Meadow Muffins of the Mind

The droppings of some guy's imagination.

Tag: trade deadline

Dare to be Stupid: Your 2012 NBA Trade Deadline

Sadly, this year’s deadline passed with several deals but no real earth shattering ones (well except for maybe one).  Obviously, Dwight Howard’s flights of fancy put a bunch of teams into chaos.  Indeed, Stephen A Smith laughably (any other kind of SAS piece) thought Howard owed the Nets an apology for acting like he has control of his future employment.  Hey, if Danny Ainge would pimp out Paul Pierce without even a hint of a qualm, Howard not being straight when he has some pull should be lauded.  At least he did not shit on an American city on tv.

But then what are we left with – a bunch of midlevel deals that showed that as long as some teams are managed by dummies and others are not hilarity can ensure.  We are also left wondering why the lockout ever took place when some teams still are overpaying schmucks.

Warriors trade Monta Ellis, Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson

It is instructive to note that the Jazz own the Warriors first rounder unless its a top 7 pick.  What better way to try to save your draft than trading for guys who can’t play.  If this was all the Warriors did it would have been a smart move.  Bogut is an elite defensive C and unless he is like Sam Jackson in Unbreakable (given his luck I can’t rule this out) he will return and help them become a far more professional culture on that side of thr floor.  But Bogut is hurt so the Warriors,  talent starved with the injuries could save their pick with losing.

For the Bucks, they are actually well run, so this move makes sense.  Ellis is overrated but has elite scoring in him.  The Bucks needed that.  Yeah he is an unerringly bad defender, but in GS he will finally be accountable to a coach who does not mail it in on that end.  Also the Bucks have guards like Shawn Livingston and Beno Udrih who can check big guards.  Udoh is a capable defending big and unlike Bogut he is healthy.  Plus this cleans their balance sheet for next season.  Shrewd dealing for a small market.  Yeah, this is not going to win a title – but they got good controllable players – and that is not trivial, and it could get them into the playoffs over the Knicks.

Warriors trade Stephen Jackson to Spurs for Richard Jefferson and the Spurs 1st Rounder in 2012

If the Warriors stuck with their first move, I’d understand.  But alas, they traded instead for a late first round pick and the right to pay Richard Jefferson for a year and 11 million dollars longer than they would have had to pay Stephen Jackson.  Sure, Jefferson is a semicompetent pro, but for a tanking strategy (referenced above), it is probably not that helpful.  It’s like they studied Sam Presti and Kevin Pritchard’s innovations of renting out cap space for future assets, but did not process it fully.  A first rounder is nice, but is the 25th pick worth 11 million bucks?  For the Spurs, it clears their 2013 balance sheet up – and Popovich connected with Stephen Jackson during the 2003 rodeo.  Jackson will just be part of their wing rotation, but he can fit in there – and more cheaply.  There is a reason the Spurs are the Spurs.

Raptors trade Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers for a 2012 2nd round pick; Grizzlies trade Sam Young to the Sixers for the rights to Ricky Sanchez

Two straight salary dumps by teams turn into two decent depth moves for everybody else involved.  I have no idea who Ricky Sanchez is, and I am pretty sure you don’t either.  Basically he is filler so the Grizzlies can say they acquired something instead of just giving Young away.  Young was being blocked in the Memphis rotation  – but he is still a player with some sort of value.  Thus it is a bit weird to have Philly take him for free.  Barbosa represented a salary millstone for Toronto, so the Pacers take him off their hands for the rest of the season.  But once again, it’s a money trail not a basketball one – the Pacers get another solid scorer for their very deep team.  Neither trade is a homerun, but it is hard to knock them either.

Cavaliers trade Ramon Sessions and Christian Eyenga to the Lakers for Luke Walton and their 2012 1st rounder (from Dallas)

Yippee.  The Cavaliers now have four of the top 40 picks in the upcoming 2012 draft.  But they are paying Luke Walton 2 years for nothing in order to secure one of the picks.  THIS is why the Cavaliers are where they are and the Lakers … well, aren’t.  Ramon Sessions is a fringy starting level PG.  He sucks defensively, is kind of a pick and roll guy who needs the ball – definitely a non-triangle point man.  He is no Derrick Rose.  However, the Lakers at the point did not have Derrick Rose.  They did not have Derrick Rose, they did not even have Jalen Rose – they had Derek Fisher’s corpse.  The Lakers in this move have improved not just a weakness, but one of the worst position situations anybody had in the NBA.  To boot, they got Eyenga, the sort of super athletic lottery ticket throw in that baseball guys like Keith Law (I know, I link to his personal blog but you need to be reading that too) wholeheartedly approve of.  Eyenga has shown in past cups of coffee that there is some there there.  For the Lakers to get a starter, a projectable wing player AND dump Luke Walton’s contract, all for a pick that won’t crack their rotation?  The value of a first rounder is real, but it’s not the price the Cavs paid for it – not for a late 1st.

Nets trade Shawne Williams, Mehmet Okur and their 2012 1st Rounder (top 3 protected) to the Blazers for Gerald Wallace

OK.  So Gerald Wallace, Marshon Brooks, Jordan Farmar.  THIS is what is supposed to keep Deron Williams in town?  Really?  Once Dwight Howard decided to put off the circus for another year, the Nets really needed to rethink this.  Instead, they deal their own pick with very little protection to Portland for Gerald Wallace.  Wallace was excellent in Portland last season and good for a while this year until the lockout minutes started to wear him down.  He is what he is – a solid midlevel starter.  Is this what is supposed to get Deron Williams aroused?  Puh-leeze.  Fake Prokhorov would have done better.

For the Blazers, I have no idea who is driving the ship.  They have struggled in close games, but have clearly tuned out Nate McMillan.  Frankly – I though firing Nate was sufficient – the Blazers’ point differential was too good to not try to bet on.  I didn’t think the reset button needed to be hit.  That said, the Blazers chose this path – and given that, they got a tremendous return for Wallace.  Okur is just a salary match, but Shawne Williams has shown he can be a smallball power forward, and that pick is very juicy.  This makes sense on a lot of levels, once you take the premise that they have raised the flag on this season.

Blazers trade Marcus Camby to Houston for Jonny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet and Minnesota’s 2nd Rounder in 2012

The Blazers weren’t done raising the flag.  In moving Camby, they get a couple of youngsters to test drive.  Yeah, both have been busts in multiple places, but they are still young and their contracts expire at the end of the season – no obligation to purchase.  Moving Camby also potentially moves LaMarcus Aldridge to center, where he plays his best anyway.  For the Rockets, Camby is expiring – their balance sheet stays the same, their cap next season is ok, and Camby is still a quality big man who can defend, rebound and pass.  The Rockets need more toughness inside – Camby fits the bill.  This is the case of two good organizations (Portland in spite of itself) doing something smart together.

Wizards get Nene from the Nuggets, Brian Cook and a future 2nd rounder from the Clippers … Nuggets receive Javale McGee and Ronny Turiaf from the Wizards … the Clippers get Nick Young fron the Wizards

I live outside of Washington, DC.  I totally get why the Wizards wanted to dump these guys.  Young is one of the biggest knuckleheads in the league.  Javale McGee might be THE biggest knucklehead in the league:

Combined their IQ is about 20 and they think that a good game involves chucking 20 shots.  However, there is your enmity towards your guys versus an honest valuation.  As such, Ernie Grunfeld and the Wizards front office seriously whiffed here.  These guys are morons – but they are also talented and young, and have real value.  For example, Javale McGee – with the hoops IQ of a dung beetle – is averaging 12 points, 9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 27 minutes a game … and he is 24!  Imagine if he actually knew what he was doing?  The Wizards did not show an ability to separate what he isn’t from what he is.  So instead they deal him for Nene, a good big man, but with limited upside and a long contract.  Is Nene really going to be better than McGee in three years?  Maybe, but I doubt it – and that he is better now offers no solace, not with a team as far away as the Wizards are.

For the Clippers, this is a phenomenal move – getting a floor spacer for free.  Nick Young can’t do much on the basketball court, but he can shoot and score.  That is precisely what the Clippers need – so to rent him for the rest of the season for what amounts to Brian Cook’s corpse and a pick they will not miss?  This is a total no-brainer.

Denver of course, craves depth and athleticism.  Ronny Turiaf provides both as a very willing hustling backup power forward.  But of course Javale McGee is the lottery ticket here.  We know he is 24, and very productive considering he doesn’t know what he is doing and has been basking in a quagmire of a basketball culture which has not challenged him to be better.  George Karl, on the other hand, is a real basketball coach who will push McGee and hold him accountable to his teammates and to his own talent.  I’m not saying Karl and McGee will connect, but McGee is the type of otherworldly talent you watch and wonder what could happen with a real coach, and a culture that demands his best.  Now we’ll get to find out.

Blazers fire Nate McMillan

Look at the stinkers the Blazers have put up lately.  Nate did a great job there in chaotic circumstances, but clearly time for a new voice.

Mike D’Antoni resigns as Knicks coach

Apparently Stephen A Smith’s tour in Philadelphia made him think that a superstar chucking at 40% needs more shots.  But really, Anthony’s ghastly numbers have impacted the Knicks much more than anything D’Antoni has done.  His reputation and track record as a coach speaks for itself.  It is fun to make fun of him and cast those Phoenix teams as akin to Don Nelson’s Warriors but that is a criminal undervaluation.  (60 wins a year vs fringy playoffs!)  The Knicks might improve maybe – but I doubt it.  Not when Melo and Stoudemire have given them so little while being paid like they are worth a lot.

 

 

Dare to be Stupid – Deron Williams Too??? (and more)

At first glance, the thesis of Isiah Thomas pulling the strings on the Knicks makes sense.  The Knicks giving up 4/5 of their starting lineup for two players while the Nets gave up less for a better player – that is definitely something Isiah would do.  That cynicism aside, this deal is a bit more complicated.  While we’re at it, we’ll add Golden State into the soup:

The Nets get Deron Williams, Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright

The Warriors get Troy Murphy

The Jazz get Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, the Nets unprotected 2011 first round pick and a Top 7 protected pick from the Warriors.  (At this second, the Warriors have the 11th worst record in the league – so there is a half-decent chance the Jazz will get to cash this in.)

The Warriors get Troy Murphy’s expiring salary and were able to dump Brandan Wright – whom they had no plans for, and Dan Gadzuric’s toxic contract.  This was a cap clearing move – hooray them.

For the Jazz, this is a weird deal.  They had considerable leverage with Deron Williams – with Jerry Sloan leaving, it seemed they could have tried to rebuild in a manner to keep him around.  Yet they jumped ship on the deal.  That said, they got a ton back for him.  Devin Harris is a legitimate NBA starting point guard.  Whether he is very good or just solid good is up to the observer – but he is young and he can play.  Derrick Favors is a huge upside big with defensive ability – the Jazz bigs currently are solid upside bigs with no defensive ability.  It’s a complimentary skill set, which we like.

The Nets ultimately are placing a massive bet on the collective bargaining agreement.  If the cap is lowered, or a franchise provision is put in – the Nets will have made out great.  If Deron Williams can just leave willy nilly – this is a ho-ho-horrendous move.  The downside – as Stephen A Smith wrote in his usual “I wrote this in crayon” sort of way:

Next season is an entirely different matter, specifically because Williams will be in the last year of his deal and can opt out of his contract in 2012. The disaster scenario is staring Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov squarely in the face. It’s a scenario that could have Williams, from a vantage point just across the Hudson River, witnessing the resurgence of a Knicks franchise inching to within an All-Star point guard of legitimate championship contention. Now imagine Williams as the missing piece, with Gotham City clamoring for his arrival.

Actually – maybe he wrote it in magazine clippings like mass murderers on TV movies do, but I digress.  That is the obvious downside – that Deron Williams takes his show somewhere else because he does not want to wait for Team Rocka to show up in Crooklyn in two years.  But with the rumbles on the labor front – there is a better chance the Nets will keep Williams than there is that he will be anywhere else – and certainly better than the odds of Stephen A’s wet dream coming true.

The Nets are not close to a title from this move.  But then, neither are the Knicks despite bleating to the contrary.  (if they manned up and dealt Chauncey for Steve Nash, things might change)  But in the long run, they have a bit more movement potential than the Knicks do.  Either way, it will be interesting.

************************************************************************

A smaller trade of note, something more in the line of what you’d expect around the deadline, a pseudo-contender trying to position themselves:

Hornets get Carl Landry

Kings get Marcus Thornton and $$$

For the Hornets, they want to win as much as possible while they still have Chris Paul.  Carl Landry gives them a potentially huge weapon for their desperately thin frontcourt.  Off the bench, he was brilliant for the Rockets in the past – he can do that here.

For the Kings, they get a fun bench gunner and a lot of money.  I have nothing else to add.

Dare to be Stupid – The Melo Deal

After much anticipation, we have unofficial word of Carmelo Anthony being dealt to the New York Knicks.  Honestly, I was hoping the deal would be made at halftime of the NBA All Star Game so he could switch uniforms at halftime.  Alas, no such luck.  However, the three team deal that made this happen – assuming this is the trade – is very interesting.

The Timberwolves get Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph from the Knicks.

The Knicks get Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves.  The Knicks get Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman from the Nuggets.

The Nuggets get Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, Raymond Felton, a 2014 first round pick and 2012 and 2013 second rounders that belonged to the Warriors.

For the Timberwolves, this deal is pretty basic.  They get Eddy Curry’s salary cap space and Anthony Randolph’s otherworldly but as yet untapped talent in exchange for Corey Brewer – who is a nice player, but not somebody who will be a core player on the next good Timberwolves team.  Actually I like this for the Timberwolves, and if you look carefully David Kahn has done a good job accumulating talent – granted talent without any real fit, but talent.

For the Nuggets, they obviously are a loser.  When you give up the best player in the deal – it’s a loss.  However, if you accept that Carmelo was gone – then Denver did fairly well.  They got four starters from the Knicks, all up-tempo and can fit into the system Denver already runs.  Mozgov is a bit of a wildcard – he has been awful most of the year, but has delivered a couple of encouraging performances.  The starting caliber players do not make up for Anthony and Billups, but it gets them younger and cleans up their payroll.  The draft pick bounty is not as good as what New Jersey offered – that is the surprise about Denver taking this deal.  I guess your grade for Denver is directly related to how seriously you took Melo’s position.  Denver could have called his bluff and moved him to the Nets who seemed to be offering some sort of mini Herschel Walker package.  In making this move, they seemed spooked about Anthony’s willingness to facilitate a move to the better deal.  Whether that is true or not, we’ll never know.

The Knicks pretty clearly got the best players here.  That said, one questions the Knicks dealmaking – giving up so much in this sort of move when you had so much implied leverage, it was as if the Knicks were either A) being run by Isiah Thomas (maybe they ARE) or B) channeling Barack Obama in a room full of Republicans.  The Knicks got two elite starters in Anthony and Billups.  Going with Stoudemire, this is an exciting team.  However, especially with a new labor agreement coming, I do not know if there is cap room for the Knicks to add more.  If Anthony signs, this is their team for the foreseeable future – unless they think they can move Billups for a younger point guard.  This team looks like they will be better, and maybe even a dangerous floater in the East tournament.  However, did this deal make the Knicks a serious near term threat against Boston, Miami, Chicago or Orlando?  Is Carmelo Anthony that kind of player?  He is a good rebounder and great scorer – but is he a franchise changer?  I don’t know.  The Knicks won this deal by getting one of those sorts of players who are just serially hard to find.  However, I don’t know how far this will actually get them in the brutally difficult top heavy East.

NBA Trade Deadline – The Final Rush

Well, after much speculation about whether it would be quiet or not – we got a real hoppin trade deadline after all!  So, as a follow up to two other posts on the topic, the final deals:

  • Bucks get Royal Ivey, Primoz Brezec and a 2010 2nd Rounder, Sixers get Jodie Meeks and Francisco Elson

Elson is a classic buyout candidate.  Useful big, solid defender, few other recognizable basketball skills.  Jodie Meeks has not shot lights out yet at the pro level, but for anyone who saw him score 54 against Tennessee, we know the kid can stroke it.  Sixers have been a lousy shooting team for years – they could use all the help they get.  The Bucks get a solid backup PG whom they are familiar with and a second round pick – which should be in the mid 30s, this year.  In other words, a deal that made sense for everyone, even if it is low profile.

  • Grizzlies get Ronnie Brewer, Jazz get protected 1st Rounder in 2011.

Jazz do not NEED Ronnie Brewer.  That said Brewer is an excellent defender and good efficient player even if he is not a good shooter.  He was good enough to start for a title contender.  The Jazz probably did not hurt themselves that much, but making a money dump when they are a legit Top 4 team in the West is a letdown.  The Grizzlies get themselves a legit rotation player and capable 6th man for what could be an outside the lottery 2011 draft pick.  Hard to get revved up about the Jazz philosophy here.

  • Kings get Dominc McGuire, Wizards get $$ and a conditional 2nd Rounder

Not much to say here.  Wizards get below the luxury tax line – and thus could keep Ilgauskas the rest of the year, and the Kings get to see a good defensive specialist sort for the rest of the season, no strings attached.  Let’s move on.

  • Bobcats get Theo Ratliff, Spurs get conditional 2nd Rounder

Another straight dump.  Ratliff could make the Bobcats rotation, maybe.  Not sure why I even listed this.

  • Bobcats get Tyrus Thomas, Bulls get Flip Murray, Acie Law and future 1st Rounder

Bulls get something for the perpetually intriguing Tyrus Thomas.  Law could be a useful backup PG, though with Derrick Rose there, it is bit of a Maytag repairman job.  Flip Murray is one dimensional – but a dimension who can catch fire (a poor man’s Eddie House).  The 1st Rounder from what I read could take a while to materialize – no earlier than 2012.  For the Bobcats, Thomas’ talent is undeniable – though he has been a knucklehead and shown the talent only in flashes.  He can walk after the season – for a playoff push, it’s a good free look for Charlotte.

  • Rockets get Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries, Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, The Knicks 1st Rounder in 2012 (Top 5 protected) and the option to switch picks with the Knicks in 2011 as long as it’s not #1.  The Knicks get Tracy McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez.  The Kings get Carl Landry, Larry Hughes and Joey Dorsey.

A lot to unpack here.  First, the Rockets did exceptionally well.  Kevin Martin is the perimeter guy they needed, and add him to Yao next season, it’s a great place to start.  Jordan Hill did not play in NY, but that does not mean he can’t be a fit in Houston.  Hilton Armstrong sucks, but hey, a big body is a big body.  Depending on what the Knicks do in free agency, the draft picks could have significant value also.

The Knicks did very well, getting Sergio Rodriguez, who has shown tons of ability in Spain, but it has not translated in the NBA.  One’d think he’d be a good fit with Mike D’Antoni.  They also cleared the salary, so suddenly they are in a position to be huge players in free agency next season.  Can they get two max guys?  Probably not, but they will be a lot better quickly.  It came at a cost, but this trade makes sense.

The Kings also did very well.  Kevin Martin is a very good player but not in their long term plans.  So they turned him into cap space and a young starting caliber big in Carl Landry.  Good all around.

  • Celtics get Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry.  Knicks get Eddie House, JR Giddens and Bill Walker

Celtics got a guy who can be an explosive 6th man for a guy who has been an explosive 6th man and 2 guys who don’t play.  Robinson has more skills than House and House has been meh this season.  Knicks get to move more salary and get a guy D’Antoni is fond of.  Overall a small sensible deal for the Celtics, who need to change their team energy.

NBA Trade Deadline: The Next Batch

More trades trickle in …

  • Knicks get Brian Cardinal, Timberwolves get Darko Milicic

The beer league softball MVP look-alike was immediately cut by the Knicks, so you know what sort of esteem they held his basketball skills in.  That said, it does save them some money – and it wasn’t like Darko was playing.  The Timberwolves of course, well … I don’t know what they are doing.  If Darko has an NBA future – ok ok, I can’t rationalize.

  • Bucks get John Salmons and the right to swap picks outside of the Top 10 in this year’s draft, Bulls get Hakim Warrick, Joe Alexander

The Bulls did really well.  Initially this deal was Kurt Thomas and Francisco Elson – which was just cap relief.  But these guys might actually help – especially Hakim Warrick – bonus!  With the expiring contracts the Bulls hoard more cap space to possibly go after Dwayne Wade.  In the short run, losing Salmons, a key rotation player, adversely affects their playoff chances.  But it is a hard move to fault.

For the Bucks, the deal makes some sense.  Salmons impacts them positively.  He is a capable starting wing – and with Jennings and Bogut, the team’s defense will be solid.  Bucks have looked like a potential playoff team so far, at least in the East.  Their fans could benefit by some progress – and this is a good step forward without screwing their long term contract situation up.

  • Cavaliers get Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfair, Wizards get Al Thornton, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Emir Preldzic and Cleveland’s 2010 first rounder, Clippers get Drew Gooden

Lot of cap stories here.  Ilgauskas and Gooden will be bought out.  The Cavaliers obviously wanted Jamison.  He offers rebounding and perimeter shooting they do not have in a big man.  He is a good fit with the bigs they have, and with his ability to score without overhandling, he is a great fit with a creative force like LeBron.  They have a lot of money to pay in this deal, as Telfair will probably cash in his player option next season.  He is of no use to them, but will be an expense.  Ilgauskas is a prime candidate to re-sign with the Cavs, but who knows there?  But this improves them no doubt.  The Wizards get more cap relief with Ilgauskas’ expiring deal.  Al Thornton represents some actual young talent.  From what I can tell, the upside is low, but he is a capable rotation player.  The draft pick probably won’t be high impact – but it’s something, and of much more use to a talent starved Wiz team than it was to Cleveland.

The NBA Trade Deadline – Two So Far

With the NBA Trade Deadline coming up at 3 PM tomorrow, the league is at an uncertain point.  Allegedly, a lot of teams are floundering financially and are willing to sell players off.  Contenders of course need more talent, and are trying to use expiring deals and cash to make it happen.  Of course, how many deals actually go down will be interesting – contenders seem to be trying to go for the fleecing deals where a smaller talent margin might help more.  So far two deals:

  • Wizards get: Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross and James Singleton … Mavericks get Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson

The Wizards begin their sell-off.  Haywood was the Wizards best player this year, but he is ultimately a good but low impact center.  Butler has been awful this season, sporting a poor 13.63 PER and shooting a dicey 41.8%.  He is also a bad defender and part of the selfishness that caused a Wizards team to be 22nd in the league in offense despite having Gil Arenas, Mike Miller and Antawn Jamison on the floor.  The Wizards get expiring contracts in Gooden, Ross, Singleton and Howard (whose 2011 is not guaranteed).   That said, the deal clears a lot off their cap, but they are still over the luxury tax number by 3 million, and still not below the cap (thus able to participate in the free agent market fully).  They still have work to do, but the deal accomplishes what was intended.

For Dallas, the deal seems like a lateral move to me.  Haywood is an improvement on Dampier to a degree, but given that Dirk should be a smallball center at times, it seems like overkill.  Not sure if it helps much.  Caron Butler has been awful – and really aside from health is not an improvement over Josh Howard at least so far this season.  DeShawn Stevenson’s corpse is there to match salaries.  Ultimately the job is to close the gap on Denver and LA, and this deal does not do that.

  • Blazers get Marcus Camby … Clippers get Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw and $$

This deal is a good match for both teams.  Camby is a free agent, and not getting younger.  He probably does not want to retire a Clipper.  So the Clippers converted him into value.  Steve Blake is a useful backup PG, and Travis Outlaw is a high ceiling player and the Clippers get his Bird rights (basically the ability to give a giant raise).  At least Outlaw is a trade asset, and maybe more.  The Blazers of course had such horrible luck with the Oden and Pryzbilla injuries.  They might not be contenders as snakebitten as they have been, but they have a winning record and should make the playoffs.  They owe their fans a chance to go for it – and so they got a center on a short hitch basically for free – or certainly not for assets they would miss.  It is not a conference tilting trade, but the Blazers improved at a low cost.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 140 other followers