Updated Feb. 27
Understand why so many teams didn't make drastic changes at the trade deadline. The upcoming draft is strong, luxury tax concerns are prevalent, and it seems to be more of a hassle to make a fair trade than ever before. Deals are often swaps of bad contracts, and no one wants to be the next sucker to give up young talent for Steve Francis.
Erring on the safe side was the right move for most. But a few teams should have thrown caution to the wind in order to take advantage of current opportunities.
Just because there wasn't much action around the deadline doesn't mean we can't have a few trade deadline losers and winners.
|Bulls leading scorer Ben Gordon stays put, and that's good for the team. (AP)|
Cleveland was another loser, but not for lack of trying. Danny Ferry had the right idea, willing to gamble for the chance to win now. In making a play for Mike Bibby, the Cavaliers were attempting to grab the wide open East by the throat. Instead, they'll have to go with rookie Daniel Gibson and veteran Eric Snow. That combination doesn't exactly strike fear in opponents' hearts.
Phoenix and Dallas also missed the boat on spending to add a key piece or two for the stretch run. The Suns could have used another athletic big body and a steady backup guard, but opted to stick with their current group. The Mavericks were in the market for another post defender/rebounder, but wound up staying put as well, even ridding themselves of a veteran, third-string point guard Anthony Johnson.
Detroit was a team many thought would move a veteran like Nazr Mohammed, Dale Davis or Flip Murray, but ended up keeping them all. Good move. Considering Joe Dumars didn't get an offer he deemed worthy, he might as well stockpile quality bodies that could come in handy.
Denver really wanted to trade a big body like Eduardo Najera or Reggie Evans for a shooter, but never got a deal it liked. This works in the Nuggets' favor. Although Marcus Camby and Nene are healthy and productive now, both are injury prone. At least now there's insurance behind them. Besides, isn't it time they trot out Voshon Lenard for the 17th time?
Philadelphia holding on to Andre Miller was also the correct call. It's hard to find a point guard of his caliber, and although he might help Sixers win a couple more games than they would like to, putting a dent into their lottery chances, he'll pay dividends down the road. Philadelphia has done enough housecleaning, ridding itself of Allen Iverson and Chris Webber.
Finally, the biggest winners are the New Jersey Nets, who made the biggest statement by standing still. If Rod Thorn couldn't pluck a piece like Andrew Bynum, he was right to keep his aces for use down the line. Now was not the time to pull the plug, even if Vince Carter walks at season's end. Rather than give him away, the Nets might as well do some hard selling in hopes he'll return.
If nothing else, it does keep hope alive.
The week's Power Rankings: