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.