Updated Feb. 22
NBA general managers got four days over the All-Star break to do nothing but ponder what to do at the trade deadline.
It was an utter waste of time.
The choice of path to take is a no-brainer: If you're better off than the experts projected, stand pat. If you've failed to meet expectations, shake things up.
Take the Lakers, for example.
I had them rated third in my initial CBSSports.com NBA Power Rankings, which was a spot or two lower than pretty much anyone. Yet they've undershot even my can't-miss target.
Trade Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony? They should have done it in a heartbeat. That loss to the Cavaliers, which plummeted the Lakers to an embarrassing low of seventh in my ratings at the break, is an indication the defending champs need one more reliable weapon, rather than a big one that looks good.
Then there's the Knicks.
They've had a far better winter than summer, rising to 12th in my ratings when I had them 24th in October, which has to make management feel good after the beating it took in the post-Decision.
Ideally, they'd have talked a big game leading up to the deadline, bluffing all other Anthony bidders into folding, and then let him finish the season in Denver. Getting him in the offseason would have been far less expensive than the monster price they paid to complete a deal that could very well derail a team that already was very much on the rise in the ratings.
In case NBA general managers have forgotten, I've included my preseason rankings in this week's Power Rankings, along with my midseason analysis of what's gone right or wrong.