now with Ariza gone - a player that liked to shoot - Martin becomes the focus along with Aaron Brooks and the backcourt gets a little deeper. Houston will miss Ariza's hot scoring nights, but with Martin, Brooks, Scola and the return of Yao Ming, they'll likely be able to pick up the slack fine. --R.Y.

New Jersey Nets

Sent: Courtney Lee
Received: Troy Murphy

Most are going to say the Pacers came out shining in this trade, but the Nets are really the quiet winners. Murphy is a fantastic player that is almost a guaranteed double-double every night. He's a guy that will help make the team competitive, all while the organization grooms the No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors, who is only 19, to grow into a starting role. Plus, a bonus: Murphy is in the final year of a $12 million deal so New Jersey has a healthy amount of cash coming off the books.

The Nets signed Anthony Morrow in the offseason so Lee immediately became expendable. Yi Jianlian moved to Washington clearing space in the frontcourt. So even with Murphy, Favors still sees ample playing time, Morrow steps in for Lee and the Nets roster just got a little tune-up. A few pieces were shuffled around but in the end, the Nets are a better, more well-structured team. Brook Lopez and Murphy will likely work really well together, Morrow fills the gap left by Lee and Favors isn't rushed into anything. A smart move all around for New Jersey. --R.Y.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com