Friday, February 25, 2011

NBA Trade Winds? More like a Tornado

My head's still spinning from all this NBA trade talk. I was supposed to drop my Black History Month conclusion first but I had to try and make some sense of all these shakeups. I'm old school when I think trades make more sense to help teams get better, not just salary dumps or payroll helpers first.

First up, the Carmelo Anthony trade that sent New York into a frenzy and the rest of us sighing in relief. New York might be happy but Melo isn't the answer. Melo gets his wish but the Knicks benefited more by getting Chauncey Billups along with him, who'll actually give that team some steadiness and experience as a PG. Besides some increased buzz and jersey sales though, don't expect anything to change about the team being better.

They gave up promising young talent in Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. They gave up draft picks that could help them in the future. They owe $36 million to Melo and Amar'e Stoudemire. They got a guy who's a great scorer, clutch and a decent defender but not a leader who is the missing piece to a puzzle - hence why we hear about them being the future spot for Chris Paul in 2012.

Meanwhile Denver is playing that John Lennon. "Just Like Starting Over" and back to being a decent team. Could be worse, they're better off than Cleveland after LeBron left.

Speaking of C-Town, has anyone stopped feeling sorry for Baron Davis yet? Dude hasn't caught a break since he left the Golden State Warriors and now he leaves his home to the Cavs? I'd probably look like that picture too. Baron deserved better but so did his body which looked like it didn't care. On the flip side, Mo Williams is probably jumping for joy all the way to Cali. Clippers get younger, Cavs get older and tougher to watch with veterans who feel cursed.

The good news for Baron? He doesn't have to be under the worst owner in NBA history who publicly embarrassed him.

Boston took the hugest gamble to me. Kendrick Perkins was their answer for Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol and any other big man on a contender. Unless he hadnt fully recovered from that injury, I don't see why they move him. Celtics fan will swear up and down that a healthy Perkins = defending champions and as a Lakers fan, we can't argue except for the C's blowing that big lead. The same I reason I argued why the Lakers didn't need to trade Andrew Bynum, I would've made the same for him.

6-10, 280 lbs. in the post vs. the OKC Thunder's Jeff Green who's 6-9 but 35 lbs smaller and a wing player. The No. 1 team in the East is relying to replace him on a past-his-prime, creaky-kneed Jermaine O'Neal and a still reliable but 38-year-old Shaq. And their bench got lighter losing Nate Robinson although they gain Nenad Kristic

Trading a hurt Marquis Daniels though? That's a bit dirty if you ask me.

Oh yeah, OKC just gave Kevin Durant the biggest present for the next few years. A true big man and along with another trade prospect in Nazr Mohammed, they are loaded in the post. Meaning KD, Russell Westbrook and James Harden (plus Nate Rob) can roam free on the perimeter. Yep, the West is theirs once the Lakers run ends this year or next year.

Houston sending Aaron Brooks to Phoenix for Goran Dragic and Shane Battier for Hasheem Thabeet. My H-Town peeps pointed out that Brooks suffered an injury and lost his spot to Kyle Lowry and his 4-year deal while Battier was expendable. Yet still, good luck with Thabeet who's only good for defense and potential poster bait. 

Finally there's Deron Williams. Has anybody taken a quicker, bigger hit to his rep besides LeBron? In the matter of 30 days, D-Will went from being in the convo of the top PG in bball to a coach killer who got surprisingly dealt without much thought to New Jersey. I don't know how he'll do in New Jersey with Brook Lopez, Yi Jianlian and Anthony Morrow but for the next year and a half, we'll see if this is a power move or a rental.

But hey, at least New Jersey finally got the big star they wanted right? Right now they're like the hot girl who thinks she's a 10 but is more like a 5. It's a big pile of overrated grandeur just like co-owner Jay-Z's last album or majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov thinking his money/influence will make folks run to Jersey. They've failed miserably and nobody's with sanity is buying what they're selling.

And if you're counting, every top point guard besides Chris Paul now plays in the East. Forget how the West was won, this is how the West is set up on Little Brother status this decade. All the elite players besides Kobe, CP3, Dirk and Durant are in the East and once the last of the 90's draftees start leaving, the West will almost be barren.

Check out the 2010 Western Conference All-Star Team and the younger players. Melo - GONE, Amar'e - GONE. D-Will - GONE,  Brandon Roy - Never will be the same. It's all up to KD, Westbrook and CP3 for the future of the West.

Meanwhile the Lakers stood pat and looked good. We watched our East Coast rival get smaller, the rest of the West get weaker outside of the Spurs, Dallas and OKC. We didn't trade Andrew Bynum but Boston lost Kendrick Perkins. After two good urgent wins, there's still some fight in this team that hasn't died out. I still think they the 3rd best team in the West but they became a bigger threat by what everyone else did.

All the more reason this has been the most intriguing season in years. Just wait til the playoffs kick in.

1 comment:

  1. Cool analysis and you caught me up in detail from my time in Mexico.

    Danilo is promising? What promise- that he adds to David Sterns dream of a more Euro NBA? He ain't good for much more than that.

    I don't feel the list sorry for Baron Davis. Underachieving in city after city is on him.

    Agreed about Chauncey. Deron- what will happen there?

    Didn't even know about Battier. So Houston now has Yao (kinda) & Thabeet (kinda)?!